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Thread: An officer's duty to care for and protect people

  1. #1
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    An officer's duty to care for and protect people

    One of the more frequently cited court cases, which is also one of the most frequently misunderstood and misapplied cases in this forum is the SCOTUS case establishing that a peace officer has no duty to protect any individual.

    Especially for the anti-cop bigot (a bigot always presupposes the worst in regards to the LEO, in any case involving law enforcement), it offers an easy way to disclaim instances or even the very existence of heroic officers, and their heroic actions, by falsely claiming - cops don't help the individual, cops don't put themselves in danger to help people, bla bla which is an erroneous conclusion about the case.

    All the case says is that

    1) under the federal constitution
    2) a cop has no DUTY to protect an INDIVIDUAL (he, his dept. do have one to society as a whole)
    3) unless a special relationship exists (usually but not always through the cop's own making e.g arrest) that mandates he do so

    (1) doesn't address that cops, depending on position, agency, locale, etc. may have duties imposed by State Constututions, State Statute, Case law, Dept. Oath, Dept. General Orders Manual, Dept. Procedures manual, and of course the cop's own personal code of morals and honor.

    Have I seen an officer disciplined or terminated for failure to protect? Absolutely. The most obvious case was an officer who was one of three officers dispatched to a wild fight. This officer told dispatch that they were responding "code 2" as is the general code response for incidents involving threat of harm to persons, and in some cases, property. It means lights and sirens to help get through intersections and slow traffic, explicitly authorized to travel over the speed limit given that the driver must still exercise due care and must limit his speed based on road conditions, daylight or night (night vision much worse than day vision and distance acuity etc etc deleteriously affected at night vs. day, and that authorization pretty much MANDATES speed above the speed limit in most cases and in pretty much all cases where there is no obstructive traffic and it is not a residential zone.

    An officer who was enroute, lights and siren, caught a glimpse of that ofc's patrol car parked in an alley, almost invisible from view (which reinforced a suspicion that they were purposefully hiding from view, iow KNEw it was wrong to wait there), and of course when the other 2 officers arrived pretty quickly, the third officer was nowhere in sight, and actually didn't arrive until after the responding officers broadcast a "code 4" (scene under control and no obvious apparent dangers to public or officers) and had detained a few in handcuffs. fwiw, those in handcuffs were released when further investigation revealed NO pc for a crime (fighting in public fwiw is not illegal under the RCW - and it aint assault if it's mutual combat - but of course the fact that they were engaged in physical combat DID authorize a detention under the CC exception and others even well short of PC)

    The officer reported to his sgt. that he had seen the deputy parked at the given location, in an alley, appearing to be stationary, and no lights or siren on, and that that location was pretty close to the scene and yet the officer was the last to arrive by a significant margin

    Iow, Cowardice

    That's a serious firable offense, and probably one of the two most severe in my agency - dishonesty being the other. I've seen cops canned for all sorts of dishonesty, even very "minor" examples in very minor investigations where they may have only faced a written warning at worse, but because they lied - terminated.

    Furthermore, checks of the CAD revealed the officer was responding from a location much closer than the other 2, which makes it very suspect that they were the last there, etc.

    The officer was questioned, and made the decision to be truthful, a lie being instant termination if it could be proven as such and said that they had delayed response because they didn't want to get in a physical altercation involving some large (Parties involved were pacific islanders), presumably intoxicated (happene3d outside a bar) individuals.

    fired

    and the union would not even authorize appeal to arbitration, that being a good example ot counter claims that the union always supports accusedand terminated officers. FAR FAR FAR FAR from the case, at least with my union

    and good ******* riddance. I don't want to work with a coward. ever. Officer safety is not cowardice. What this officer did wasn't officer safety, it was cowardice

    gone.

    the cited case here shows a case of substantial civil liability where an officer did not respond with a "ordinary standard of care" in offering specific help - getting the reponsdent away from the scene, among others. and this requirement was NOT required by legislation (read the case ), but existed anyway as an element of requirements for peace officers.

    iow, the case showed one (of countless) examples where an officer WAS mandated to help an individual, in this case help a petitioner stay safe,. even where the respondent was not accused of any crime at that point, based on the information the officer SHOULD have known, it clearly required him to remove the respondwent and arrest if the respondent refused, for obstruction at a minimum

    http://www.thenewstribune.com/2013/1...-judgment.html

    I *totally* agree with the decision of the court and imo, firing the officer would be warranted.


    and course IN ADDITION to the duties IMPOSED on officers externally, there is the fact that many officers will still protect and do so in many cases in ways that places them in danger of assault, or in one of my cases, resulted in pretty severe smoke inhalation injury

    whether because of their moral code, or duties imposed under any of hte above bodies (dept, state law ,e tc.)

    Countless stories of bravey exist. I have seen TONS firsthand and read about many others.


    A recent one was an assaultive suicidal female who had assaulted a domestic partner with a knife, cut herself, and then run outside. she was standing by the open door of her car, wearing heavy winter clothes (rendering a taser unlikely to be successful) and i could see her hands were empty, but one of my partners could see a large hunting knife seated on the vehicles seat a lunge distance away (she was standing in the open door space_), that she had used to assault her partner and herself and had then dropped down there.

    She refused to step away from the car, even upon threat of taser and if we waited for her and she decided to reacquire the knife, very possibly a shooting could have happened.

    an officer bolted in out of nowhere (great start strength! and explosive strength. officer had a very good clean and jerk total so had those attributes), tackled the woman before she could even react, and got her into handcuffs. NO injuries even

    not an atypical event at all. they never make the paper. I actually get pissed off that our PIO DOES NOT usually release such cases,a dn in most cases wont know about them unless the sgt sends it to him

    I *know* from countless examples thaat many (not all) cops go to great lengths to protect people.

    the court case does not in ANY WAY "prove" they don't. it doesn't even speak to what officers DO. Only speaks to what they are constututionally required to do

    hth

  2. #2
    Regular Member Fuller Malarkey's Avatar
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    Last edited by Fuller Malarkey; 12-20-2013 at 08:29 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PALO View Post
    SNIP One of the more frequently cited court cases, which is also one of the most frequently misunderstood and misapplied cases in this forum is the SCOTUS case establishing that a peace officer has no duty to protect any individual.

    Especially for the anti-cop bigot (a bigot always presupposes the worst in regards to the LEO, in any case involving law enforcement), it offers an easy way to disclaim instances or even the very existence of heroic officers, and their heroic actions, by falsely claiming - cops don't help the individual, cops don't put themselves in danger to help people, bla bla which is an erroneous conclusion about the case.
    Readers,

    Strawman argument. He's asserting that people who cite Castle Rock v Gonzales or other such cases are disclaiming instances of heroism.

    If there are such posts on this forum, I've missed them.

    On this forum, posters citing those cases are, in every single instance I've seen, refuting claims by a forum cop or new member cop supporter that police have a duty to protect. That is to say, first some cop or cop-supporter/apologist tried to fly the argument that police have a duty to protect. Then, the forum members who knew better pulled out the cite to refute.

    If there are any cases of forum members citing those cases outside of the scenario I've explained, they're darned few occurences, and darned few members doing it.

    I can't believe PALO spent all that time and effort typing up a post to counter an argument nobody/almost nobody was making. What a colossal waste of effort.

    And, you'll notice that its never the veteran forum members who say police have a duty to protect. That's because they know better--they've seen the cite.


    Oh, and by the way. Violating a department policy against cowardice is not an example of not being heroic. Showing up at the scene first is not an example of heroism. Nobody in cop-land woulda faulted that cop for showing up first, and then just waiting for back-up. Departments have no legal or moral authority to require a man to wade into a situation way outnumbered.

    The OP is just more logic fails by PALO.
    Last edited by Citizen; 12-20-2013 at 09:24 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  4. #4
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    If you don't mind I will be responsible for my safety. Awww hell I don't care if you mind or not.
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  5. #5
    Regular Member Primus's Avatar
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    Good refutations guys.

    He posts experiences and examples. He also cites the same case and explains it.

    You guys post...... nah nah not listening. First guy at least admits he didn't read the op. Good idea. Post to an op you didn't read.

    The second at least posted a thought out argument. But it still ignores most of what was put and focuses on a few sentences. Ignores the duty placed on le from state constitution, department policy, etc.

    Listen here's the deal. Even if you want to block your ears and close your eyes and swear police have no responsibility to help you or yours..... they still do it everyday.

    So really your making them out to be even better people. They have no obligation to go to your house school business when someone's getting shot. Gbeybhave no obligation to pull you from a car wreck. Have no obligation. To enter a burning house (that sucks trust me). No obligation to clear your house because there's a burglar in there. Certainly no obligation to go to the bank or store on a hold up alarm.

    Hell according to some we can just show up sit in my cruiser and drink coffee and eat donuts. So what does that make the thousands on guys/girls who go to sh***** calls day in and day out for you/us?

    Here's the difference my friend. Maybe you go to work with the attitude " you can't make me I don't have an obligation". I go to work and ask "who can we help today?". I don't need a document to tell me my job. I don't need you to even believe me. I don't need to face reprimand for cowardice (seen it). I and my brothers/sisters who work with me know our job and do it without hesitation. I do it because I like it and I want my family community safe. Period. No different then firefighters or EMTs.

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  6. #6
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Most people don't read long winded crapola, but continue on for your entertainment.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
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  7. #7
    Regular Member Primus's Avatar
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    And dont worry guys. Its ok if you hate us or thing we are thugs or think we should he unarmed or think we shouldn't have tasers. Its ok you think we are just the enemy from state there to violate your rights or just guys bullied in high school.

    I'm ok with that because literally every day a kid will wave to me and say hello because of what I do. Just about everyday on calls someone will approach (If not the victim) and say "hey man good job. I couldn't do your job you guys have it rough around here". Or when I'm sitting in an really bad neighborhood just watching real thugs people walk up to the cruiser and say "thanks its good seeing you guys around here".

    Its a shame a few, and I stress a few, guys on here are such bigots towards police they do nothing but trash them. Majority of the guys on here know that police try and do the right thing and that there a few bad guys/girls.

    I sincerely hope you guys are safe in whatever your endeavors. To include trashing police.

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  8. #8
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primus View Post
    And dont worry guys. Its ok if you hate us or thing we are thugs or think we should he unarmed or think we shouldn't have tasers. Its ok you think we are just the enemy from state there to violate your rights or just guys bullied in high school.

    I'm ok with that because literally every day a kid will wave to me and say hello because of what I do. Just about everyday on calls someone will approach (If not the victim) and say "hey man good job. I couldn't do your job you guys have it rough around here". Or when I'm sitting in an really bad neighborhood just watching real thugs people walk up to the cruiser and say "thanks its good seeing you guys around here".

    Its a shame a few, and I stress a few, guys on here are such bigots towards police they do nothing but trash them. Majority of the guys on here know that police try and do the right thing and that there a few bad guys/girls.

    I sincerely hope you guys are safe in whatever your endeavors. To include trashing police.

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    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primus View Post
    The second at least posted a thought out argument. But it still ignores most of what was put and focuses on a few sentences. Ignores the duty placed on le from state constitution, department policy, etc.
    Oh, excuse me. The OPer justified all of his sentences on a strawman argument. If he wanted to persuade readers of police heroism, all he had to do was post his experiences of it. A few cop-saves-man-from-burning-car video links. That sort of thing. But, no, he started out to counter-argue certain people he considers "bigots".

    Oh, and then he commits the logic fallacies about the cop he saw get fired. As I pointed out, being fired for cowardice is not a requirement for heroism. Nobody woulda fired that cop for arriving first and then waiting for backup before wading in.

    Oh, and most of your post just argued the same strawman he did.

    As the rock lyrics say, "If that's your best, your best won't do." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOqk_q4NLLI
    Last edited by Citizen; 12-20-2013 at 09:23 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Primus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    You need a badge to get kids to wave at you?
    They like the shiny car too. And for some reason the small ones want to play with all the crap on my belt.

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  11. #11
    Regular Member Fuller Malarkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinus;2017684

    [COLOR="#FF0000"
    I'm ok with that because literally every day a kid will wave to me and say hello because of what I do.[/COLOR]

    I'd be to ashamed to claim the only people left that don't treat my approach with apprehension are gullible or misguided children. In adults, it's called Stockholm Syndrome.

    ~snipped~


    Majority of the guys on here know that police try and do the right thing and that there a few bad guys/girls.



    Start a poll on that "few bad apples". See how it works out for ya.

    ~SNIPPED

    Sounds like some discomfort going on.

    EDITED OUT "BUTT_HURT"
    Last edited by Fuller Malarkey; 12-20-2013 at 09:42 PM.
    Liberty is so strongly a part of human nature that it can be treated as a no-lose argument position.
    ~Citizen

    From the cop’s perspective, the expression “law-abiding citizen” is a functional synonym for “Properly obedient slave".

    "People are not born being "anti-cop" and believing we live in a police state. That is a result of experience."

  12. #12
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primus View Post
    They like the shiny car too. And for some reason the small ones want to play with all the crap on my belt.

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    You let children play with your gun, and taser?
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

  13. #13
    Regular Member Primus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuller Malarkey View Post
    Sounds like some butt-hurt going on.
    There it is. The best response and my favorite argument. Wouldn't be a complete argument without it. That's the default..... "uuhhhhhh I've got nothing to say because he's right they really do that crap... oh yea people really do say that stuff...... ok I'll throw words about butts around maybe others won't notice I can't refute truth.....".



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  14. #14
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primus View Post
    There it is. The best response and my favorite argument. Wouldn't be a complete argument without it. That's the default..... "uuhhhhhh I've got nothing to say because he's right they really do that crap... oh yea people really do say that stuff...... ok I'll throw words about butts around maybe others won't notice I can't refute truth.....".



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    Yea FM sounds like a case of butt hurt to me.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

  15. #15
    Regular Member Fuller Malarkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primus View Post
    They like the shiny car too. And for some reason the small ones want to play with all the crap on my belt.

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    It appears some of you encourage that.

    EDITED BY FM
    Last edited by Fuller Malarkey; 12-20-2013 at 09:54 PM.
    Liberty is so strongly a part of human nature that it can be treated as a no-lose argument position.
    ~Citizen

    From the cop’s perspective, the expression “law-abiding citizen” is a functional synonym for “Properly obedient slave".

    "People are not born being "anti-cop" and believing we live in a police state. That is a result of experience."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Primus View Post
    There it is. The best response and my favorite argument. Wouldn't be a complete argument without it. That's the default..... "uuhhhhhh I've got nothing to say because he's right they really do that crap... oh yea people really do say that stuff...... ok I'll throw words about butts around maybe others won't notice I can't refute truth.....".
    I'm your huckleberry. I didn't use the word butthurt in post #9. You don't have to spend time counter-arguing posts that use the word butthurt if you don't want to. You can always go after me.

    C'mon.

    If you can. Without committing logical fallacies.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  17. #17
    Regular Member Primus's Avatar
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    Its a shame this forum has you to represent it. Your dragging alot of really good guys on here down with you.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    I have to say FM I think that last one went over the line~~I am not his fan, but there is no evidence he is like that. Considering that this is mostly a adult site if that were the case such a person would patrol facebook or some social site that attracts the younger crowd.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

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    It would seem the OP and some others are equating EMPLOYER requirements as a LEGAL OBLIGATION in the context of the Court ruling the OP referenced. Frankly, I am surprised that I am the first that I've seen on this tread to mention this.

    It would also seem that the situation (cowardice aledged) the LEO wasn't fired for failing to respond but rather pretending to respond AND NOT. THAT officer and the person or persons he was with at that time are the ONLY ones that know exactly what was going on.... Personally, I'll suggest that he may have been getting some special loving while on duty--- but it is a SWAG with no info to support it.

    And for those that don't seem to hear it well upon first reading..... AN EMPLOYER REQUIREMENT does not make the PEACE OFFICER / LEO answerable to the INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE which is what the reference case was about.
    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    It would seem the OP and some others are equating EMPLOYER requirements as a LEGAL OBLIGATION in the context of the Court ruling the OP referenced. Frankly, I am surprised that I am the first that I've seen on this tread to mention this.

    It would also seem that the situation (cowardice aledged) the LEO wasn't fired for failing to respond but rather pretending to respond AND NOT. THAT officer and the person or persons he was with at that time are the ONLY ones that know exactly what was going on.... Personally, I'll suggest that he may have been getting some special loving while on duty--- but it is a SWAG with no info to support it.

    And for those that don't seem to hear it well upon first reading..... AN EMPLOYER REQUIREMENT does not make the PEACE OFFICER / LEO answerable to the INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE which is what the reference case was about.
    I think that it has been said so many times before, it just is assumed that the OP knows it. Our FUBAR, you are correct.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

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    Quote Originally Posted by Primus View Post
    Its a shame this forum has you to represent it. Your dragging alot of really good guys on here down with you.

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    Ad hominem attack. Logical fallacy.

    You could have just refuted post #9. But, didn't.

    You still have the opportunity.
    Last edited by Citizen; 12-20-2013 at 09:44 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  22. #22
    Regular Member Fuller Malarkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    You let children play with your gun, and taser?


    Encourage newcomers to a firearms forum to shoot at cops.

    Lets kids play with duty belt items like firearm, taser, pepper spray, vanity mirror



    I'm hearing "As far as I know, I'm the only one professional enough in this room......." again.....
    Liberty is so strongly a part of human nature that it can be treated as a no-lose argument position.
    ~Citizen

    From the cop’s perspective, the expression “law-abiding citizen” is a functional synonym for “Properly obedient slave".

    "People are not born being "anti-cop" and believing we live in a police state. That is a result of experience."

  23. #23
    Regular Member Primus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Ad hominem attack. Logical fallacy.

    You could have just refuted post #9. But, didn't.

    You still have the opportunity.
    Citzen I apologize for the appearance of that post. It was solely directed towards full of s***. Not to you in anyway.

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  24. #24
    Regular Member Primus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Oh, excuse me. The OPer justified all of his sentences on a strawman argument. If he wanted to persuade readers of police heroism, all he had to do was post his experiences of it. A few cop-saves-man-from-burning-car video links. That sort of thing. But, no, he started out to counter-argue certain people he considers "bigots".

    Oh, and then he commits the logic fallacies about the cop he saw get fired. As I pointed out, being fired for cowardice is not a requirement for heroism. Nobody woulda fired that cop for arriving first and then waiting for backup before wading in.

    Oh, and most of your post just argued the same strawman he did.

    As the rock lyrics say, "If that's your best, your best won't do." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOqk_q4NLLI
    Citzen, not sure how you want me to refute this or respond to it? What "strawman argument"? He was stating that only looking at the case taht everyone cites, you leave everything else that sets a precedence as to why police have to help. I even cited my own Rules and Regs of my Department that spell out in clear language we have to assist OFF duty as well as ON duty. Want more do you want me to say?

    And PS, you do realize the case everyone cites was simply about the "victim" wanting money from the PD. Oh, and they DID RESPOND to her call. They weren't able to locate the guy.... So basically they ruled and stated that to keep guys/girls from suing every time a purse gets stolen and we don't catch the guy.

  25. #25
    Regular Member Primus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primus View Post
    They like the shiny car too. And for some reason the small ones want to play with all the crap on my belt.

    Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    You let children play with your gun, and taser?
    Can you explain how you got that I LET anyone play with anything from bolded statement?

    You know what they say about making assumptions.... makes you look like an a**.

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