Your rights when it comes to self-defense against mob attacks

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For the second time this month, a mob of teenagers has attacked innocent victims on city streets.

One man was still in the hospital Monday night, while city leaders and law enforcement still struggle to figure out how to keep teens from striking again.

If you face a mob, do you pull a gun? Hit them with your car? Lawyers say both of those could land you behind bars.

Sharon Mourning’s story has the Mid-South talking.

She was driving angry teens leaving a football game surrounded her car.

“I’m telling my daughter, ‘Get down!,’ because I didn’t know what they were going to do,” she said.

She didn’t have a gun but said if she did, she’d have used it.

Would you? And would the law have your back? Most lawyers say in this case, no.

Mourning was inside her car at the time of attack and not exposed to the crowd.

Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-11-614 (c) deals with protection of personal property.

(a) A person in lawful possession of real or personal property is justified in threatening or using force against another, when and to the degree it is reasonably believed the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other’s trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property.

(b) A person who has been unlawfully dispossessed of real or personal property is justified in threatening or using force against the other, when and to the degree it is reasonably believed the force is immediately necessary to reenter the land or recover the property, if the person threatens or uses the force immediately or in fresh pursuit after the dispossession:

(1) The person reasonably believes the other had no claim of right when the other dispossessed the person; and

(2) The other accomplished the dispossession by threatening or using force against the person.

(c) Unless a person is justified in using deadly force as otherwise provided by law, a person is not justified in using deadly force to prevent or terminate the other’s trespass on real estate or unlawful interference with personal property.

To use deadly force, you must have reasonable belief there is an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.

In the Kroger attack however, the use of deadly could be deemed more acceptable due to bodily injury being inflicted.

So how do we end this? Some say no one has the slightest idea, and the teens know it.

Britta Gervais lives near where this past weekend’s attack happened and says the worst the kids do is leaving fast food trash around, “I think it’s just people following a trend and thinking they can get away with it.”

Look at the attention the mob attack at Kroger got, and the many young people who were simply sent home to parents.

Deputies say they have to stop it before it starts.

Officers were out Monday night, and kids were back at the stadium, making people wonder what they would do.

The DA’s office said the facts would have to be weighed in each individual case. the main thing is to get out of there safely without being reckless to hurt others.

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