A Viral Facebook Post Claiming It Is Legal In Texas To Use Deadly Force To Protect A Statue Is False
By Shawn Rice
Is it legal in Texas to use deadly force to stop protesters from vandalizing or removing a Confederate statue? The short answer is no. There is no truth to a viral Facebook post created by someone within the Texas police department which claimed that it is legal in Texas to use deadly force to stop Confederate statues from being vandalized by individuals. First, it should be mentioned that the original post has been deleted by Phil Ryan, an “unpaid reserve officer” with the Tioga Police Department.
Originally, Ryan published a post on Facebook claiming to his audience that it was indeed legal for people in Texas to use deadly force to protect Confederate statues from being vandalized. Subsequently, Ryan’s Facebook post was then widely shared on social media in August 2017. However, the Facebook post has since been deleted but was featured in several articles that made false claims.
For example, the web sites I Am A Texan and Liberty Park Press both shared this message as if it was an official warning from a Texas police department. However, that is not the case. Following the viral hit of his Facebook post, Ryan has dismissed the claim. But that was not enough as the web site Political Mayhem took the claim even further by sharing a news piece titled “HELL YEAH! This State Just Gave Citizens Authority To SHOOT Protesters ON SIGHT Who Destroy Monuments.”
Snopes reported that the laws Ryan cited are not new and that these laws do not actually give people in Texas the right to use deadly force to protect statues from vandalism.
Here are some examples of people sharing the misleading information on social media.
Is everyone crazy in Texas?
This cop wants people to murder anyone trying to remove Confederate statues.https://t.co/8Llu3lGo39
— Linda Quest (@windmillcharger) August 20, 2017
Texas Cop Urges Facebook Followers to Use ‘Deadly Force’ Against Anyone Harming a Confederate Statue
— Nikki Edwards ✊ (@nikkied6) August 24, 2017
In Texas, it is legal to use deadly force to protect land or tangible movable property (like a statue). Don’t mess with Texas, ya’ll.
— Cari Kelemen (@KelemenCari) August 22, 2017
In Texas if someone destroys a statue or monument not theirs you can use deadly force after dark to protect it https://t.co/U8Ibxsxviz
— Yikes the Mike (@TheMikeYikes) August 21, 2017
— jason karov (@jasonkarov) August 20, 2017
Legal analyst Gerald Treece told Houston TV station KHOU that the legal codes cited are real which can be read in full here and here. However, these legal codes do not give people the rights that Ryan claimed. For instance, Chapter 9.41 explicitly deals with “one’s own property.” Statues in public parks would not fall into Go to the full article.
Source:: Business 2 Community