A police officer was investigating a report of a suspected burglar, described as a six-foot black man in a white shirt and tan pants. Albert Curtis (defendant) was out walking a block from his house and happened to match that description. The officer pulled up next to Curtis and asked him to stop, and Curtis complied. The officer got out, said Curtis was under arrest, and reached for Curtis’s arm. A violent struggle ensued, injuring both men. Curtis was convicted of battery of a police officer performing his duties, a felony under California law. Curtis appealed, arguing he had a right to resist arrest because the officer lacked probable cause and used excessive force.