Move Along Or Go To Jail

I’ve been researching the issue of police powers and the subject of “lawful orders” and I’m not finding a lot. I did, however, find the statute that gives police (and firemen) authority to tell you to leave a location.

    § 42.03. OBSTRUCTING HIGHWAY OR OTHER PASSAGEWAY. (a) A person commits an offense if, without legal
privilege or authority, he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
        (1) obstructs a highway, street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, elevator, aisle, hallway, entrance, or exit to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access, or any other place used for the passage of persons, vehicles, or conveyances,
regardless of the means of creating the obstruction and whether the obstruction arises from his acts alone or from his acts and the acts of others; or
        (2) disobeys a reasonable request or order to move issued by a person the actor knows to be or is informed is a peace officer, a fireman, or a person with authority to control the use of the premises:
            (A) to prevent obstruction of a highway or any of those areas mentioned in Subdivision (1); or
            (B) to maintain public safety by dispersing those gathered in dangerous proximity to a fire, riot, or other hazard.
    (b) For purposes of this section, "obstruct" means to render impassable or to render passage unreasonably inconvenient or hazardous.
    (c) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

I’ve highlighted the sections that would imply that they can order you to leave an area. From what I can see, it doesn’t directly address being ordered out of your home (I guess the question comes down to the meaning of “gathered in dangerous proximity”). Frankly, in those circumstances, I don’t have too much problem with being asked to leave, provided that I’m given meaningful information. But free citizens don’t blindly follow orders from anyone.

1 Comment

  1. Outlaw3 says:

    Unfortunately, there are officers who forget the part about identifying themselves when in plainclothes.  They rudely just issue orders to move, don’t come in here, whatever.  Their breaches of professional conduct are more likely to provoke a response, rather than assist their conduct of a crime scene investigation.  Too bad the laws don’t include a penalty for the police officer; but then, there is an assumption of lawful conduct by them.  Why not for us?