Friendly Reminder: Police Are NOT Legally Required To Protect You OR Your Kids
In the wake of the Robb Elementary shooting, a lot has been said about the quality of policing that went on in Uvalde on that dark day.
One thing I’ve seen many people saying is,
“The police are required to PROTECT and serve”.
It makes sense. It’s right there on the side of their car door, after all.
Just to clear up any confusion: the courts have been very clear on this. The police CAN NOT be held criminally liable if they fail to protect any member of the public.
That includes mass shootings, even ones at elementary schools.
There’s a popular expectation that if a police officer(s) is present while you are being assaulted or killed that they have a duty to protect. But, the courts have ruled that they do not, in case after case.
In that last one, if you don’t have the time to click the link, a man sued the NYPD for failing to render assistance as he was being repeatedly stabbed and sliced by a crazed slasher.
The police officers testified that they hid during the attack because they “thought the attacker had a gun”. Their attorneys argued that the officers had “no special duty” to protect the victim and the judge in the case agreed.
The victim/real hero/plaintiff, in that case, Joe Lozito, was left with no recourse so he made a video about his ordeal for Cracked.com.
Lozito said that he told his story because he thought it might save lives if people knew that the police aren’t legally required to do anything if someone is in the act of killing you.
Look, I get it: real-life situations aren’t like on TV shows where the cops show up, take out the bad guy, and never make a wrong decision. Not everybody who becomes a cop is particularly heroic.
Some might be heroic on one day, but not on another. I’ve even heard COPS say (usually in the context of explaining another police shooting of an unarmed person),
“My only goal is to get home safe to my family at the end of the day.”
Fair enough, I suppose. Most of us just want to put in our day’s work and get back home without getting killed.
Then again, most of us don’t expect to be treated like heroes just for showing up at work, either.