Q & A with Pat J. Merriman Assitant States Attorney for Dunn County

Q- What in the heck is going on down in Ferguson, Missouri, your old stomping grounds?


A- Good question but, we actually lived 4 hours away from that place! Regardless, this week’s feature article will be on the issue of use of force in making an arrest or, in police-citizen contacts (see, below). In fact, a watering hold up here in Dunn County has been reputed as a gathering place for local malcontents with one self-appointed armchair lawyer using the platform as a bully pulpit to announce their erroneous interpretation of the Century Code and “the law.”

Apparently, all of which is believed, by local law enforcement, to be the impetus for the increasing level of resistance/violence they have been experiencing the last few months (including one armed confrontation just this past weekend). In that episode, a self-appointed bystander was charged with two felony counts for allegedly telling officers to “get the f#$k off his property” while resting his hand on/near the butt of a sidearm at his waistband. Guys… knock it off before someone gets seriously hurt. When it happens, it’s on you.

And, if you honestly think you can use your cell phone to interfere with an arrest by ordering the officers to “stand by” while you activate your video camera or “call your buddy or some other official” who’s going to “have their badges”, you are just plain wrong. These officers control the situation…NOT YOU! Do not test their resolve.

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