Friday, October 10, 2008

Do You Have A Right To Police Protection?

Photo Courtesy: Tactical Advantage

I've long been interested in court cases especially as it relates to matters of constitutional law. Specific cases would include the 2nd Amendment and how ironic that assailants of the 2nd Amendment say it is okay to trample on it (as well as the whole document itself) by claiming that the police will protect you and thus you don't need a firearm for self-defense. Guess what? They are lying!

This past Wednesday, an employee at the Knoxville Center Mall was shot to death. Now yes, police officers were on the scene within four minutes, but the damage was already done. The police don't prevent crimes. They only show up after the fact if they do at all. "If they do at all?" you ask. Yes. If they do at all. The police are not legally obligated to respond to any calls. So, you would not have legal case against them. There is plenty of case law that proves this to be true, two cases in particular. It call comes down to the general duty of the government (as if) and special relationships between particular parties.

"Here the effort to separate the hostile assailants from the victims -- a necessary part of the on-scene responsibility of the police -- adds nothing to the general duty owed the public and fails to create a relationship which imposes a special legal duty such as that created when there is a course of conduct, special knowledge of possible harm, or the actual use of individuals in the investigation."

The D.C. Court of Appeals went on to say 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.''
Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981).

The law in New York remains as decided by the Court of Appeals case Riss v. New York: the government is not liable even for a grossly negligent failure to protect a crime victim. In the Riss case, a young woman telephoned the police and begged for help because her ex-boyfriend had repeatedly threatened "If I can't have you, not one else will have you, and when I get through with you, no one else will want you." The day after she had pleaded for police protection, the ex-boyfriend threw lye in her face, blinding her in one eye, severely damaging the other, and permanently scarring her features. "What makes the City's position particularly difficult to understand", wrote a dissenting opinion, "is that, in conformity to the dictates of the law, Linda did not carry any weapon for self-defense. Thus by a rather bitter irony she was required to rely for protection on the City of New York which now denies all responsibility to her."
Riss v. New York, 22 N.Y.2d 579, 293 N.Y.S.2d 897, 240 N.E.2d 860 (1968)

In other words this means the only people the police are duty-bound to protect are criminals in custody, and other persons in custody for such things as mental illness. YOU have no recourse if the police fail to respond or fail to protect you from injury! Self-defense is your own responsibility.

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