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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #27)

Thu Jul 26, 2012, 08:24 PM

41. You are wrong, it is NOT the job of the Police...

Civilians should not need to protect themselves. That's the job of the police.


First back in 1981, under Warren v. District of Columbia.

Warren v. District of Columbia (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981) is an oft-quoted District of Columbia Court of Appeals (equivalent to a state supreme court) case that held police do not have a duty to provide police services to individuals, even if a dispatcher promises help to be on the way, except when police develop a special duty to particular individuals.

In this case, three rape victims sued the District of Columbia for negligence on the part of the police. Two of three female roommates were upstairs when they heard men break in and attack the third. They phoned the police, reporting that their house was being burglarized, and waited on the roof. Their call was incorrectly dispatched as less important than it was three minutes after they made the call, and three police cars came to the scene, three minutes after the call was dispatched. One policeman drove by without stopping, and another officer walked up to the door and knocked. Upon receiving no answer, the officers left five minutes after they had arrived. Nine minutes later, the two women called the police again and were assured they would receive assistance. This call was never dispatched and the police never came. Believing that the police had arrived and were in the house, the two women called down to the third who was being attacked. This alerted the intruders to their presence, and they then took them captive at knife-point. They were then raped, robbed, beaten, and forced to submit to the attackers' sexual demands for the next fourteen hours. The court noted that because the police are only under a general duty to provide services to the public at large, a special relationship must exist between the police and the individual in question for the "duty" element of negligence to be satisfied. It held that no such special relationship existed so the case was properly dismissed by the trial court for failure to state a claim and the case never went to trial.


Next under DeShaney v. Winnebago County.

was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States on February 22, 1989. The Court held that a state government agency's failure to prevent child abuse by a custodial parent does not violate the child's right to liberty for the purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The court opinion, by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, held that the Due Process Clause protects against state action only, and as it was Randy DeShaney who abused Joshua; a state actor (the Winnebago County Department of Social Services) was not responsible.

Furthermore, they ruled that the DSS could not be found liable, as a matter of constitutional law, for failure to protect Joshua DeShaney from a private actor. Although there exist conditions in which the state (or a subsidiary agency, like a county department of social services) is obligated to provide protection against private actors, and failure to do so is a violation of 14th Amendment rights, the court reasoned, "The affirmative duty to protect arises not from the State's knowledge of the individual's predicament or from its expressions of intent to help him, but from the limitation which it has imposed on his freedom to act on his own behalf... it is the State's affirmative act of restraining the individual's freedom to act on his own behalf - through incarceration, institutionalization, or other similar restraint of personal liberty - which is the "deprivation of liberty" triggering the protections of the Due Process Clause, not its failure to act to protect his liberty interests against harms inflicted by other means.". Since Joshua DeShaney was not in the custody of the DSS, the DSS was not required to protect him from harm.


Next Castle Rock v. Gonzales

Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled, 72, that a town and its police department could not be sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983 for failing to enforce a restraining order, which had led to the murder of a woman's three children by her estranged husband.


Justices Rule Police Do Not Have a Constitutional Duty to Protect Someone ]

WASHINGTON, June 27 - The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the police did not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm, even a woman who had obtained a court-issued protective order against a violent husband making an arrest mandatory for a violation.


In short, unless you are in police custody, or an involuntarily committed mental patient or restrained against your will and unable to protect yourself the police have no duty or responsibility to protect you.

That means your personal safety is ultimately your responsibility. No one else's.

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