MC Hammer Arrested for Obstruction in California
90s rap star MC Hammer was arrested Thursday night in a small city east of Oakland when he allegedly refused to cooperate with police after his vehicle was stopped. In the story reported on cnn.com, Hammer alleged that the cop was "a scared man with an agenda, a gun, and a badge"- referring to how dangerous the police officer was. Hammer called the incident an "eye opener" and a "teachable moment" in postings to his twitter account after the arrest.
MC Hammer has been charged with obstruction after the Thursday night encounter and is due in court in March. The police and presumably the prosecuting lawyer could add, drop, or amend charges in the case. According to Hammer, upon first approaching the car Hammer was driving, the police officer asked whether he was on probation or parole. The situation deteriorated from there with MC eventually refusing to answer any further questions. Question: do you think someone in MC Hammer's situation should be free to refuse all questioning and not cooperate with a police officer's questioning and commands? Comment below.
Georgia Obstruction Charges
While you may think obstruction charges should require more than merely refusing to cooperate, they oftentimes don't. In Georgia, obstruction can be a misdemeanor or felony charge. Felony obstruction requires one to threaten or actually commit a violent act against the arresting officer while misdemeanor obstruction only requires one to knowingly obstruct or hinder law enforcement. Running from, lying to and even arguing with an officer can all be misdemeanor obstruction under Georgia law. However, you do not have any duty to cooperate if an arrest is unlawful in the first place and you cannot be found guilty of obstruction.
Call our law firm if you have questions about Georgia obstruction law. We represent hundreds of clients a year charged with criminal violations in the North Georgia area.