Spitting is amongst the least of all physical attacks.
But while not very physical it is far more disgusting than a punch in the mouth!
I'm in agreement with those who say the world has gone mad.
If two innocent men were walking down the street and one spat in the others mouth, the spitter would deserve a punch in the mouth from the spittee. No question.
This situation is not as open as that one. The policeman is trying to do his job and gets a mouth of gob for his trouble. While the guy being arrested has rights he broke the contract by gobbing at the arresting officer. I cannot stand police brutality, but no-one in any profession should have to tolerate being gobbed on.
I'm not sure whether people are missing the point on this deliberately, or simply not recognised. From what I read, the police officer was more likely found guilty, not simply because he responded to being assaulted (which being spat on, is) with force, per se - but what would be perceived as excessive force.
Had he just instinctively lashed out back, once, then held himself in check, it may well have been a different outcome. But like it or not, the law doesn't just allow people to go bat-shit crazy once they've been assaulted. Repeatedly striking somebody or beating the crap out of them afterwards, isn't likely going to be accepted. An instinctive response - eg lashing out, striking once, or something proportionate may well be accepted purely as a natural reaction, or self-defence type situation.
But you don't get a free hand - that's why in analogous situations, people have been prosecuted for shooting burglars when they were running away - the law wouldn't see that as a proportionate response, that you were doing so because it was necessary to defend yourself - after all, if somebody is running away, you're no longer at threat.
There may well be situations that are good evidence that the world is going mad, but I'm not convinced this is one. Reading the article, it seems as if this coppers colleague, there at the time, had opined that he'd gone over the top.
i agree the policeman shouldn't have done it.
But didn't a certain John Prescot punch an egg thrower and get away with it. Spitting is much worse than egg throwing.
Who knows what germs he could given the policeman?
The policeman should have just got a written warning on his police record.
Fair point about two-jags - many were arguing he should have faced assault at the time - but didn't he only land one punch? It was probably helped by handlers being on the scene, and not letting anything go further.
My take is that the law may well tolerate you instinctively fighting back, but not beating the crap outta somebody, or inflicting revenge. Natural reaction, possibly - wading in and going further - well that likely does put you at risk of being found guilty - and I'm not aghast with that - I think I'm loosely in favour.
If somebody - whether doing their job, or otherwise - is spat on, has something thrown at them, or struck - if they respond with merely the same kind of force, either by instinct, or fearing they need to defend themselves, I'm good with that. If they then decide to inflict revenge and beat the crap out of somebody - well that's gone beyond mere defence and initial instinctive response.
I'd like to think i'm a reasonable person, not prone to violence but if someone spat in my face they would get hit. Repeatedly.
And the repeatedly bit may, hypothetically see you found guilty, too.
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