Court upholds Right of Armed Citizen to Shoot a Police Officer in Defense

Check out AmmoLand’s Daily Gun Deals page for more $$ saving offers!

Lawsuit Court Guns Law Judgment Injunction
After nearly five years in jail, the Fifth Circuit Court has dismissed the charges against John DeRossett for shooting a sheriff’s deputy in 2015.

U.S.A.-( On 20 August 2015, in Brevard County, Florida, John DeRossett, 55, shot and severely wounded a Brevard County sheriff’s deputy.

The agent was part of a sting operation, who were attempting to arrest DeRossett’s niece, Mary Ellis, for prostitution.  They had set up a controlled environment at a motel, but Mary Ellis did not show up.  From

Brevard County agents set up a prostitution sting on Aug. 20, 2015, arranging to meet DeRossett’s niece, Mary Ellis, at a motel where a controlled environment had been set up to conduct an arrest.

When she didn’t show, the three deputies in plain clothes went to her Covina Street home in Port St. John, where Agent Peter Stead grabbed Ellis from the doorway while John “Casey” Smith and Jason Roberts hid in the darkened yard.

During their testimony at the immunity hearing, the deputies said it was unusual to go to a suspect’s home for a sting operation when a controlled environment had already been established.

When she was grabbed, Ellis began screaming for help from her uncle, who was in a back room eating at the time, according to court records.

There was strong evidence DeRossett did not know the men accosting his niece were deputies. None of the deputies were in uniform. His statements, immediately after the event, and in the hospital, were all consistent with the belief that unknown men were attempting to kidnap his niece. He knew his niece had problems with drugs and prostitution.

DeRossett was retired. He had a concealed carry permit. He had no criminal record. He had taken his niece into his home as a favor to his sister. From the Petition to the Florida Fifth District Court of Appeals:

Petitioner, John DeRossett, a sixty-five-year-old retired General Motors autoworker, owned a home in Brevard County, Florida. Derossett’s adult niece, Mary Ellis, lived with him in this home. Derossett had no criminal record, worked part-time as a security guard at Port Canaveral, and lawfully possessed a concealed weapons permit. He had also apparently taken a firearms training course.

On August 20, 2015, at approximately 9:30 p.m., Ellis answered a knock on the front door. As she opened the door, a man reached inside the threshold of the house, grabbed her arm, and began pulling Ellis out of the home and onto the covered front porch. Ellis struggled to resist her apparent abduction and screamed to her uncle (DeRossett) that she needed help. At this point, two other men approached to physically assist the first man in pulling Ellis off the porch of the home and into the front yard.

John DeRossett was in a backroom, eating, when he heard her screams. It was dark outside the home.

The first shot was when DeRossett fired a “warning shot” into the air. The men who had accosted his niece (the deputies) then fired at him, without identifying themselves. A firefight ensued. One deputy, John “Casey” Smith, was severely wounded.  More than 40 shots were fired. Both John DeRossett and his Niece were wounded, but less severely.

The homeowner, DeRossett, was charged with three counts of attempted murder of a police officer.

Police claimed they told the niece they were police officers as they grabbed her. She called 911 during or immediately after the firefight, and told the dispatcher she did not know who the men who grabbed her were.

The deputies had no warrant to arrest Mary Ellis.

Criminals often claim to be police to attempt to get compliance. The deputies never told DeRossett they were police.

Why would he be under obligation to believe them, unless they presented credentials or other convincing proof they were operating under lawful authority?

DeRossett was held in jail for nearly five years!

In August of 2018, at trial, his lawyer presented the defense that he was protected by the “Stand Your Ground” law.  The local court found against him, saying that he knew, or should have known, the people he was shooting at were law enforcement officers.

He appealed to the federal Fifth Circuit Court of appeals in 2019.

The appeals court found the local court had incorrectly made the determination DeRossett should have known the men attacking his niece, and him, were police officers.  The Fifth Circuit sent the case back to the local court, to determine if a different exception to Stand your Ground applied. The Stand Your Ground law would not apply if he was “furthering criminal activities” when the action took place.

The local court found against him again. This time, the court claimed the Stand Your Ground law did not apply, because he knew his niece had used her bedroom to conduct prostitution.

DeRossett appealed to the Florida Fifth District Court of Appeals again.

He stayed in jail until March of 2020, when he was allowed to bond out.

On 15 April, the Fifth District Court of Appeals dismissed the charges against him. They ruled that mere knowledge that criminal activities, such as prostitution, had occurred, is not “furthering criminal activities”.  From

VIERA, Fla. – Citing the Stand Your Ground law, the Fifth District Court of Appeals dismissed the longstanding charges against a Port St. John man accused of shooting a Brevard County Sheriff’s deputy during a botched arrest in front of his home in 2015.

John DeRossett spent nearly five years in jail, for defending his niece against attackers who did not identify themselves as police.

John DeRossett is a free man today. He is alive. There was a time, when many assumed anyone, justified or not, who shot a police officer, would be killed by police.  That is not true. It is less true today than it used to be.

In Houston, police officers have been charged with felony murder in the deaths of an innocent couple. The husband dared to protect his wife and dog against an unannounced home invasion. The couple were killed, but the officers are being held accountable.

Mistakes occur. Error is piled onto error. The world is not perfect.

Why, with the evidence, which was plain from the start, was John DeRossett locked up for nearly five years, when he was a homeowner, retired, who had no previous criminal record?

Will there be a civil suit against Brevard County?

The agents of the government are not supposed to be our masters. They are supposed to be our servants.

When agents of the government act as criminals, they should not be surprised when citizens treat them as criminals. When they disregard due process, they should lose immunity for their actions.

The case shows why the Stand Your Ground law was needed. Warrants are not only to protect the accused. Properly used, they also protect police.  If the officer had a warrant, had knocked on the door and presented it, it is highly likely he would not have been shot.

About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Deplorable Bill

There is a LOT of error here, that’s putting it nicely. Try and grab my daughter out of my house and you are going to start gaining weight, about a 1/2 oz. at a time for as many times as it takes for you to stop. If you don’t stop until you take the room temperature challenge, so be it. I will have to assume the guys with you are in on the deal so if they make a move that I deem as aggressive they will get the same thing. The cops had no legal business being there at… Read more »


DB: Your statement, “I served in the Army. The ONLY warning shot I/we ever did was center mass or between the eyes.”, took me back to Basic Training in ’73. Our instructor demonstrated the proper way to give a “warning shot” when standing an armed post. He took the M-16 and pointed it at the threat and simulated firing a shot then he pointed it skyward and simulated firing another shot. He then asked us all if we understood the instruction we had just been given. We all responded with a, “Yes, Drill Sergeant!” He then asked if he needed… Read more »

Deplorable Bill

In my town, the cops have been ordered NOT to give tickets etc. They are to remain as high profile as possible but they are not allowed to engage anything. There are LOTS of places where theft is considered a write off by the cops. I figure that America as a nation is a few, short weeks from “civil unrest.” I hope everyone has been saving up their ammo. I hope everyone has their gear sighted in. It would not surprise me at all if the cartels and terrorists take advantage of all of this. When something actually starts, it’s… Read more »


That’s very disheartening that this went so far… the Police screwed up BIG TIME!! That’s the end of it… even in uniform we identify ourselves… in cases of persistent doubt we wait until the person calls up the Dept to verify. There is no reason these guys couldnt have covered exits and knocked and identified themselves… shes a prostitute, not Al Capone. I dont know what amount of money makes up for 5 of your final years… he probably wont live to spend it. I was LE for 10 years.. I STILL fear LE knocking on my door more than… Read more »


This guy should not have spent 5 minutes in JAIL let alone 5 years! A travesty of justice. If he was an illegal with a criminal record he would have been out in a week.What has happened to our country?


More likely out once charged, on his Own Recognisance, to “go thou and do likewise” again at least a few times before he has to show up for the arriagnment.


Bongino makes Geraldo get that deer in the headlight stare, Love it! The best part about watching Fox News! Geraldo can be a real idiot most of the time.


There is no such thing as “chem trails”. It’s an idiot conspiracy theory. And jumbo jets climb up to the high 20 low 30 thousands of feet where the air is thin enough to make them more efficient. They don’t fly at ten thousand feet.
I’m not a cop “defending chem trails”. I was a military and civilian flyer, now very retired.
Again, for emphasis, there is no such thing as a “chem trail”. If you see a white line behind an airplane, it’s water vapor frozen into a cloud by the temperature at altitude.


They are flying low level training routes. A C-130 is not a “jumbo jet”. BTW, I knew what NORAD was over fifty years ago. I’ve been inside the Cheyenne Mountain complex and stayed at the old Ent AFB which was the aboveground part. WWII bombers left contrails at high altitude. Were they leaving secret “chem trails” too? No, that was water vapor from burning hydrocarbons in air. The main combustion products are carbon dioxide and water vapor. Basic middle school chemistry. Wether gasoline powered piston engines or jet fuel (kerosene) powered turbines, it’s the same basic chemistry and the same… Read more »


And, also repeating (or repating… or whatever other 1st grade errors “norm” might like to make. 🙂 ), The one calling himself “norm” above, is an idiot, and not a pilot, because he knows nothing about flying. If he did, He would have had to pass a test on clouds and weather, none of which would’ve covered chemicals masquerading as water vapor, but they would’ve described contrails effectively enough to separate them from chemicals that act in totally different fashion. And after just some very basic knowledge on clouds, he would be able to tell the difference, just by looking… Read more »


You certainly are fond of calling people liars. I have a feeling that you wouldn’t want to do that face to face. I’ve flown airplanes from a Grumman American AA-1A to a B-52G. I’ve sat alert with 13 nuclear weapons signed out to me, a B-52G to get them to the targets on the other side of the Atlantic , five guys to help me fly it and a .38 special revolver with all of a dozen round to protect it from the bad guys. I mentioned low level training. I may well have flown over your back yard canyon… Read more »


So then as a SAC pilot you simply MUST know the first four instruments yes? Right there in front of you. Always! ON EVERY AIRCRAFT!! Certainly you remember now, yes? 🙂 They were the first four things you covered back in your first single-engined trainer… your first flight hour! Remember wayyyyy back then? And they were still there right in front of you in a B-52! One wonders why you are so reluctant to just say their names….. Frankly, It makes me curious as to WHY norm is so reluctant to discuss piloting specifics, in favor of just a downloaded… Read more »


Nope. Did take some of it, as well as some of the commercial rating, but as it turned out, I was more bush flying oriented. I still had to learn the four basics though, the same as every other pilot. FARs, clouds and weather, airframe/powerplant, and Instruments and controls. Those four sections are the very basics, but no one just forgets about the instruments that have been in front of his face for hundreds and hundreds of hours! The things the gullible sheep are expected to just swallow whole amazes me. Pilots that don’t know the instruments. Sheesh. “Sailors” who… Read more »


Neat picture of the airborne LASER platform in a C-141B.


Norm, that is what happens to a CONtrail, right enough. So what about all the trails that don’t just appear to ‘vanish’ as the water vapor refreezes, but instead hangs around… all day long… to become long, thin, chemical clouds that never existed before? What about all of THOSE NOT-‘con” trails, Hmmm? Beware of just attempting to BS your way through here. I’m a licensed pilot. BS goes back into the bull here, not just get swallowed like with a gullible sheeple. I’m going to be asking you questions that will give you away if you try. Like… what four… Read more »


Yup, but even in a best case, contrails only stick around for about an hour maximum. Usually just a minute or two. NEVER to form a long, thin cloud that sticks around all day. It’s just not so. A CON trail IS made up of water, after all. It must refreeze, if the temp is cold enough. If it is NOT made up of water, however, then it will act very differently indeed, depending upon its individual chemical makeup. OFC, a real SAC pilot would have already learned all of this before he even earned a set of wings, but… Read more »


CON trails are always made of water vapor that his been disturbed enough (by something) to reliquify (allbeit it, only…) temporarily.
CHEMICAL trails, on the other hand, are very different, and are easily distinguished from contrails by even the most cursory analysis. The two must not be confused, as doing so has cost far too much damage already…


Not different, just less oversimplified. “Contrails can form within a few wingspans of the aircraft behind the exhaust and can dissipate within a few aircraft lengths from the engine exhaust because of the lack of available water vapor in the atmosphere.” - But even these short pages don’t go into sufficient depth to explain certain data like why they are usually quick to die off, but sometimes take longer. It is not a subject for sound bites. But all of this detail is incidental. The important fact here is NOT contrails, but how to tell the difference between chemicals trails… Read more »


Bull sh#t! You must not look up very much.

Deplorable Bill

@ U.S.A. I am a pilot. I am very aware of what contrails are. I have seen the same thing that you have recognized. They ARE NOT CONTRAILS. The air turned grey when they sprayed us. Looked a lot like a kc -135 tanker dumping fuel. They also used a checker board patters to ensure complete coverage of the target. Those facts alone should be enough for any pilot to say they are not contrails. Almost every human male who had to be under those vapors developed physical reproductive issues afterward. Strange how many politicians were not present at their… Read more »

Fnu Lnu

FYI, Bongino is not former military. He’s a damn good fella with real appreciation for our military but he would not want that error perpetuated.

moe mensale

Welcome to Ammoland where stating a truth gets you a down vote. Why? Because of that little clique of insignificant assholes living in their Moms’ basements that actually believes they make a difference here. You know who they are. Everybody does.

Don’t forget my down votes, bitches.



Ansel Hazen

Spot on Dean.


If in fact the accounts of this night are correct, the officers did in fact commit attempted kidnapping by not identifying themselves properly or having a legal warrant to either detain or search the premises. All should be charged as such and be disciplined appropriately. Five years is a hell of a long time for a man 65 years old. He is now close to 71 years old and there is no way to get that time back. Perhaps the officers involved should each serve 5 years of their lives as punishment. At the very least, departmental policies were violated.… Read more »

Wild Bill

@B, Perhaps the entire five year budget of the Brevard County SO, as compensation for those lost years, would make the county, county sheriff, and sheriff’s deputies think before acting.


@BrainMatters – Surely attempted kidnapping is not covered by qualified immunity. I believe the federal sentence for kidnapping is considerably longer than 5 years, and each of those officers should serve it in entirety.

Phil B.

I have had a great deal of experience in dealing with “over-zealous” LEOs. On nearly every occasion I have tried to get through to them that when the shit hits the fan, and it will, they will be the Point men for the tyrants. The word is “expendable.” I like to ask them, “I am willing to die for my rights. Are you willing to die trying to take them?” Occasionally I’d get them thinking; but, unfortunately, most of them ain’t got the sense God gave a bastard goose. That makes them cannon-fodder in my book. A punk with a… Read more »

Wild Bill

@PB, I have often wondered how so many Barney Fife, types and SS types get through the screening process, when those types are the worst personalities for law enforcement positions.
I have come to the conclusion that politicians want those types in law enforcement for repressive reasons.


That would also explain why so many departments reject applicants when they PASS an IQ test! The elite controllers probably could not tolerate having very many intelligent questions being asked of them by their selected enforcers, now would they?


I had one incident in my town where a newish officer thought he might hit the jackpot by stopping an older car with the reason for the stop being an unfastened seatbelt. Not a bad plan really except that to catch up to me while I was doing the speed limit, 35 mph, he had to travel at least 60 mph in that same 35 mph zone for a half mile to do it. When the officer got to my window he asked if I knew why he stopped me and I replied “No, and before we go any further… Read more »


So by your own admission, you are completely ignorant of the law and admitted to corruption.

First, in every state i know of there is a legal exception for police to be exempt from traffic laws while undertaking traffic enforcement. It’s common sense; how else could an officer catch a speeder if they can’t themselves speed? Second you used your “connections” to quash your violation AND get an officer admonished for doing his job. You may think you’re a VIP but you are a small person, and can’t even be man enough to take the punishment you earned. Nice job.


Sorry “Jacky”, or is that “Jackboot?” I won’t try to explain anything any further than I already have since you wouldn’t understand it in the first place. But hey, you do what you think you want to/can (not may) do it’s all good. In short, LOL!


@Jacky – The purpose of traffic enforcement is to make our roadways safer, and to make traffic flow smoother and more efficient. It is not for revenue enhancement or self aggrandizement. 35 mph is generally applied to areas with pedestrians and partially hidden cross traffic. Driving 60 mph through those zones presents a clear hazard to anyone else in the area. Ticketing @RoyD for seatbelt violation in no way justifies putting innocent bystanders at risk in such a manner. Given facts as presented, @RoyD’s use of his contacts most likely does not qualify as corruption. Particularly if the city manager… Read more »


Finnky: What did you do with the other Finnky? Your response covered everything very well. Hopefully “Jackboot” got a chance to read it. Thanks.


Mr.Weingarten, I will maintain mIy belief that you along with many others should be a part of a Conservative Media Network conglomerate along with OAN and like type Internet News Agencies to create the new fundamental news and mainstream media based on facts and evidence rather than the blather that we are experiencing today.

I would personally love to hand pick those that would be on the front line of the beginning of the Conservative News Network or, CSN. The moto would be,

Remain strong, healthy and a guiding light of Patriotism!


In Florida, someone lawfully in a dwelling or residence may use deadly force without the duty to retreat, even if one is engaged in criminal activity. The question in Derossett case the second time around related to a favorable evidentiary presumption which would be lost if one was using the dwelling or residence to further criminal activity. Even without said presumption, the state should have lost. Shame on cops and prosecutors. Misbehaved badly.


Brevard county seems to have a large number of these types of incidents. Something is not quite right there…


“Florida man” with a badge?


This is just the kind of Bovine Scatology in which many police units engage. They want everyone else to be responsible for their actions, however, the police DO NOT want to be responsible for their actions, no matter how irresponsible, dangerous, and CRIMINAL they may be! I hope that Mr. DeRossett cleans everyone’s clock in a civil, including the three “police officers”! I certainly hope that these three are no longer in law enforcement, having been fired immediately after the last 5th Circuit ruling!


Cops do not have carte blanch to act any way they want to and then claim it’s okay because they’re cops.


It doesn’t matter what direction you lean politically, everyone can agree this man was punished for doing the right thing–protecting his family when faced with a group of people trying to abduct his niece.

Justice would mean the officers involved, including those who fought to keep him in jail and keep their cronies out of jail, are held accountable, and DeRossett receives retribution for his time lost.

Thank you for sharing this.

a.x. perez

It’s kind of obvious that police in question didn’t have the common sense to realize original plan had failed and that they would need a warrant supported by credible evidence to make arrest. Do police in these need a lawyer with them 24/7 to do their job?


These are the same type of cops we see on TV who don’t really seem to know the law, but we, as civilians without a law degree, without training, without notification of the new law, are expected to abide by. This is, also, where the phrase, “ignorance of the law is no excuse” even tho’ in previous cases to this ignorant ruling, innocence would be declared for a first offense, but a second for the same law was able to be prosecuted.


You believe what you see on TV??

Will Flatt

Government is force, and when bad cops use the force of government unlawfully, they and the government they serve become criminals. Consequences also must attch to these bad cops’ superiors because these superiors often (routinely) shelter and protect bad cops from the consequences of their behavior. I know this because I’d see it at work, and my bosses hated me for calling them on it.


@WF – I like that image. May I borrow it? Agree with your post as well.


Good considering these are the tyrants who will gladly try to take our guns when commanded.

Will Flatt

They wanna take our guns because they are effective at removing tyrants and Jack Booted Thugs.

Get Out

This is the scary part where a court member who wasn’t on scene saying that he knew, or should have known, the people he was shooting at were law enforcement officers after what transpired, so much for the facts of the incident. LEO’s in plain clothes, leaving the controlled sting site and going to a private residence, grabbing the woman and pulling her outside when she opened the door, not identifying themselves as LEO’s with other procedural missteps in the case. They only suspected she was committing prostitution and were attempting to catch her at it, but she never showed… Read more »

Get Out

Wow, how did the jury even find DeRossett guilty in the first place? There are so many things wrong that jumps out just in the way the PO’s conducted themselves.


@Get Out
He’s a gun owner who resisted the Government. When you factor in that the majority of the population are barely functioning retards when it comes to understanding the constitution it isn’t all that surprising.


The Rev: I think you could have summed it up nicely if you had just written: “When you factor in that the majority of the population are barely functioning retards.”

Of course I’m not generally given to good manners as you seem to be. And I can’t blame it on old age as I have been this way my whole life. C’est la vie.


I give credit where credit is due, even when posting in haste. Because many of them are bright, yet still somehow complete blockheads when it comes to knowing how our Supreme Law functions, the distinction needs to be made so that it isn’t just a base generalization.


@Dean Weingarten So the question here is whether the Local Court in question was an actual court or a Grand Jury. Now it makes sense that when charges are brought they go before a Grand Jury to see if there is cause to go to trial, correct? A Grand Jury does not need to allow the defendant to be present, and is conducted by the prosecution. Now since your article did not mention what court it was at other than “Local” I took this to mean that it was in an actual trial court during preliminary (Pre-Trial) session prior to… Read more »


PS~ I don’t exclude judges from my commentary on the status of the majority population.


@Dean Weingarten
Thanks for the Clarification. Hope I didn’t come across as too critical.

Hope you keep up the great work.


@Dean – Thanks for that clarification. Matched what I thought I’d read, but wasn’t sure. Probably memory issue rather than clarity of the original article. So basically court put a 65 year old man with a clear record into jail to await trial and held him for five years. Certainly sounds patently unreasonable. A cynical person might assume prosecutors wished him held in order to secure a plea bargain because they knew they had an extremely weak case. The court should have granted bail or OR given history of the accused – though I suspect the fact that the accused… Read more »


@down vote – Care to clarify? At this point I can only assume that you think innocent people should rot in jail until courts decide to get around to holding a trial. That is not how our justice system is SUPPOSED to work – though unfortunately it seems to be what does happen. More often to the innocent than the guilty as well. Piss off the authorities and you just might find yourself awaiting trial on trumped up charges – until you’ll admit to anything in order to get sentenced for “time served”. This whole process is the exact opposite… Read more »

Heed the Call-up

Finnky, sadly, your summation is more often than not, correct. That is exactly what they do. To the criminals, it’s just part of the process; to the innocent citizens, it’s a meat grinder that no one rational would ever want to find him/herself in. Knowing this, the prosecutors raise the specter of a long-term sentence and an “easy out” with a reduced sentence. To the criminals, the decision is easy, they *are* guilty; to the innocent, it’s like the choice between removing a hand or an arm. Neither is good, and both are unjust.


Things have come full circle. Even if you knew it was a cop prior to the 1950’s, shooting them, or otherwise accosting them when you noted them doing things illegally, was always a “right of the citizenry determined by British common law, and passed down into American law (Amendment 9). In the early to mid 1900’s, it was determined by the courts that one must not resist arrest, and that the courts would be the final decision makers in regards guilt, or innocence. Type in “The Duty to Submit versus the Right to Resist” in your search engine, and the… Read more »


Tell me again, why is prostitution illegal? All this effort to arrest a prostitute? Everybody reading this article would have done exactly what the homeowner did. I would already have filed a civil suit.


Prostitution is illegal because it is abusive and exploitive. The issue really lies in how we treat the people engaged in the practice. The pimps and traffickers should be getting nailed to the wall, the johns should be getting fined out the a**, and the pros should be getting counseling and assistance.


@TurkeyNutz You went after Dave in Fairfax for something he didn’t do earlier around the same time as this post, making a statement that would favor only one part but ignore others when it came to government control. “Prostitution is illegal because it is abusive and exploitive.” Prostitution itself is not abusive or exploitive. The side effects of such a choice however are. Pimps and Traffickers are a side effect and yes are quite abusive and exploitive, though the same thing happens in the “Legal” arena as well with strip clubs. Now you are wanting to dole out punishment to… Read more »


@Rev – There I was thinking that STDs were the just, appropriate and natural punishment for poor sexual choices. Were it not for “Johns” carrying and spreading those diseases, I do not see any reason for prostitution to be illegal. So many parallels to current situation.

If they are consenting adults, what they do together is none of my business. Even, or maybe especially, when I disagree with their choices. Just as 1st amendment exists to protect offensive speech, since popular opinions do not need legal protection.


I didn’t really go after Dave, just opportunistically using his statement to help make my point. I haven’t checked over on that thread yet to see any responses, but folks should not take things too personally. You would be right that prostitution is not inherently abusive or exploitive, but behaviors do not exist in a vacuum. This is the real world, and again, it is not a world of ideals. You have seemingly made the contention that prostitutes are unilaterally responsible for prostitution, which is patently absurd. DEMAND, more than anything, creates prostitution, and pimps and traffickers are hardly a… Read more »


@TurkeyNutz You intentionally fictionalized a statement about what he supports ideologically, instead of asking politely where he stood on such matters before jumping to conclusions, even to the point of implying he was being hypocritical. For example…. “Do you actually have the gall to suggest that environmental and social conditions have no bearing on the equation” You make personal attacks and introduce statements on ideas that were never stated by the original author. Not once did I imply that, not once did any of my words state that. What I said was that there is a difference between someone who… Read more »


Also, it wouldn’t make sense to fine prostitutes, unless that money were being directly funneled into programs for STD testing, counseling, relocation, employment, etc.


Except, of course, in Nevada, where it’s legal because it isn’t abusive or exploitive.

Oh wait — do you think maybe we have the cause and effect reversed?
It would sure seem to make a lot more sense that way.


Not a state, but county law. Vegas and Reno have laws against it, so you will have to go to a “ranch” for your pleasure.


Please, as a nonlawyer, stay in your lane. There was no appeal to a federal court. The defendant appealed twice to the Florida 5th District Court of Appeal. The issues are way more complicated than you describe. There was no right to shoot a police officer asserted, and no ruling on that point was made. There was little or no evidence Derossett knew or should have known cops were trying to effect an arrest. This case was about defense of another and/or preventing the imminent commission of what reasonably appeared to be a kidnapping. In Florida, there is no duty… Read more »


Believe it or not, some of us can read an opinion and understand it even without the benefit of a JD. The really good lawyering is a little hard to find. The statute is very clear and it describes events as they happened. The review requires little more than common sense rather than in-depth knowledge of evidentiary rules. For example, they go to such high tech and scholarly resources as the dictionary. Yes, I know I am oversimplifying it but the fifth district opinion was very easy to read. Which is the way law in America should be. The issue… Read more »


Believe it or not, there is more to understanding an appellate opinion than being able to carefully read a particular opinion and/or having a law degree. Without some existing knowledge of the statutes and concepts, and correct and unbiased explanation (this post and its headline are not) I think about 3-4 hours study would be required for a well-educated person to fully grasp the “rules” for defense of residence and others.


@StevenMHarris – Not going to argue that you are wrong about the law. However must say that it is wrong that those laws are so complicated. Seems legislators do not trust juries to apply reason and judgement in their decisions. Facts as provided certainly sound like an open and shut case.

Wild Bill

@SMH, I like what you wrote, but whom are you addressing?


The author of the post.


“Will there be a civil suit against Brevard County?”

There should be.


Minor point of clarification. It was the Florida Fifth District Court of Appeal, not the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal (which Florida used to be a part of until 1981). Florida is now part of the federal Eleventh Circuit.


In Colorado if you are in your tent camping and an officer or forest service opens the door to your tent you have the right to shoot them. That’s why forest service will call from 20+ feet away when contacting someone inside a tent or camper.

Divino Vocamen

The usual rule for arrests is ..that one may make an arrest if the person commits a crime in the presence of the officer or if the officer arrives at a crime scene and there is an ongoing problem or immediate evidence of the crime …but if the situation has concluded and there is no immediate public safety need to make the arrest …( basically it is over and no further threat exists ) then the officer needs to obtain information …and provide it to the prosecutor …and then it is the decision of the Prosecutor whether charges are filed… Read more »


What’s the point of lower courts except to run interference for corrupt government agencies? If the facts listed were true, even a majority of the readers could conclude that the response was justified and that the incompetency of the lower courts biased. We seem to think that higher the court, the higher the integrity or intelligence. When in reality taking a case to an upper authority is exactly what the system is betting against. Ironically this legal gauntlet has served government well especially when lower courts favor unconstitutional laws, hoping any issues will die at their level instead of possibly… Read more »


I do not believe prostitution should be encouraged. But the underlying issues here are familiar – i) too many felony penalties for non-violent crime; ii) police who are “pumped” to enforce prescriptive “moral conducts” and “rules” made by politicians who confuse their role as representatives focused on administrative oversight with the “need to legislate” (which has led to “too much government” at every level); and iii) “qualified immunity” which shield all manner of abuse of authority and gross negligence. The purpose and intent of professional police forces need to be “rethought” with an “eye toward” maintaining the peace versus enforcement… Read more »


The Huston Texas case, they have been charged….that is not guilty yet. John DeRossett spent 5 years of his life in jail…. Gerald Goins is not in jail- he should be. The beating death of Kelly Thomas those officers, even after video- they were found not guilty. It was disgusting.

LL Dude

LOTS of stuff wrong with the deputies actions; no warrant, night time service without “night time warrant”, no LOUD and REPEATED identification as law enforcement (something DRILLED in to your head in the academy – I also was law enforcement), not showing up with UNIFORMED officers, etc., etc. That being said, the headline of this story is pretty durned irresponsible. There will be idiots who read it and think that courts are saying that if they feel threatened ANY time, any place, even with uniformed law enforcement, they can just start busting caps at the po-po. We know that 90… Read more »


That’s why they make raid jackets, and like you said, have uniform lead the way, even if you don’t get the Detective Initiated Arrest.


While the legal mumbo jumbo can go back and forth, up and down, immediate reactions to strangers harming and abducting family member, w/o badge or announcing sets off the mind of sometimes docile,honest decent people. Perhaps this type activity should be reserved for the USMC unless a warrant, badges and verbal announcement is present, specially in a benign situation on a woman.


When cops fly flags, they are typically mutilated by having stripes of the wrong color. They only thing I get out of that is that those individuals think they are more important than the rest of the country.


Easy to Quater Back from here, but I am guessing a lot of our LE are using this one as a learning tool on how to do their job. I support our LE, yet for years I have said they are to much into crime and not enough into Serve & Protect. That and they have been taught to shoot to east and way to many rounds. I am old enough to remember when The Double Tap became the new norm. I have never shot at a person, but after years of hunting you can tell by the second shoot… Read more »


Double tap because a lot of the AHs wear armor, or are on drugs.


When this happens to a non-homeowner, young, no connections or assets, he would do 20, get out in his forties and that’s “justice”. Black folks are less likely to have connections or money. I believe my old work buddy Art was speaking from experience: “Yep. Money buys justice.”


Sorry, but I don’t see that this court gave a blanket permit to shoot at police in self defense and I think that the title in this article is misleading and liable to get others in trouble. Did the police make numerous mistakes in acting the way they did? ABSOLUTELY. They went from a controlled environment where nothing was LIKELY to have happened, to knocking on the door of a suspect/subject at night, in plainclothes, without the presence of at least one MARKED police unit and uniformed officers, without announcing their presence as police officers and ALSO LIKELY without a… Read more »

Wild Bill

@Rebel VA, You write, “But that DOES NOT mean that you have the court recognized right to shoot at Law Enforcement in the believe that you are acting in self defense.” The law of self defense does apply to law enforcement officers, and the law of self defense is a court recognized Right. So … actually … that is exactly what it means, within the requirements of the law of self defense. We, in Texas, actually have the statutory right to resist a law enforcement officer who is not acting lawfully. All Barney Fife types in Texas should be aware… Read more »


Hello Wild Bill; There is such a law in Florida (and I believe in most states as well) but unlike our “stand your ground law” where the burden is on the State to prove that you did not act in good faith… when you start talking about shooting at policemen the burden to prove that you were defending against an illegal action by the police shifts right back to you, and you are going to have to convince a judge and a jury of 12 (usually made up of people of ‘different’ beliefs) that the action was unlawful, you were… Read more »

Wild Bill

@Rebel VA, In Texas, the jury is required to be instructed to view the entire incident in the eyes of the accused. If one can not articulate their own defense, they they should hire one of those excellent attorneys, that you mentioned. That is what they are there for. Nor does the accused have to articulate anything.


“But that DOES NOT mean that you have the court recognized right to shoot at Law Enforcement in the believe that you are acting in self defense. What do you think real criminals would try to claim in court if in fact that was legal?” That has always been legal, Indiana has a state law stating that, as do other states, I’m sure. But even without specific laws, defending yourself from an attack is still legal. Finding out after the fact that the attacker was a law enforcement officer doesn’t change that. This ruling upheld that right, just like the… Read more »

Xaun Loc

Actually, under the law in most states you do NOT have any right to defend yourself against police, even if the police are acting illegally. There have been a few recent instances where someone has survived defending themselves against police and not been charged, but those instances are rare (largely because those who defend themselves against police rarely survive). I am not aware of any such case having gone to court resulting in an acquittal but it is certainly possible. The shift in judicial philosophy over the last few years that the author mentions has shown up more in the… Read more »

Wild Bill

@XL, The important factor that you are not addressing is whether the police identified themselves, as in the article.


The prosecuting attorney weather they be local, state or federal should NEVER assume and always investigate with an open mind to determine what happened. Unfortunately assumptions are made by the prosecution that the officers have done their jobs correctly. When in court the court assumes that the prosecution has done their job. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ASSUME… If you came to my home In Plain Clothes especially at NIGHT and grabbed one of my family members as these IDIOTS did I would have done the same. MISTAKES: 1. NO RIGHT TO YANK SOMEONE OUT OF THEIR HOME (in this situation)… Read more »


Frank, go bac over the details of this account. UNTILL law enforcement can positively be identified as such, AND are acting legally (no warrant is NOT so doing) those LE are no different than the gan bangers this sick little girl has been messing about with. Unideintifed actors attempted to abduct her WITHOUT first proving they were doing so wihtin thelaw. Act outside the law that protects your actions, as these dirty copers did, win stupidprizes. There are RULES OF ENGAGEMENT and when they are violated “sorry pal, you are on your own””. It would be interesting to learn of… Read more »


You are absolutely right and that is exactly what I said


great comment, you are exactly right.


Nobody should read this article and rely on it for anything concerning Derossett v. State of Florida. It is full of misunderstandings and misstatements. Worse yet, the title is simply fake news.


See other two comments by me.


Also: “The case shows why the Stand Your Ground law was needed. Warrants are not only to protect the accused. Properly used, they also protect police. If the officer had a warrant, had knocked on the door and presented it, it is highly likely he would not have been shot.” No. The case is not about SYG, and SYG was not intended or needed to keep LEOs from making foolish invasions of Castles. SYG is about no duty to retreat. Even before SYG, Derossett would not have had a duty to retreat when trying to prevent the kidnapping of another… Read more »


I suppose the deputies were in black ninja suits with no Sheriff’s Office markings? Yeah right. You people on here supporting prostitution? He knew who they were, he knew! The way I see it he got only 5 years for shooting a Sheriff’s Deputy. He got off light…


@Duke. The article and linked references suggest otherwise. The comments suggest otherwise. DeRossett’s “reputation” as investigated and reported to the court suggests otherwise. … When did you first come to understand that you possessed “divine insights” ?


@Duke – his mistake was in firing a warning shot. Lethal shot to first deputy should have been all the warning the other two got. As it was DeRossett is the only one paying a high price for this shootout, while the deputies were instigators and utterly in the wrong from the start. As @gooder12 says there were way to many shots fired. I’d guess that DeRossett had only the magazine in his pistol. According to article over 40 shots were fired, care to guess which shooters sent the most stray bullets streaking through a neighborhood full of children and… Read more »


You should read the opinion of the court. It states even the cops admit they didn’t identify themselves as cops. When doing a sting operation cops typically don’t wear things like raid jackets and display badges. It would be just a bit counter productive.