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Riot

Suppression Of Riot

Private persons can, on their own authority, lawfully try to suppress a riot, and courts have ruled that they can arm themselves for such a purpose if they comply with appropriate statutory provisions concerning the possession of firearms or other weapons. Execution of this objective will be supported and justified by law. Generally every citizen capable of bearing arms must help to suppress a riot if called upon to do so by an authorized peace officer.

The state is primarily responsible for protecting lives and property from the unlawful violence of mobs. If the militia reports to civil authorities to help quash a riot, it has the same powers as civil officers and must render only such assistance as is required by civil authorities. During the WTO riot in Seattle, 600 state troopers and 200 members of the NATIONAL GUARD were called in to assist the overwhelmed Seattle police force.

In an emergency, and in the absence of constitutional restrictions, a governor can order the intervention of the militia to suppress a riot without complying with statutory formalities. When troops are ordered to quell a riot, they are not subject to local authorities but are in the service of the state.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Reputation to Owen Josephus RobertsRiot - Nature And Elements, Riotous Conduct, Common Intent, Terror, Suppression Of Riot - Number of Persons Necessary, Purpose of Original Assembly, Persons Liable, Municipal Liability, Defenses