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California Dreaming: Police have no obligation to protect any individual from harm
"Do you believe that law enforcement officers have a duty to protect you from harm?" Ask yourself that question, and, your answer is . . . . ?
That is a question I have frequently asked. The overwhelming majority of answers have been affirmative; ranging from "Yes." to "That's what they are paid to do!" The next logical question is "How can we be certain we know the correct answer?"
The correct answer is found in appellate court decisions. The following summaries of a few appellate court decisions will provide some insight into this area of the law. These example cases are from California - but understand that the police are not responsible for your individual safety in any state.
The administrator of the estate of Ruth Bunnell who had been killed 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 kill 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. Hartzler v. City of San Jose (1975) 46 Cal.App.3d 6, 120 Cal.Rptr. 5
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 relationship" 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 maintain 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. Davidson v. City of Westminister (1982) 32 Cal.3d 197, 185 Cal.Rptr. 252
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. Ne Casek v. City of Los Angeles (1965) 233 Cal.App.2d 131, 43 Cal.Rptr. 294
A silent burglar alarm installed on the premises of the store operated by the plaintiff was, during the course of a robbery by two armed men, activated at 3:32 p.m. and the alert message was relayed to the police department. The dispatch message to the units in the field was at 3:43 p.m., and a police unit arrived at the scene of the robbery at 3:44 p.m. The delay in the transmission of the dispatch enabled the robbers to complete the robbery and escape with jewelry and merchandise in the amount of $49,000. The Court of Appeal held that Govt. Code section 846 provides for immunity if no police protection is provided; or, if police protection is provided, but that protection is not sufficient.. "The statutory scheme makes it clear that failure to provide adequate police protection will not result in governmental liability, nor will a public entity be liable for failure to arrest a person who is violating the law. The statutory scheme shows legislative intent to immunize the police function from tort liability from the inception of its exercise to the point of arrest, regardless of whether the action be labeled â€˜discretionary' or â€˜ministerial.'" Antique Arts Corp. v. City of Torrence (1974) 39 Cal.App.3d 588, 114 Cal.Rptr. 332
The six cases listed above are only a few of the California cases dealing with this subject. Those cases were chosen as examples because of the differences in the fact patterns on which each case was based. Anyone can go to a law library and ask a librarian to assist them in locating the published opinions of these cases. Each opinion will include citations to the cases and statutes relied upon by the appellate court justices in their reasoning process which was the basis for reaching their opinion.
If you are not already familiar with the way law book publishers print the appellate court opinions, ask the librarian to show you the case summary, and the "head notes", all of which are added by the publisher, and where the court's opinion that was written by the court begins. Only the language in the court's opinion is "official", the case summary and the "head notes" are not. Not all opinions of the courts are unanimous decisions, and some opinions include dissenting opinions.
California is not the only jurisdiction following that general rule of law. Here are some citations to appellate court decisions from other jurisdictions, but the list is by no means complete. Your law librarian can assist you in locating these cases, and the cases and statutes cited in them.
Its hard to believe - but there are numerous court cases, all of which show that " the Police have no obligation to protect any individual person from harm"
Here are some examples:
Who does have a duty to protect a person from harm? Parents have a duty to protect their children, but other than that, the short answer is no one has that duty.
The ultimate responsibility for your protection is self protection, and you should take care to undertake that responsibility if you value your life and that of your loved ones.
All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing safety, happiness, and privacy.
(The present language was adopted November 5, 1974, and changed the original version, which was adopted in 1849, by substituting the word "people" in place of "men", and by adding the word "privacy" at the end of the sentence.)
California Civil Code, section 50 provides:
Any necessary force may be used to protect from wrongful injury the person or property of oneself, or of a wife, husband, child, parent, or other relative, or member of one's family, or of a ward, servant, master, or guest. (Enacted in 1872. Amended by Code Am. 1873-74, extending the right to use force to protect a relative without reference to degree, a member of one's family, and a guest.)
California Penal Code, section 692 provides:
Lawful resistance to the commission of a public offense may be made: 1. By the party about to be injured; 2. By other parties. (Enacted in 1872.)
California Penal Code, section 693 provides: bbb
Resistance to prevent the offense may be made by the party about to be injured: 1. To prevent an offense against his person, or his family, or some member thereof. 2. To prevent an illegal attempt by force to take or injure property in his lawful possession. (Enacted in 1872.)
California Penal Code, section 694 provides:
Any other person, in aid or defense of the person about to be injured, may make resistance sufficient to prevent that offense. (Enacted in 1872.)
Civil Code section 50, and Penal Code sections 692, 693 and 694 as quoted above are still in effect. I find those code sections, enacted in the early 1870's, to be straight forward and easy to understand. They recognize the realities of life. Not all people are law abiding; and, law abiding people have the right to protect themselves and their property, and to come to the aid of others in need of assistance and protection from individuals committing the public offenses.
Today, unfortunately, that is not the current state of the law. Thousands of laws have been enacted since 1872 that have effectively denied any truly effective means of exercising the "inalienable rights" recognized in Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution of the State of California, outside of the persons home, with only a few exceptions. The identified "need" for those laws has been "crime control", but we have a much larger percentage of our population in jails and prisons now than ever before. A vastly larger percentage than in 1872, which is evidence that as government makes it more difficult for the law abiding individuals to protect themselves, they become victims of crime.
I believe the correct answer to my original question is: Law enforcement officers do not have a duty to protect an individual from harm. That raises more questions that should be considered.
Why is the public so misinformed about such a fundamental issue involving public safety? What can be done to educate the public to the true facts on this issue to enable them to make informed decisions about their personal protection?
OUTLAWS LEGAL SERVICE invites ideas regarding solving this problem.
There have been numerous other examples, some not well publicized, of people who defended themselves or fled police and were charged with assault and/or attempted murder, who were also acquitted by juries. One of my favorites is the case of Vincent Arias, who was shot by police while in his car, escaped the scene, and was later aprehended and charged with assault and attempted murder on a police officer. Arias was acquitted of all charges in August 2006, and tells his amazing story in the video below. The two photos are of Vincent's car. More photos and a two hour audio interview with Vincent and Martin Hill from 2009 can be found here: SHOT IN REVERSE, SAVE BY GOD: The Vincent Arias Story. An amazing story of determination and success despite all odds: [Note: my youtube channel has over seven million views, but this video interview with Vincent, which only has about 5,000 views, is still my absolute favorite and a beautiful tear jerker.]
Well..., LEO's are only an Auxiliary General Deterrent...,
"It is, therefore, a fact of law and of practical necessity that individuals are responsible for their own personal safety, and that of their loved ones. Police protection must be recognized for what it is: only an auxiliary general deterrent. "
...,and serve the Public in General and are under NO CONSTITUTIONAL
OBLIGATION/DUTY to serve you as an individual Per the Supreme Court, and therefore does not feel OBLIGATED to be NICE.
Justices Rule Police Do Not Have a Constitutional Duty to Protect Someone
New York Times
Posted on 06/28/2005 1:46:17 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
WASHINGTON, June 27 - The Supreme Court ruled on Monday, overturning a ruling by a federal appeals court in Colorado... police dO not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm...The appeals court had permitted a lawsuit to proceed against a Colorado town, Castle Rock, for the failure of the police to respond to a woman's pleas for help after her estranged husband violated a protective order by kidnapping their three young daughters, whom he eventually killed....
"Warren v. District of Columbia is one of the leading cases of this type. Two women were upstairs in a townhouse when they heard their roommate, a third woman, being attacked downstairs by intruders. They phoned the police several times and were assured that officers were on the way. After about 30 minutes, when their roommate’s screams had stopped, they assumed the police had finally arrived. When the two women went downstairs they saw that in fact the police never came, but the intruders were still there. As the Warren court graphically states in the opinion: “For the next fourteen hours the women were held captive, raped, robbed, beaten, forced to commit sexual acts upon each other, and made to submit to the sexual demands of their attackers.” The three women sued the District of Columbia for failing to protect them, but D.C.’s highest court exonerated the District and its police, saying that it is a “fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen.” There are many similar cases with results to the same effect. " "The seminal case establishing the general rule that police have no duty under federal law to protect citizens is DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services"
Per ALL these and MANY, MANY articles agrees with that LEO's does NOT have to play nice and ALL your $$$ goes to Expensive Donuts.
ALSO: Police Have No Duty To Protect Individuals
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Justices Rule Police Do Not Have a Constitutional Duty to Protect Someone
Ron Paul on 9/11 conspiracies (in chronological order)
[link] Remember the Star-Trek fan who was harassed by a police officer with a criminal past who pulled him over and searched his car? The man's lawyer got to question the officer for five hours, and during his deposition the officer made some shocking admissions.
NYPD Narcotics Detective Admits Cops Regularly Plant Drugs On Perps: "A former NYPD Detective testified last week that he regularly saw police plant drugs on innocent people as a way to meet arrest quotas."
Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, TargetLiberty.com, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, AmericanFreePress.net, RomanCatholicReport.com, WorldNetDaily, HenryMakow.com, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, TexeMarrs.com, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show, Strike-The-Root.com, Pasadena Weekly, ActivistPost.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, IamtheWitness.com, Redlands Daily Facts, SaveTheMales.ca, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, FromTheTrenchesWorldReport.com, BeforeItsNews.com, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, CopBlock.org, DavidIcke.com, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer, Antiwar.com, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com and DontWakeMeUp.Org.
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