Author Topic: TIL - Supreme Court Rules Police are not Legally Obligated to Protect and Serve  (Read 145 times)

Offline Shiranu

I have heard it said a few times before and never decided to research it for myself, but since 1981 at least the courts have ruled that police officers have no legal obligation to provide assistance or protection to citizens. I will go into detail of a few of them, but the short of it is that police officers hold no special relationship to citizens and thus are not morally or legally obligated to help them. Links to the Wiki articles bellow.


I realize this is a really long post, but I would also say it's perhaps one of the most important ones I have ever posted.





-The first case, Warren v. District of Colombia (1981) involved a break-in of three women's apartments by two men; the details of it are pretty fucked up, but in short for 14 hours they were sexually assaulted and beaten. When the men first broke in, the roommate upstairs called the police calling for help. Three officers arrived in the area, but none of them checked to see if they were okay. 20 minutes later a second call for 911 was logged, however this time dispatch didn't even send someone to check it out.


When sued for negligent failure to provide police services, the DC Court of Appeals ruled 4-3 that, under public duty doctrine, "the duty to provide public services is owed to the public at large, and, absent a special relationship between the police and an individual, no specific legal duty exists".




-The second case DeShaney v. Winnebago County (1989), involves what obligation the State has to protect children they believe are being abused by custodial parents. In 1980, a divorce court ruled that Joshua DeShaney would be placed in the custody of his father. In 1983 DSS would respond to a report of child abuse and appeal to the court to have him taken into hospital custody, however 2 days later they would decide that was not necessary if he promised not to abuse the child. 5 times that year DSS would suspect that he was violating that promise, but did nothing about it; in 1984 DSS would arrive two more times and were told Joshua was "too ill" to see them, again doing nothing.


Following the visit in March of 1984, Joshua's father would beat him so badly that he fell into a coma, required emergency brain surgery due to multiple hemorrhages sustained over a long period of time and left almost completely mentally retarded until his death in 2015 at the age of 36.

His father would serve less than 2 years of prison time, and the court would decide in a 6-3 ruling that if a child is not directly under their ward, Child Protection Services cannot be found legally responsible for any harm to the child even if they had reasonable evidence to believe he was in danger.




- Returning to the police forces, Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales (2005) reaffirmed the 1981 ruling that the police had no obligation to protect it's citizens, this time reaching the Supreme Court and their 7-2 decision. Jessica Lenahan-Gonzales obtained a permeant restraining order against Simon on June 4th, 1999. At 5:15, June 22nd, Simon would inform Jessica that he had kidnapped their three daughters. Jessica would call the police three times between 7 and 10 PM, and at 12:15 AM would visit the police station herself where she would be told they would take no action despite him telling her exactly where he was.


At 3:20 AM Simon would show up at the police station and be killed in a firefight he instigated. The bodies of the three daughters were found in the back of the car, presumed to have been killed in the firefight.


The Colorado Tenth Cricut of Appeals rejected her case, stating that Colorado had no obligation to enforce restraining orders and, even if it did, 3 of the officers benefited from qualified immunity and could not legally be held accountable. In 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court would come to the same conclusion, also adding that since there is no monetary entitlement for failure to uphold a restraining order then it could not be property of a Due Process Clause.






These cases, and more, indicate that the police have no actual legal obligation to "Protect" or "Serve"; to this I have to ask, what is the actual role of police in society then?


One last example, from the victims mouth; NYPD were searching for a man who was connected with a serial stabbing spree. He hops on a subway, is confronted by police who were looking for him in the conductor's booth, and begins stabbing a fellow passenger. Despite multiple blows to his torso, skull and hand, the passenger is able to restrain the serial stabber... all the while the police watch what is happening but don't assist. They then proceed to arrest the assailant while offering no assistance to the man bleeding out to his knife wounds; fortunately another citizen with napkins managed to stop the bleeding enough that he didn't die before reaching the hospital.


The Courts would rule, citing 2005's Castle Rock, that the police had no obligation to either protect him when he was being stabbed and they were watching nor that they had obligation to provide medical assistance once they had the assailant detained.





Warren v. District of Colombia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_v._District_of_Columbia
DeShaney v. Winnebago - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeShaney_v._Winnebago_County
Town of Castle Rock v. Gonales - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Town_of_Castle_Rock_v._Gonzales
Terrorism is when you do what we do but wear a different uniform than us.

Offline Shiranu

And as an aside, this is why I 100% support weaking gun laws, not increasing them; the police in this country simply cannot be trusted to protect your safety.

I also think minorities like African Americans and transexuals need to start carrying at massively higher rates; might be a lot less likely to try and beat up someone you know might have the ability to put some lead in you.
Terrorism is when you do what we do but wear a different uniform than us.

Interesting information. This appears to fall under the law of qualified immunity for law enforcement officers. I don't really understand it all but it seems that while law enforcement is charged with protecting and serving the community in general no one individual is guaranteed protection even if there is a restraining order in place.

And as an aside, this is why I 100% support weaking gun laws, not increasing them; the police in this country simply cannot be trusted to protect your safety.

What gun laws would you like to see changed?

Offline Shiranu



What gun laws would you like to see changed?


Edit: Actually, probably the most massive... end this stupid fucking Russian ammunition ban that has skyrocketed the cost of ammunition; it's such a dickish move to basically price-lock people out of gun ownership by not banning guns but rather making it something only rich people can afford.

Firstly, that states recognize that it is a Constitutional right for civilians to be armed; "may issue/may carry" states like California, New York, Mass. recognize that all American citizens are allowed to own and carry firearms unless barred by things like previous criminal records instead of ridiculous and expensive licenses.

Increase the number of states that allow open carry; likewise increase the number of states that allow concealed; ideally, abolish concealed carry laws.

Allow automatic weapons, and weapons of any caliber, to be owned by private citizens; as it stands it those who are rich enough to bribe the ATF are 100% allowed to own automatic weapons in some states. If the law is only going to be applied to the rich, then it shouldn't exist at all.


At a non-political level, make hunting licenses much more affordable and reduce the taxes and legislation that gun ranges have to endure.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2021, 04:21:48 AM by Shiranu »
Terrorism is when you do what we do but wear a different uniform than us.

Offline PopeyesPappy


Edit: Actually, probably the most massive... end this stupid fucking Russian ammunition ban that has skyrocketed the cost of ammunition; it's such a dickish move to basically price-lock people out of gun ownership by not banning guns but rather making it something only rich people can afford.

The Russian ammo ban had little to nothing to do with current ammo prices. To begin with Russian ammo is still available in the states, and will be for a while yet. They haven't actually stopped imports yet. They just stopped approving import licenses and that didn't happen until September of this year. Import licenses issued prior to that are good for two years.

The main driver for high ammo prices was good ol supply and demand. When Biden got elected people started panic buying. The same thing happened when Obama was elected. Prices have actually started to fall again, and you can actually find most calibers in stock somewhere. Prices have dropped from 4 to 5 times their pre Biden price to 2 to 3 times now.

Quote
Firstly, that states recognize that it is a Constitutional right for civilians to be armed; "may issue/may carry" states like California, New York, Mass. recognize that all American citizens are allowed to own and carry firearms unless barred by things like previous criminal records instead of ridiculous and expensive licenses.

Increase the number of states that allow open carry; likewise increase the number of states that allow concealed; ideally, abolish concealed carry laws.

This may be changing shortly when SCOTUS rules on New York State Rifle and Pistol.

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Allow automatic weapons, and weapons of any caliber, to be owned by private citizens; as it stands it those who are rich enough to bribe the ATF are 100% allowed to own automatic weapons in some states. If the law is only going to be applied to the rich, then it shouldn't exist at all.

Law abiding citizens of most states can own automatic weapons and weapons of almost any caliber now, and the tax fee imposed by the government isn't all that bad at $200. That probably doesn't even cover the government's cost for doing the background checks. Automatic weapons prices are high because of... drum roll please... supply and demand. The quantities of automatic weapons available to the public are limited.

While I would like to see suppressors removed from the registry, and it wouldn't hurt my feeling to see the registry opened back up again. I don't want to see the registry abolished. In my opinion the main reason you don't see many legally owned automatic weapons used in violent crimes is: 1) They are valuable so people take care of them. 2) The government knows who owes them.

I don't want to see a proliferation of automatic weapons in places like Chicago, Memphis, and Saint Lewis which would happen almost instantly if you did away with the registry.

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At a non-political level, make hunting licenses much more affordable and reduce the taxes and legislation that gun ranges have to endure.

Around here hunting and fishing licenses are the main source of income for conservation programs. Conservation programs that have historically worked very well. At $25 for an all game hunting license, $12 for a freshwater fishing license, and $22 for a salt water license I consider all of those more than reasonable.
Save a life. Adopt a Greyhound.


The trouble with arming everyone is that people are untrained, and they lose their shit all the time. Without guns it's maybe some yelling, maybe some punches or people just walk away pissed off. With guns they start flashing and oops, someone is dead. Many adults are morons, have the mentality of a 5 year old child or are boozed/drugged up all the time.. People are suicidal. Look at all these Qanon idiots....you really wanna arm everyone? May as well issue Glocks and Uzis to school kids. There are armed guards present at several school shootings and to no good effect.

Results are presented as incident rate ratios in Table 2 and show armed guards were not associated with significant reduction in rates of injuries; in fact, controlling for the aforementioned factors of location and school characteristics, the rate of deaths was 2.83 times greater in schools with an armed guard present.
 

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2776515

Offline PopeyesPappy

The trouble with arming everyone is that people are untrained, and they lose their shit all the time. Without guns it's maybe some yelling, maybe some punches or people just walk away pissed off. With guns they start flashing and oops, someone is dead. Many adults are morons, have the mentality of a 5 year old child or are boozed/drugged up all the time.. People are suicidal. Look at all these Qanon idiots....you really wanna arm everyone? May as well issue Glocks and Uzis to school kids. There are armed guards present at several school shootings and to no good effect.

Results are presented as incident rate ratios in Table 2 and show armed guards were not associated with significant reduction in rates of injuries; in fact, controlling for the aforementioned factors of location and school characteristics, the rate of deaths was 2.83 times greater in schools with an armed guard present.
 

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2776515

Yes it is a bad idea to let any shit head walk around with a gun. Convicted felons are already prohibited from owning/carrying guns, and I have no issues with requiring people to to take safety classes to before issuing a carry permit. Those classes need to be free to very cheap though. Otherwise the cost becomes prohibitive to poor people and carrying guns become something that is dependent on social status.
Save a life. Adopt a Greyhound.


And as an aside, this is why I 100% support weaking gun laws, not increasing them; the police in this country simply cannot be trusted to protect your safety.

I also think minorities like African Americans and transexuals need to start carrying at massively higher rates; might be a lot less likely to try and beat up someone you know might have the ability to put some lead in you.

Well, yes.  Gun control is the most elitist position out there.  The thought that people aren't responsible for their own self defense and can defer it to others is the woke equivalent of "let the maid do it".  It is a tower of ivory so white that you can't even look at it in direct sunlight.
White privilege is being a lifelong racist, then being sent to the White House twice because your running mate is a minority.

No Biden, no KKK, no Fascist USA!