Quick Call 911 Part II

Last week I put up a post that asked a question of my readers. Are the police required to protect you, "joe citizen", from criminals? Is that a big issue for them?

Kind of funny that I got zero answers. I thought I heard crickets chirping in here.

But now it's time to pull back the curtain for the big reveal. It may or may not surprise you. Depends on where you stand on how your tax money is spent, and may somewhat depend on your opinion of the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.

The short answer is No. The police have no obligation to protect you, "joe citizen", from a criminal.

The long answer is established state and federal court cases as far back as 1968 confirming the police don't owe you any protection for the money you pay.

1968: Linda Riss vs City of New York. This woman was terrorized for six months by one man. She repeatedly contacted the police who did nothing. The man eventually hired another guy to throw acid in her face. The court held the cops were not responsible to protect her even though she repeatedly asked for this guy to be arrested and charged.

1975: Hatzler vs City of San Jose. Hatzler is the attorney of Ruth Bunnells estate. She had received a call from her estranged husband saying he was coming over to kill her. Ruth called the San Jose police and asked them to send an officer. They told her to call back when he showed up. He showed up 45 minutes later and stabbed her to death. She was a little too busy trying to defend her life to call the police back. The court ruled the police were not at fault for telling her to call back later because "no special relationship" existed between the police and Ruth.

1981: Warren vs District of Columbia. Three women living in a rooming house in D.C. Two men break in and start sexually assaulting a woman on the second floor. The women on the third floor hear her screams and call the police and report someone has broken in the home and are there now. Three cops respond. One knocks on the front door, and when no ones answers the door, all three officers leave. The women on the third floor call the police back and again say there are intruders IN THE HOUSE. The person taking the call says police will be sent back out to investigate. They never send any more police officers. The two men find the other two women upstairs and hold all three captive for the next fourteen hours, repeatedly sexually assaulting the women. The women sue the city and police (wouldn't you?). The court ruled that women "failed to fit into a class of people to which a special duty was owed".

1990: Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dept. This women is continually harassed by her ex-husband for three years (plus). She has restraining orders from courts, and not once do the police arrest her ex. The police continually allow him to violate the court orders. When she sues the police, the court says: the police don't have to arrest any one.

And finally, the big one.

2005: Castle Rock v. Gonzales. The US Supreme Court took this case. Mrs. Gonzales had an order of protection against her estranged husband that also limited his time with the children. He showed up at her home and kidnapped the kids from the front yard. Mrs. Gonzales called the police, showed them order of protection and asked them to find and return her children. The police read the order, and told her to call them back in the kids didn't show back up later. Twelve hours latter her husband pulled up to the police station, shot at the cops who killed him. They found kids inside the vehicle... killed by their father. So what did the US Supreme Court say about this "protection" by the police? The majority said Ms. Gonzales did not have a "property interest" in police protection, because the police have wide discretion in what to do and "a benefit is not a protected entitlement if officials have discretion to grant or to deny it."

So you have courts ruling against these citizens because of "special relationship", "special duty", "property interest", and "protected entitlement".

Want to know what that means in English?

The only people the police have an obligation to protect are CRIMINALS or persons IN THEIR CUSTODY. No obligation to ANY other person.

Unless the police deny you freedom of movement (meaning detaining for questioning) or have actually physically impeded you (throwing on the cuffs and/or locking your ass up), EVERY COURT says they have no obligation to protect you.... no matter how many times you ask them for that protection.

So remember, when it's the middle of the night and you hear a loud crash as some criminal breaks in your back door... you have a choice to make. Call 911 and take your chances on being helped and protected by people who don't have to respond, or reach for your gun and protect yourself, as you are lawfully allowed.


m.v. said...

I think I commented something similar before - I am not sure why American people have such love, trust and respect for police. Experience says otherwise.

Old Fart said...

MV, it's because over the last 80 years or so, the American people have been groomed to be sheep. Unfortunately, it's been the wolves who have been doing the grooming.

Hutch said...

Used to be married to a cop and have a lot of cop friends and family - and they all say, have your own weapon for home defense, shoot the person dead so they can offer no defense, drag them over your threshold and plead they were attacking you in your house. We can't get there in time, the law doesn't really allow us to protect you, and sad to say, you are on your own. Unless you are the bad guy we somehow managed to arrest - then, all points to you.