Roughing the Protester? Activist Tackled by Rams Players Files Police Report and Threatens Lawsuit

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The 24-9 blowout of the Rams by the 49ers captured a number of missed tackles and plays by the Rams. However, one successful tackle occurred on the sideline when a protester wearing a shirt reading “” and carrying a smoke flare jumped a security fence and ran down the field. Linebacker Bobby Wagner (with the help of fellow linebacker Takkarist McKinley) forced the protester to the ground. Now, the activist with Direct Action Everywhere has filed a police report and is threatening legal action. However, not only is another court likely to find that there was no right to rescue in a case involving the theft of pigs by animal activists, this activist is likely to establish that the players had a right to tackle.

The protester was trying to bring attention to animal activists charged with theft after rescuing piglets from a Smithfield facility. PETA and other groups have called the activists “heroes” for their actions but prosecutors are seeking convictions for felony burglary and theft charges.

The protester was being pursued by security when the two players assisted them in bringing him to the ground:

The protester was burned during the run or tackle, presumably by his own flare.

In my view, Wagner and McKinley had a right to tackle the protester. The protester was engaged, at a minimum, in a criminal misdemeanor  while be pursued by security. The common law allowed for citizen arrests as members of the public responded to the “hue and cry” of others.

Indeed, it was expected that citizens would intervene. The Statute of Winchester stated that citizens should “follow them with all the town and the towns near, with hue and cry from town to town until that they be taken and delivered to the sheriff.”

Like most states, California has codified the citizen arrest power.  There is some variation in these laws but California has a classic provision. It allows for the use of a citizen’s arrest for any felonies but also a misdemeanor if it is committed in your presence. under Penal Code Section 837:

“A private person may arrest another:

1. For a public offense committed or attempted in his presence.

2. When the person arrested has committed a felony, although not in his presence.

3. When a felony has been in fact committed, and he has reasonable cause for believing the person arrested to have committed it.”

There is also a common law privilege in any civil lawsuit that allows for defense of others.  The protester was carrying a flare and appears to have resulted in burns to his own body. In that short period of time, the appearance of a man running with the flare and being chased by security could be viewed as a reasonable basis to force to protect others.

Just as tackles on the field are judged by the use and level of force in possible “roughing the passer” fouls, the same is true under the common law. In the use of the defense of others in torts, a person must show that he used a reasonable and proportionate amount of force.

The video shows the players taking the protester to the ground and then leaving him to security. That would seem to meet the standard on the level of force. This would not amount to a common law version of “roughing the protester.”

For all of these legal reasons (as well as commonsense), the protester does not have a viable criminal or civil case against the players in my view.

41 thoughts on “Roughing the Protester? Activist Tackled by Rams Players Files Police Report and Threatens Lawsuit”

  1. The real Crime is ESPN and AMAZON have ‘stolen’ Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football respectively.
    You can not get these Games on those Nights unless you ‘Pay Ransom to View.’
    They have been Hijacked from the Aerial Airwaves and held for Ransom.

    I now endure Pain and Suffering on those Nights:
    NFL Syndrome (French: syndrome de Américain Ligue Nationale de Football) is a sense of extreme disappointment exhibited by some individuals when wanting to watch Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football, who feel that the NFL was not what they had expected. The condition is commonly viewed as a severe form of culture shock.

    The syndrome is characterized by a number of psychiatric symptoms such as acute delusional states, hallucinations, feelings of persecution (perceptions of being a victim of prejudice, aggression, and hostility from others), derealization, depersonalization, anxiety, and also psychosomatic manifestations such as dizziness, tachycardia, sweating, and others, such as vomiting.

    While the syndrome has been particularly noted among Japanese tourists, it has also affected other travelers or temporary residents from eastern Asia, such as those from China, Singapore, and South Korea. 😉

  2. A naked man charging through a family event, holding a flair, is aggressive, and exposing children to public nudity. The football players were just protecting the families in the stands, helping out security, and deserve a big thank you…and a gallon of sanitizer for having to touch a naked deranged stranger.

    We don’t want to see naked people at football games. Getting naked does not make anyone care about hogs at Smithfield. It doesn’t help your cause, and you look like an idiot.

    If you’re a naked guy harassing football fans, it’s intuitively obvious that it’s unsafe to run near the football teams, trained to tackle people a lot faster than you.

      1. Thanks, Econ. That’ll teach me to try to watch videos on my phone’s tiny screen. When I first saw the video, I thought he was naked, but looks like the flare was just shielding him and made it look skin-colored.

        Thanks for pointing that out.

  3. These kinds of activists are entitled elitists. They feel they have the right to force others to change their eating habits. They don’t want tolerance for being a vegetarian or vegan. They seek to force everyone to become one, too.

    They stole livestock, which is considered property. Each piglet would have grown into a valuable hog. They also broke biosecurity, and USDA APHIS animal tracking rules in the theft.

    Out of principle, I will not buy Smithfield products. They are owned by China, through a Hong Kong intermediary, and I do not care for the factor farm production method, with its over crowding and diseases. I prefer to buy meats from certain producers, when possible, including pasture raised hogs. My absolute favorite agriculture model is regenerative, with successive grazing animals used to enrich the composition of soil, rebuilding topsoil. With modern chemical fertilizer use, and tillage, topsoil is a critical resource that is disappearing at an alarming rate. Chemical fertilizers cannot replace soil health, with its complex microbiome, organic matter, and spongey texture, which soaks up rains and prevents runoff. As of now, it’s not possible for me to buy all of my meat from this model, because I do not live anywhere near such producers. My friend with the hogs is among the small business owners fleeing the state of CA.

    That said, I research suppliers and decide where to spend my food dollars. I don’t like Smithfield’s business model, so I don’t buy Smithfield. As long as the business is legal, they have every right to operate without harassment. PETA doesn’t want to improve conditions for farm animals. Their end goal is to prevent anyone, anywhere, from eating any meat, ever. They also want to eventually ban pet ownership, as well as the ownership of horses. This is why they harass carriage operators, and deliberately try to spook the horses. They don’t care who gets hurt. This is why they try to spook horseback riders. This is why they steal animals from front yards and porches, and immediately euthanize them. This is why they have an extraordinarily high euthanasia rate at their shelters. They don’t even want dogs to exist. Yet “ethical” is part of their name.

    Like Smithfield, I wouldn’t have anything to do with PeTA, either.

    1. Karen, I love your comments, but your idealistic notion of old time animal agriculture is misplaced. The survival of hogs from conception to slaughter is much higher today than it was 50 years ago. Conditions are much better today in climate controlled environments vs, hogs freezing to death in the pastures, during the winter, or roasting in the summer.

      1. I sometimes raise hogs for personal consumption.
        They are out on pasture nearly the whole time. They have a A-frame for shelter from the rain and sun when trees are not available.
        When it gets really hot, I haul 4, 5gal buckets of water out to them, twice a day. I give them a kiddie pool to get in and cool off, or make a wallow. Sometimes they like the mud better.
        Our last pair over wintered till slaughter in the barn with the rest of the livestock.
        With a good layer of hay, and their natural fat, they fair well.
        They live a better life than commercial industry hogs.
        As Bidenflation continues to grind the lower and middle class, the return to locally sourced, small family farms that raise their hogs this way, may return.

        1. UpstateFarmer:

          Sounds like your hogs have a great life. You have the added benefit of selecting the breed, knowing what they consume, and how they’re harvested.

          With Americans getting squeezed from all sides, with higher costs for gas, rent, mortgages, and all goods and services, hopefully there will be a return to Victory Gardens. At the very least, people in the suburbs and rural areas could raise some rabbits or hens, and plant a garden. The more people produce some of their own food, the more they can help others in their communities.

          My grandparents raised rabbits for years after the Great Depression. People were hard pressed, and every little bit helped to put food on the table.

          1. Karen S,
            Oh, I have seen the number of gardens increase. One family ripped out their entire front lawn (no HOA) for their garden. Seen more than a few increase in size, and I have noted an increase in small livestock, like chickens.
            Food insecurity is on the minds of some people.

      2. Hi Iowan:

        I agree with you that hogs have more access to better medical care, climate control, and laws on humane care than they did 50 years ago. I’d better clarify that when I object to some modern practices, it’s the over crowding, which spreads disease, the unhealthy diet of too much grain, the high cortisol in the meat, and the manure lagoons produced. I’ve been in feed lot country, and the inside of the grocery stores smelled strongly of manure. And not the clean manure smell of a well kept barn or open pasture. Tractors scrape the pens and pile it high. It gets in the dust and just blows everywhere. You can see the dust plumes from miles away. Meat production a hundred years ago was still far worse than today, with adulterated milk, contaminated meat, filthy housing, and really unhealthy conditions for the animals and workers. For a while, hog farms were moved into big cities, to dispose of the waste from beer distilleries. High density meat production in a high density urban area with the lack of sanitation of 150 years ago was appalling.

        Ideally, regenerative agriculture combines the best of both worlds, modern science with a healthier, more open lifestyle, connecting the grazing animals with pastureland in a rotation that improves soil health. For instance, electric fencing is required to rotate grazing in regenerative agriculture. This reminds me, that term, “regenerative agriculture”, gets a bit overused, to the point that some use it to refer to an Amish-like total lack of modern amenities, or on the other side of the spectrum, just allowing cattle to graze at some point. For me, the end goal of this model of agriculture is to improve soil health and water retentive abilities, reduce the lure of monoculture to pests, reduce chemical usage on farms, and diversity the output of a farm. I really hate the GMO model, where a farmer can get sued by Monsanto if GMO pollen from a mile away pollinates his field.

        That friend of mine who raised pastured hogs on her land gave a class on processing poultry. She called me afterward and said that a lady brought some battery hens she’d purchased. Egg producers don’t usually keep them after around 72 weeks of age. Those hens were diseased. They were full of tumors, and their lungs looked bad. My friend told her they weren’t even safe to use for dog food. She said they’re always like that. Whenever anyone brings her battery hens, she knows they’re going to be diseased. If it were possible for me to raise some Cornish Cross meat birds, I would, but I’d just end up naming them all like I did my laying hens.

        1. Karen S,
          Right there with you.
          Given enough pasture, and moved on a regular basis, hogs do not smell. Unless you step in fresh hog manure, but that is a given.
          Same goes with the cows, and goats.
          Rabbits on the other hand, their urine smells, but that was when confined to a rabbit hutch. Put them in a A-frame with an attached weld wire run, move them a few times a day, they make great lawn mowers.

        2. Also, I want to point out that my exposure to high density meat production and feed lots is limited to CA. I haven’t observed what model is used in other states. When I’ve been to ranches in places like Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, I’ve only seen the bucolic, open grazing side of things. With California’s water rationing and drylands, the common practices of meat production would likely be quite different than elsewhere.

  4. Having given up on football this was at least entertaining.
    What a lot of people need to learn is that many if not nearly all of those heart rending abuse videos are staged and it’s the animal “activists” who abuse animals for the camera.
    At this point farms have to be fenced and locked, and, people wanting to purchase an animal have to be scrutinized.
    That’s culture revolution in play.

  5. It has been suggested the Rams players should file a lawsuit against the individual suing them.

  6. I stopped wasting my time watching millionaire, BLM-loving, ” I am a slave” jerks long ago. People, pick up a hobby, read more books, learn an instrument, spend more time with your family, do something else. Your minds are a terrible thing to waste.

  7. I sympathize with the man’s cause. Truly. But he got trucked while wearing no clothes. NFL players have shown little patience for people running on the field for decades now. Gotta know the territory.

  8. It is about time that these (there are no rules governing me because I know I have a just cause) protesters come smack up against the laws that SHOULD govern all of us. I would be in favor of hiring linebackers by civil authorities to deal with all such miscreants who feel that the laws do not apply to them because they “identify” as special. I do hope the courts set a very sharp line between legally allowed peaceful protests and everything else that falls between murder and general disorderly conduct. You would think that these prog/left nut jobs were being coached to act like thugs.

  9. >> The video shows the players taking the protester to the ground and then leaving him to security. <<

    I see a lunatic running around with a lit flare, creating a potential hazard for himself; everyone he runs close to; as well as the security personnel attempting to subdue him to restore order.

    I don't see "the players taking the protestor to the ground…". I see one brave player step in front of a raving lunatic carrying a lit torch. His bravery not only puts his own safety (and career) at risk, but he has eliminated the risk created by the left wing moron to others. He's a hero.

    I see a second player barely and briefly brush against the left wing kook as he falls to the ground.

    There is no justice in forcing those two players to have to hire lawyers to defend themselves because they did the right thing and ended the risks a left wing narcistic lunatic has chosen to create for others.

    In a sane world, the moron AND his lawyer would be forced to pay whatever costs the two players are forced to incur just to get the frivolous case dismissed, let along actually put on a defense.

    In a sane world, the left wing kook AND his lawyer would have their wages garnished until they repay the cost of the ticket of every paying customer for ruining their experience.

    I wonder how many left wingers would pull similar stunts like this, and how many lawyers will defend them, if they know that's the cost they will pay for their stunts.

  10. My only critique would be that the tackle was high. Good technique would have been dropping lower and coming in at waist high, encircling the flare carrier’s waist with the tackler’s arms, driving forward with the tackle and taking the carrier off his feet with the due diligence of the tackler to use his shoulder and not the helmet for contact. We certainly don’t want anyone flagged for targeting. Otherwise no complaints. I consider their act a public service and being in California, I suspect the crowd was thrilled no firearms were involved.
    Any punishment should require the flare carrier to eat no bacon or other pork products for the rest of his life.
    Not wise to go on a field when players are armored with helmets, shoulder and thigh pads and are much larger than the standard flare carrier.

    1. @GEB,
      The man was carrying a lit flare.
      The high tackle was to wrap him up and control the flare. Its like wrapping up a QB rather than an open field tackle.
      Its to control him.

      Also IIRC he wasn’t in front of the guy. He came in from the side.
      Open field tackles, you aim for the hips because that’s going to indicate his movements. Then w shoulder to the hip, you sweep the leg(s) w your arm behind the knee as you drive forward putting him on the ground.

      Note: The player didn’t get burned. The idiot w the flare did.


  11. Be happy everyone, this morons antics will end up making tackling losers that run onto the field legal going forward.

    A guy runs on into a public arena filled with 60,000 people while carrying what appears to be an incendiary device…and he sues those that stop him. This is the left in action.

  12. What’s worse having an animal activist running around an NFL football field with a flare stuck up his beezuza or an NFL football player refusing to stand and show respect to our national anthem?

    Red flag on both.

      1. I disagree with taking a knee during the National Anthem. That being said, in the country I grew up in (and still live in), I will defend their right to do so if they so choose. That’s what the United States is all about.
        P.S. I am sorry that the two linebackers didn’t hit the guy like they would an opposing quaterback,,,

  13. Like most states, California has codified the citizen arrest power.

    California is led by a Marxist Governor and Smithfield Foods is owned by a huge Chinese corporation, Shuanghui International Holdings Limited / WH Group.

    WH Group is the controlling shareholder of Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development Co. Ltd., China’s largest meat processing business, and now owns Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer

    Gavin Newsom will tip the scales to defend the lilly white communist and hence CCP. What he should have done was called attention to the human rights abuses of China. Nor is the irony lost that these activists vegan anarchists defend the life of pigs at a slaughter house but support the decapitation of newborn babies ala Virginia Democrat Ex-Governor Ralph Northam.

    A better headline would have read: Rams attack animal rights activist!


  14. Jonathan wrote, “the protester does not have a viable criminal or civil case against the players in my view.”

    I agree, but that doesn’t stop the activist protester from suing the players, the team and the league for many millions of dollars so they can quickly settle out of court for much less but still enough to make the whole thing financially profitable for Direct Action Everywhere.

    1. Prof Turley,
      I apologize for placing my comment here where it doesn’t tie in directly with the topic, but my issue burns within, probably like the tackled guy.

      I believe that evidence is overwhelming that Clinton violated our and international laws when he refused to take action in 1994 in Rwanda. What can I do to bring attention to this matter in hopes of bringing him to justice?

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