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Is self defense illegal in NYC?

Old man is attacked in his convience store. And defends himself with a knive.  The young criminal dies. 
They have charged the victim with murder. 

Is it time for another PA recall? 

Posted - July 9, 2022


  • 8768
    Many of your posts on here indicate that you do not understand the meaning of 'due process ' and this another one. There is more than one way to look at this and it's up to the DA to decide whether or not to charge him and ir so, to a jury to decide guilt, not to the public, the police or even the mayor to determine whether this was an appropriate response to the threat. I have an opinion, but I  also think that every homicide should be viewed as a potential crime. This post was edited by Jane S at July 9, 2022 12:10 PM MDT
      July 9, 2022 8:34 AM MDT

  • 30642
    Most of the time, when someone is on video defending themselves they are not charged with a crime.  This is why crime is so high in the cities....criminals get no bail and people defending themselves get bail of $250,000 (yes it was reduced after people expressed outrage) This man has no prior criminal history at all. He should never have had to post a cash bail in NYC.

    If they want to investigate fine....but he should not be arrested nor have to post a cash bail in NYC.

    If rapists, shooters, etc, with a long history of violent crime can be released without bail then so could this old man with no criminal history be released without bail.

    It is about applying the laws fairly, and properly.....if it is good and fair due process for one person then is should also apply to another person. 

    Chicago has recently told police not to pursue criminals on foot...and then they wonder why their crime is so high. 

    DA would be removed (legally---recalled) from my area if they pulled some crap like this. 
      July 9, 2022 11:21 AM MDT

  • 5057

    *copy pasta warning*

    My condensed version: It’s not that clear cut.

    Key Elements of Self-Defense in New York 

    If you’re going to argue self-defense in court, you need to be aware of several key elements of this concept:

    • Imminent Threat: In order to successfully argue that you were acting in self-defense, you need to show evidence of “imminent threat.” In other words, you must have acted in the face of clear and present danger. Threats made by someone may allow you to legally defend yourself, but offensive language is not enough to warrant these actions.
    • Reasonable Fear: You must also show that you were experiencing “reasonable fear” in the moments leading up to your act of self-defense. In other words, the court must come to the conclusion that a reasonable person would have felt the same level of fear as you did prior to the incident.
    • Proportional Force: If you act in self-defense, you must use a level of force that is proportional to the threat you face. If you face an assault that probably won’t result in your death, you cannot pull out a knife and stab the person. However, if they pull out a knife and slash at you, you can legally respond with deadly force.

    Castle Doctrine

    New York’s “castle doctrine” laws are also important in the context of self-defense. These laws apply to situations where you are being attacked in your own home. A key aspect of the castle doctrine in New York is the duty to retreat. If you are in your yard (outside of your house), you have a duty to retreat to safety before engaging the attacker.

    If you and the attacker are both inside of your home, the court assumes that you have no clear way to escape to safety. Therefore, you have no duty to retreat, and you can potentially engage the attacker with lethal force. However, it’s worth mentioning that you can only use lethal force under certain circumstances. Again, concepts like imminent threat, reasonable fear, and proportional force all apply. Most experts agree that you should only use lethal force against an attacker in your home if you believe they intend to rob you, harm you, or commit arson.


      July 9, 2022 10:30 AM MDT

  • 30642
    Did you view the video? 
    What is you opinion based on the NY law and the video?
      July 9, 2022 10:38 AM MDT

  • 5057
    I’ve watched the video five times.  Based on what I’ve read from the New York law, the thing that tripped him up was proportional force, and that’s probably what the DA’s using to charge him.  My opinion is that the shopkeeper should have had pepper spray, which I think would have kept him clear of all laws in New York, but he didn’t.  I would have to see what the jury’s going to see to really be able to answer this question.  If the jury acquits him, they’re either going to say he was facing an imminent threat (possibility of being beaten to death) or they might just do jury nullification on the proportional force part of the law because the shopkeeper would’ve lost the fight with the aggressor.
      July 9, 2022 12:15 PM MDT

  • 16931
    This is self defense. 
      July 9, 2022 2:00 PM MDT

  • 30642
    I agree 100%. 
      July 9, 2022 6:51 PM MDT