When I was a kid, I was very attached to the notion of the “citizen’s arrest”. I don’t know where I picked up the idea, perhaps one of my brothers or a school friend. Maybe even tv. I don’t know. But, let me tell you, I was really looking forward to the day when I could write some citations (I’m not sure, but I think I believed that the right of making “citizen’s arrest came along with voting, actually age 21 in my youth).
I didn’t want to be a vigilante. I just wanted the authority to ensure that everyone played by the rules. I’ve learned from Wikipedia that citizen’s arrest does exist in the US.
Each state, with the exception of North Carolina, permits citizen arrests if the commission of a felony is witnessed by the arresting citizen, or when a citizen is asked to assist in the apprehension of a suspect by police.
As it stands, I tend to witness a lot more jay-walking, illegal turning and spitting than I do armed robbery and kidnapping. Do we really want citizens to attempt to intervene in the most serious crimes? Wouldn’t full citizen’s arrest powers free up the cops to focus on the worst criminals? Can I at least get some kind of badge?