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Before you argue that it is a one off..there are multiple examples of this and the Supreme Court generally tries to rule consistently. As per a State Supreme Court Ruling - Warren v District of Colombia - "The court stated that official police personnel and the government employing them owe no duty to victims of criminal acts and thus are not liable for a failure to provide adequate police protection unless a special relationship exists" And another case, Federal Supreme Court - "The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the police did not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm, even a woman who had obtained a court-issued protective order against a violent husband making an arrest mandatory for a violation." http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/28/politics/28scotus.html?_r=0 Here's a list of other such rulings - http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1976377/posts
SilenceEvermore SilenceEvermore 22-25 18 Answers Feb 9, 2013 in WTK

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When you read legislation or legal language, you need to pay careful attention to defined terms. <br />
'Protection' as a term to describe special police protection, is not the same as, and does not exclude, the basic duty of the police force to protect citizens. <br />
'Owe no duty to victims' means that police cannot possibly protect every citizen from every crime and be held 'liable' (because everyone loves to sue in the USA). <br />
A 'protective order' against an individual is to require them legally to keep their distance. It does not constitute a 'police protection' order that requires police to stake guards outside someone's home.

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You should read the NYtimes link.

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Ok, I did. It doesn't change what i put above. The real issue is, the USA is a very litigious culture, and legislation is required to protect from yet another loophole for idiots to make their fortune. The govt can't afford to let every police mistake or lack of resources available at the time open them up for millions of dollars of lawsuits.

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And that still doesn't change the fact that it is ruled they do not have a duty to protect the citizens. You can't weasel your way out of, "the police did not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm."

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I'm not 'weaseling' out of anything, thanks. Not having a 'a constitutional duty to protect a person' (reporter's words) doesn't mean their basic role has changed and they will never attempt to do so or to fight crime. As I said, reading legal language requires a subtlety, and that is ALMOST excluded from the article (making it more emotive). The fact is, police require "a well-established tradition of police discretion has long coexisted with apparently mandatory arrest statutes." Ask yourself why - is it really a conspiracy to abandon duty, or a reality of complex decisions that have to be made with limited resources.

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It gives them an out. They are not obligated to protect the citizens. If they fail in their duty, for WHATEVER reason, they are free of liability. You use the words "basic role", as long as we are going to define words..yes, their "basic" role is to protect. Their ROLE differs from their DUTY, though. Their duty does not obligate them to protect the people. In the link, for example "For hours on the night of June 22, 1999, Jessica Gonzales tried to get the Castle Rock police to find and arrest her estranged husband, Simon Gonzales, who was under a court order to stay 100 yards away from the house. He had taken the children, ages 7, 9 and 10, as they played outside. Ms. Gonzales conveyed the information to the police, but they failed to act before Mr. Gonzales arrived at the police station hours later, firing a gun, with the bodies of the girls in the back of his truck. The police killed him at the scene." The police FAILED TO ACT in spite of the information given because they failed, quite blatantly, in their duty. They are exempted from such negligence, regardless of how you wish to define the words, because they do not have a duty to protect the citizenship. Furthermore, I find it amusing you take the stance that I believe it is a conspiracy, hardly the case, I simply wish to point out that the police do not have a duty to protect you. In light of that information, I wish to see if others believe that they, in place of the police, have a duty to protect themselves. By the way, that language you pointed out, could you give me a source that outlines what those words mean in context of the rulings? They are not defined in anything I have read and I do not want to misrepresent the conclusions the rulings came to.

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1. Your first five sentences are spot on. The term 'duty' in your next sentence is ambiguous by nature - see further on.
2. Then you mention the ridiculous Gonzales case, chasing financial gain from the reality that police are unable in any country to turn a 'court order' into 24 hour 'police protection.' They are opportunistic clowns. No govt could allow that case, and needs to make sure their police forces are 'exempted from such negligence' because police in every country are too under-resourced to respond to every call in time to prevent every crime. It would cost govts billions in lawsuits. I can't imagine you disagree with that.
3. Duty is ambiguous - it is clearly the "duty" of the police to protect citizens (their actions and mission, see, eg http://www.watertown-ny.gov/index.asp?nid=123) without having the "duty" of being held legally culpable for their inability (through lack of resources or mismanagement) to respond to every crime in sufficient time to prevent it.
4. My use of the terms - my distinctions are correct - it's clear from the context. Particularly look at the word 'protect' 'protection' 'protective order'. They all have slightly different intentions.
5. The NY times article was a poor piece of writing. The real point of the ruling was not to define police role per se, but police role in relation to the court order. She then pulls that out of context in her opening para to imply the police have no duty to protect citizens in any way, something clearly part of their charter. She uses the ambiguity of terms 'protect' to confuse the issue. She makes no distinction between 'protect' and 24 hour police 'protection' in relation to a 'protective order'. Emotive? Yes. Good journalism? Ah, no.

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2. Did you read the section I quoted? She called the police, "Jessica Gonzales tried to get the Castle Rock police to find and arrest her estranged husband." It is not good enough to say, "yeah....we were kind of...shorthanded so..we ignored your call." I disagree with the ruling because it gives the police far too much free reign. Like you are arguing, the wording is ambiguous, so the court could interpret it any way it wishes and that does not sit well with me. It is not a conspiracy theory, it is being realistic. 3. The quote says it is their mission to protect, etc., yes. But..in 1950, for example, "A certain Ms. Riss was being harassed by a former boyfriend, in a familiar pattern of increasingly violent threats. She went to the police for help many times, but was always rebuffed. Desperate because she could not get police protection, she applied for a gun permit, but was refused that as well. On the eve of her engagement party she and her mother went to the police one last time pleading for protection against what they were certain was a serious and dangerous threat. And one last time the police refused. As she was leaving the party, her former boyfriend threw acid in her face, blinding and permanently disfiguring her." A Supreme Court justice remarks, upon their failure to protect a woman who had repeatedly gone to them for help, "What makes the City's position [denying any obligation to protect the woman] particularly difficult to understand is that, in conformity to the dictates of the law [she] 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." 5. The point of the ruling was one in a long line of rulings favoring police when they didn't perform their duty. I am pointing that out, and further pointing out that citizens do have a right to protect themselves, seeing as the police do not have to. They do not have to because the Supreme Court rulings consistently rule in favor of them. The ambiguity of the words gives the police far too much leniency. I don't see how that can be denied. Lastly, not to be offensive, but I'm not going to rely on your interpretation of what the words mean, especially seeing as you are the one arguing against me.

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I'm not really arguing against you. The ruling is specifically in relation to court protection orders, in response to compensation lawsuits. Important to distinguish between what the journalist stated and the quotes from the rulings. The journalist was either unintelligent (which I doubt) or mischievous in confounding the language. Court protection orders are made in relation to a person who is then legally required to keep a distance, etc. A protection order does not rule that police departments must put all their resources into 24 hour protection mode for someone. The word duty can read ambiguously. Police will continue to protect people and respond to crime according to discretion related to resources available and degree of risk (their duty). They are not obligated (duty) to respond to every call every time (and be sued if they don't), because it is not possible. So, agree with you that having a police force has never removed the obligation we always had to live carefully and look after ourselves.

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5 More Responses

Just finished reading a hell of an article along the same lines, citizens have the right to protect themselves from cops<br />
<br />
http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=3130620

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the police job is to arrest, cite and prosecute, to make money for the state. that's about it

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wow- but with all the cra- going on recently im not surprised

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To protect lead and serve that's they're job if you feel they haven't done that you can sue or at least I heard

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Definitely!

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Yes. When they lie about protecting the people to ask for more and more of our money, they are lying. They have proved to SCOTUS that they do not ever protect the people. That is NOT their job. Their job actually is to find excuses to send you or me to prison for life. That is their job.<br />
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They also have proved to SCOTUS that they LIE to the public every day as part of their training and daily job. SCOTUS warned American people NEVER to trust ANYTHING that a blue shirt ever says, not ever. He's a trained liar. That is their job. They are all liars, not honorable men.

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yes

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I was wondering where all those "Troopers are your best protection" bumper stickers got off too -

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Not according to our president

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I know. Take the guns away, the police will protect you! Yeaah..

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They LIE a lot. Everything they say is a lie.

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Absolutely, cuz the fuzz aren't going to bust their *** to do any work.

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Doesn't the right to self-defence constitute the right to protect oneself?

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As long as you use a butter knife to fight off the guys coming at you with guns :D

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No, the right to self-defence is proportional. Meaning that you may use lesser or equal force to protect yourself from harm and if you have good reason to believe your life is threatened then you may use deadly force.
However I suspect you may have been being facetious :P There are some cases in which it doesn't work out, but I doubt many that go to jury trial go amiss - most people would sympathize with a true self-defence situation. I would choose trial by jury if I was ever in this situation and had the choice - I would want sympathy, not legal technicality.

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Hell ya

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It's established in law that the police have no duty to protect you. The only duty the police have is to the state. That duty books down to the duty to preserve order and investigate crime. This why you can't sue the police for dereliction of duty if you are a victim of crime.

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