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This week’s Case of the Week involves a video that has been making the rounds on the internet showing a large white man apparently knocking out a smaller young black woman with a single punch. I’ve seen reports that the man has been arrested and presume that he will attempt to justify his punch as a lawful use of defensive force.
Here’s that video:
Video - Analysis - Lawfulness - Man - Punch
The video is too abbreviated to allow for a comprehensive analysis of the likely lawfulness of the man’s punch, but in this Case of the Week, we can at least touch upon the relevant issues that will be key to any such analysis.
The general scenario portrayed by the video appears to be a large white male surrounded by a group of angry shouting black women. I can’t decipher any specific words, but the women have collectively surrounded the man and are yelling at him for reasons unknown. The man is turning around and looking at the various black women surrounding him, his arms at his sides.
Women - Battery - Man - Back - Man
Eventually, one of the women commits a simple battery upon the man by shoving him forcefully in the back. When the man turns to look in the woman’s direction in response to the shove, she aggressively closes proximity on him with a hand raised towards his face. The man responds to this aggressive approach, in the immediate aftermath of the simple battery committed against him presumably by this woman but certainly by the mob, by shoving the woman away from him—he does not close distance towards her but merely stands in place.
In response to the man’s shove, the woman charges the man with her hands raised in a fighting position, apparently drawing her right fist back in preparation to throw a punch at the man. Before she can do so, however, she runs...
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