Ed Driscoll » Shhh—Nobody Tell MSNBC
Remember when seconds count the police are only minutes away. If you have to safely restrain someone until the police arrive then try to do so using the minimum force that will ensure your safety. If you can prevent them from causing harm and allow them to escape without having reason to believe that they will continue to be a threat then let them go and give the police a good description. Of course if you reasonably fear that they may come back with a gun if released then you may need to restrain them. If you are not a trained and credentialed Law Enforcement Officer then how can you be held to their standards of professional conduct? That cannot mean that private citizens have no right to defend themselves or others. At least that is true in America. In England your mileage may vary. I am not a lawyer, I know both my parents, and I am not giving legal advice here. How you perceive the situation and more import how you articulate what you perceived is crucial. It would help if more proactive training was offered by the police to concerned citizens. The legal community should also be better at offering training as to people's rights and responsibilities.