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Old October 25, 2002, 07:07 AM   #1
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Police don't have to protect citizens - need proof!

While, overall, I appreciate responsibly aministered law enforcement and respect enforcers, my understanding of our daily reality is that police can't be everywhere and are not charged with protecting INDIVIDUALS, only the community as a whole. Law enforcement shouldn't be a replacement for individual responsibility.

Some left leaning folks I am debating online with fixated on the alleged Beltway Sniper, his alleged boy wonder sidekick and the alleged weapon they used.

I am trying to fish out the Firingline threads that cited specific court cases that explicitedly ruled just what the limitations of public law enforcement were. I want to state my case in as black and white shades as possible so there is no question just where we stand as private citizens on the law enforcement food chain.

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Old October 25, 2002, 07:52 AM   #2
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A bill introduced in the 105th Congress on JANUARY 7, 1997

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

This Act may be cited as the "Citizens' Self -Defense Act of 1997".

The Congress finds the following:
(1) Police cannot protect, and are not legally liable for failing to protect, individual citizens, as evidenced by the following:

(A) The courts have consistently ruled that the police do not have an obligation to protect individuals, only the public in general. For example, in Warren v. District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App. 1981), the court stated: " Courts have without exception concluded that when a municipality or other governmental entity undertakes to furnish police services, it assumes a duty only to the public at large and not to individual members of the community. . . ."
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Old October 25, 2002, 08:08 AM   #3
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I can't cite the case, but the US Supreme Court ruled a number of years ago that police do not have to protect the individual citizen, only keep the peace in general. Case was a lawsuit brought by crime victim when cops responded to 911 call but just drove by the house without stopping to check it out. Inside was woman who had called being raped and beaten.
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Old October 25, 2002, 08:44 AM   #4
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Court cases

Try here:

and here;

and maybe here;

And there's another one I can't find at the moment...

Anyway, those ought to give you some information...
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Old October 25, 2002, 08:48 AM   #5
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Don't fall into the trap of trying to prove a negative. Logically it can't be done.

Get the opposition to cite chapter and verse at the state level where LE is required to protect.

Puts the onus on opposition.
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Old October 25, 2002, 11:35 AM   #6
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". . . the police cannot assure anyone's safety."
-Chief Charles Moose, head of DC sniper task force
The Second Amendment IS homeland defense!
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Old October 25, 2002, 01:30 PM   #7
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"Dial 911 and Die" State by state examples of what your looking for. While your there, read "Last of the Bohicans" too.
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Old October 25, 2002, 01:41 PM   #8
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You might also try this, on page 38:
There are five boxes to freedom: soap, ballot, witness, jury, cartridge.
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Old October 28, 2002, 06:29 AM   #9
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Raped and murdered while the police were on the otherside of the door

The victim was Shannon Schieber, one of a number of women targeted by the "Center City Rapist". He didn't use guns and the police provided little more for the victims outside of being a comfortable presence that always arrived too late.
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Old October 28, 2002, 11:16 AM   #10
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I don't know how they can get around Chief Moose stating that no one was safe anywhere while the shooters were on the loose. That pretty much summed it up right there.
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Old October 28, 2002, 01:25 PM   #11
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The single best work was already cited by Col. Mustard:

Kasler (RIP) was a lawyer, and a damned good one.

There's been one more recent case in California, where the Calif Supreme Court ruled that court bailiffs do not have a duty to protect people inside courtrooms, despite disarming them yet failing to disarm a murderous assailant.

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Old October 28, 2002, 08:23 PM   #12
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". . . the police cannot assure anyone's safety."

Mike can you post a link to the source of that quote?
Nothing to see here, move along.
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Old October 29, 2002, 04:21 AM   #13
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California Government Code 845: "845. Neither a public entity nor a public employee is liable for failure to establish a police department or otherwise to provide police protection service or, if police protection service is provided, for failure to provide sufficient police protection service.
A police department shall not fail to respond to a request for
service via a burglar alarm system or an alarm company referral
service solely on the basis that a permit from the city has not been obtained."

Souza v. City of Antioch the PRK S. Court upheld this law. As one California appellate court wrote, "police officers have no affirmative statutory duty to do anything.''
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Old October 29, 2002, 07:32 AM   #14
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Show 'em all of the above and I would hope that they could then acknowledge what we all seem to take as a given..."You're on your own till the police do show up, where you will probably be interviewed, then placed under arrest. Or go to the hospital. Or placed in a body bag. Your choice."

It's just too horrible for some people's thought process to acknowledge, that with their education, social standing, their "they've never done anything wrong so it can't happen to me mentality", sometimes bad things happen to good people. It's called life. Be Prepared.

Let us know the outcome of your bet/debate, please.

A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." - George Washington, January 8, 1790, First State of the Union Address
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Old October 29, 2002, 08:59 AM   #15
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You can throw in the argument the fact that in England, not only do the police not have to protect you, you are banned by law from protecting yourself. All the gun grabbers use England as the poster child for gun control, so if they want us to be like England, surely they want us to go all the way and make self defense a criminal act too.
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Old October 29, 2002, 03:44 PM   #16
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Simple logic:

Marxist: "You do not need to protect yourself. That's the job of the police!"

Me: “Is that so? Does that mean I can sue the police if I’m mugged in a dark alley?”

Marxist: “Well, no. I mean, they can’t be at your side 100% of the time.”

Me: “So who/what is to protect me when a cop is not around?”

Marxist: “Well, um, well...”
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Old October 29, 2002, 04:18 PM   #17
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The job of the police and its ALWAYS been this way is as follows:

-To provide a general visible deterrent to criminal behavior.
-To investigate criminal behavior after it has occurred.
-To pursue and and apprehend those who commit crimes.

Protection of individual citizens is NOT part of their "duty". They usually will try (sometimes dying in the process), but its not their responsibility.

"To serve and to protect..." refers to the population as a whole, NOT individual residents.

Its also mathematically impossible for the police to provide protection to individual citizens.

Also, remember for every 8 or so cops, only 1 of these is on the street at any one time. The rest are off duty, in court, on vacation, off sick, doing adminstration, pregnant, medical leave, etc etc.

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Old January 30, 2013, 12:51 PM   #18
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Reanimate this post!

I was driving to work today thinking of ways to strengthen our argument for pro 2A. I do not, for the life of me, understand how the antis can want to disarm us with rulings like Warren v. District of Columbia in place. Granted, I am no lawyer. I don't pretend or even want to be. Still, I know that court is less based on fact than it is emotion and feelings for the day. I have heard it compared to going to Las Vegas, it all depends where the ball stops. Compelling arguments certainly help but not always. At any rate, if someone is in the know, doesn't Warren v. District of Columbia help rather than hinder our cause?? Please, try to explain this without speaking to much "lawyer." I would appreciate any and all input. Thanks,
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Old January 30, 2013, 05:34 PM   #19
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Ask and ye shall receive.

Man, you guys are GOOD.

Seriously I haven't been a member long but I am pleased with the knowledge and experience represented here in this forum.
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Old January 31, 2013, 08:53 PM   #20
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If you don't take initiative to defend or protect yourself & family there isn't much the police can do for you. They are, however, pretty good at figuring out what happened & doing the reports after the fact.
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Old January 31, 2013, 09:16 PM   #21
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Just a simple search shows this idea goes back to 1856 and a Supreme Court case. And many more cases up to the present date, both on the federal and the state level, show the same.
So if your friends pick up the phone and call 911 and say "Hey, there's a guy over here with a gun and he's about to shoot me!" they need not be surprised if the cops wait a while, to be sure the danger has passed before they arrive. But after that, they will gladly take a report. Or at least call the coroner (medical examiner here).
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Old January 31, 2013, 09:43 PM   #22
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Supreme Court decision in Castle Rock v. Gonzales
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
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Old January 31, 2013, 11:27 PM   #23
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I haven't seen Warren V DC, US Supreme Court ruling mentioned yet.
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Old February 1, 2013, 03:28 PM   #24
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It just doesn't make sense that the anti's want to disarm us and we are not supposed to have weapons with which to defend ourselves (the ultimate goal of the gun control crowd). Obviously, the police do not have that obligation...

Aw, heck, I suppose that I am just preaching to the choir anyway. I have signed all the petitions I could get my mitts on, I just hate sitting around and waiting for their next move, I suppose.
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Old February 2, 2013, 04:33 PM   #25
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Here's a bunch of them I dug up.

South v. Maryland, 59 U.S. (How.) 396, 15 L.Ed.433 (1856) (the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that local law-enforcement had no duty to protect individuals, but only a general duty to enforce the laws.

Bowers v. Devito, 686 F.2d 616 (7th Cir. 1982) There is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being m u r d e r e d by criminals or madmen. It is monstrous if the state fails to protect its residents against such predators but it does not violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Warren v. District of Columbia (444 A.2d 1, 1981) Official police personnel and the government employing them are not generally liable to victims of criminal acts for failure to provide adequate police protection ... this uniformly accepted rule rests upon the fundamental principle that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular citizen ... a publicly maintained police force constitutes a basic governmental service provided to benefit the community at large by promoting public peace, safety and good order.

Hartzler v. City of San Jose, 46 Cal.App.3d 6, 120 Cal.Rptr. 5 (1975) (The administrator of the estate of Ruth Bunnell who had been k i l l e d by her estranged husband brought a wrongful death action against the city whose police department refused to respond to her call for protection some 45 minutes before her death. Mrs. Bunnell had called the police to report that Mack Bunnell had called saying he was on his way to her home to k i l l her. She was told to call back when Mack Bunnell arrived. The police had responded 20 times to her calls in the past year, and on one occasion, arrested her estranged husband for assaulting her. The Court of Appeal held that the police department and its employees enjoyed absolute immunity for failure to provide sufficient police protection. The allegations that the police had responded 20 times to her calls did not indicate that the police department had assumed any special relationship or duty toward her such as would remove its immunity.

Davidson v. City of Westminister, 32 Cal.3d 197, 185 Cal.Rptr. 252 (1982). A husband and wife who were assaulted in a laundromat while the assailant was under surveillance by officers, brought legal action against the city and the officers for intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress and for negligent investigation, failure to protect and failure to warn. The Supreme Court held that: (1) the mere fact that the officers had previously recognized the assailant from a distance as a potential assailant because of his resemblance to a person suspected of perpetrating a prior assault did not establish a "special elationship" between officers and assailant under which a duty would be imposed on officers to control assailant's conduct; (2) factors consisting of officer's prior recognition of assailant as likely perpetrator of previous assault and officer's surveillance of assailant in laundromat in which victim was present did not give rise to special relationship between officers and victim so as to impose duty on officers to protect victim from assailant; and (3) victim could not aintain cause of action for intentional or reckless infliction of emotional distress, in view of fact that it was not alleged that officers failed to act for the purpose of causing emotional injury, and that in the absence of such an intent to injure, officer's inaction was not extreme or outrageous conduct.

Westbrooks v. State, 173 Cal.App.3d 1203, 219 Cal.Rtr. 674 (1985) (The widow and sons of a motorist who drove into the void where a collapsed bridge had been, brought action against the State, county, and county deputy sheriff. The California Department of Transportation (Cal Trans) was aware that a violent storm with heavy rains had caused a bridge on State route 118 to collapse. A county deputy sheriff had observed the beginning of the collapse, reported it and requested assistance from Cal Trans. A jury award of $1,300,000 was reversed in part by the Court of Appeal which held: (1) the county deputy sheriff had no duty to warn drivers that the state highway bridge had collapsed during the storm, and his efforts to warn drivers did not in any way increase the risk of harm to users of the highway, and therefore the county was not liable to motorist's wife and children.

Susman v. City of Los Angeles, et al., 269 Cal.App.2d 803, 75 Cal.Rptr. 240 (1969) (An action was brought by several landowners against the City of Los Angeles and the State pleading eleven separate causes of action for damages arising out of the ‘Watts' Riots' of 1965. The Court of Appeal held that none of the allegations presented was sufficient to show any duty owed by any of the officials named as defendants to act to prevent or avoid the harm suffered by the plaintiffs.

Ne Casek v. City of Los Angeles, 233 Cal.App.2d 131, 43 Cal.Rptr. 294 (1965) (In an action against police officers and city for personal injuries sustained by Kathryne Ne Casek when she was knocked down on a sidewalk by two suspects who had been arrested by the officers, the Court of Appeal held the amount of force or method used by a police officer in attempting to keep an arrested person or persons in custody is a discretionary act for purpose of application of doctrine of immunity of government officials from civil liability for their discretionary acts, and therefore Ms. Ne Casek who was injured by two escaped suspects who had been handcuffed together could not maintain an action against the arresting officers based on the officer's alleged negligence in using insufficient force to keep the prisoners in custody.
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