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  •  I know you're trying to make a point (20+ / 0-)

    but the stuff you're saying is ridiculous.  Of course they're responsible for my safety.  

    It's time for the police to become part of the community again.  Part of the problem is this us v them mentality, rather than a protect and serve mentality.

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 01:29:29 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  No, they're not responsible for your safety. (27+ / 0-)

      Not legally.  I know we all think that's why they exist.  But they actually have not one whit of responsibility for our safety.  If they're called on a 911 call and just don't bother responding and you die?  You have no case against them.  

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 02:11:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The police have zero responsibility to save you (15+ / 0-)

      And that is one of the main reasons that people want to own guns at home for self defense.  Because if someone breaks into your home to kill you, and you call 911 to say someone is trying to kill you...

      The police will set up a perimeter.  They will make sure the suspect does not escape.  But they have zero, and I do mean ZERO duty to come busting into the house to save you.  They can just wait outside until you are dead.  And then they may wait longer hoping for the suspect to commit suicide.

      The police protect and serve themselves.  They do not have to risk their lives to save you, and they prove over and over again that they won't.

      •  Really? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coquiero, exlrrp, elmo

        Why don't you tell the officer from Oak Creek who took 12 bullets trying to save folks inside that Sikh Temple?

        You know, the guy who the Obamas invited to the State of the Union?

        The same cop who waved first responders past his own bleeding body to help the people inside the building.

        Was he only protecting and serving himself?

        •  But he didn't HAVE to (0+ / 0-)

          That cop is a true hero, and those are rare.  But the fact is that he did not HAVE to go into the temple and risk getting shot.  He could have waited outside, and many others did.

          One good cop does not excuse all the rampant police brutality out there.

      •  I keep hearing this argument (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coquiero, tommymet

        mostly from gun nuts. Where is the proof? Someone lobbed this at a gun control forum I was at the other day. If police aren't there to protect people of the community, why do we pay them? Or is that the object of spreading this story — to get people to be willing to defund them and turn every community into a Tea Party wet dream?

        Jon Husted is a dick.

        by anastasia p on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:17:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Is the NYT good enough for you? (4+ / 0-)

          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.


          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, and he later called his wife to tell her that he had the girls at an amusement park in Denver.

          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.


          A 1989 decision, DeShaney v. Winnebago County, held that the failure by county social service workers to protect a young boy from a beating by his father did not breach any substantive constitutional duty.

          What about Wikipedia?

          In the early morning hours of Sunday, March 16, 1975, Carolyn Warren and Joan Taliaferro who shared a room on the third floor of their rooming house at 1112 Lamont Street Northwest in the District of Columbia, and Miriam Douglas, who shared a room on the second floor with her four-year-old daughter, were asleep. The women were awakened by the sound of the back door being broken down by two men later identified as Marvin Kent and James Morse. The men entered Douglas' second floor room, where Kent forced Douglas to sodomize him and Morse raped her.

          Warren and Taliaferro heard Douglas' screams from the floor below. Warren telephoned the police, told the officer on duty that the house was being burglarized, and requested immediate assistance. The department employee told her to remain quiet and assured her that police assistance would be dispatched promptly.

          Warren's call was received at Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters at 0623 hours, and was recorded as a burglary-in-progress. At 0626, a call was dispatched to officers on the street as a "Code 2" assignment, although calls of a crime in progress should be given priority and designated as "Code 1." Four police cruisers responded to the broadcast; three to the Lamont Street address and one to another address to investigate a possible suspect. (This suggests that when they heard that there had been a burglary, the police must have felt that they had a promising lead on a culprit.)

          Meanwhile, Warren and Taliaferro crawled from their window onto an adjoining roof and waited for the police to arrive. While there, they observed one policeman drive through the alley behind their house and proceed to the front of the residence without stopping, leaning out the window, or getting out of the car to check the back entrance of the house. A second officer apparently knocked on the door in front of the residence, but left when he received no answer. The three officers departed the scene at 0633, five minutes after they arrived.

          Warren and Taliaferro crawled back inside their room. They again heard Douglas' continuing screams; again called the police; told the officer that the intruders had entered the home, and requested immediate assistance. Once again, a police officer assured them that help was on the way. This second call was received at 0642 and recorded merely as "investigate the trouble;" it was never dispatched to any police officers.

          Believing the police might be in the house, Warren and Taliaferro called down to Douglas, thereby alerting Kent to their presence. At knife point, Kent and Morse then forced all three women to accompany them to Kent's apartment. For the next fourteen hours the captive women were raped, robbed, beaten, forced to commit sexual acts upon one another, and made to submit to the sexual demands of Kent and Morse.
          [edit]Appellants' claims

          Appellants' claims of negligence included:

          the dispatcher's failure to forward the 0623 call with the proper degree of urgency;

          the responding officers' failure to follow standard police investigative procedures, specifically their failure to check the rear entrance and position themselves properly near the doors and windows to ascertain whether there was any activity inside;

          the dispatcher's failure to dispatch the call received at 0642 hours.

          By a 4-3 decision the court decided that Warren was not entitled to remedy at the bar despite the demonstrable abuse and ineptitude on the part of the police because no special relationship existed. 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. The case was dismissed by the trial court for failure to state a claim and the case never went to trial.[3]

          •  Those cases arise in the context of someone (0+ / 0-)

            trying to hold the police liable for monetary damages for failing to prevent crime. That's a different question.

            Surely you don't think police should be required to commit certain suicide in the performance of their jobs?

            •  Are you a total idiot? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Norm in Chicago

              OF COURSE they're suing for monetary damages.  Since apparently there is no law that police actually have to protect the people who are being raped, beaten, murdered, whatever, no CRIME was committed.  Monetary damages were the only remedy they had left.

              And this was far from being certain suicide.  They didn't even bother.

              Geesh.  Take a course in reading comprehension or logic before you sit down at a keyboard again.

              I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country. -- Thomas Jefferson

              by nilajean on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:56:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Obviously, you have no familiarity with law (0+ / 0-)

                or law enforcement, other than what one can glean from a tv show.

                It must shock you very much that in real life, police cannot arrive on the scene and nab the bad guys every time.

                •  Sorry, wrong again (0+ / 0-)

                  I've been a legal secretary for a couple of decades now, and my boss does a lot of criminal defense.  Not to mention that I was held up at gunpoint a couple of years ago in my own neighborhood.  No cops.  It hasn't been solved yet.

                  Want to try for a third strike?

                  I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country. -- Thomas Jefferson

                  by nilajean on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:09:59 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  In both of the cases cited the police (0+ / 0-)

                  did have the ability to arrive (and in one case did arrive) but did not protect civilians due to negligence, incompetence, or just a decision not to bother.

            •  You claim that the police have a responsibility (0+ / 0-)

              to protect civilians.

              Those cases arise in the context of someone
              trying to hold the police liable for monetary damages for failing to prevent crime.
              In these cases the police clearly did not protect civilians, they were sued, and the courts ruled that they had no obligation to protect civilians.

              So this seems to settle the issue in question.

              Surely you don't think police should be required to commit certain suicide in the performance of their jobs?
              Seems a nonsequitur.  Where did anyone suggest that?
        •  We pay them to catch criminals (0+ / 0-)

          They can do that just as easily after they've killed you.

          The object of reporting truth is to let you know that your safety is at the end of the day your responsibility.  No one has to save you.

    •  no they are not. nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, worldlotus

      "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 02:35:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who created the "us vs. them" mentality? (11+ / 0-)

      Others have already pointed out, the police have NO responsibility for your safety, or to prevent crime. Sorry if this wake up call is shocking or disheartening, but it is true.

      The real question is, when, why and how did the actual (as opposed to legal) relationship between the police and public get to the point it is at? And what can we do to move it more towards what it should be?

      •  Gates and the LAPD. (14+ / 0-)

        He's the one who came up with the idea of the hardline, paramilitary police force engaging in a "war" against crime.  

        There used to be an old joke at LAPD: "In God we Trust; everyone else is a suspect."  

        Eventually, the warlike, us vs them rhetoric takes it toll.  The cops parade around in military gear looking intimidating and scary.  

        Is there any really good reason that SWAT uniforms are black?  The Germans learned way back in WW2 that the most effective camouflage for night operations was not black, it was the gray/green "tic-tac" pattern, something that the US Military's new "digital" uniforms are evolved from.  In the daytime it doesn't matter - they can see you no matter what you wear.

        No, the black is intimidation factor, nothing more.  In the 80s, the Las Vegas metro police used to call its SWAT team the "Nasty Boys."  That wasn't just a nickname either, it was official police PR strategy to refer to them that way.  Why the "Nasty Boys?"  Aren't they supposed to be the "Good" guys?

        I think if you want to find the root of the "Them vs Us" that so many police possess, you need to look first at the paramilitarization of the police, and for that you can thank Daryl Gates of the LAPD.  


      •  This so-called "wake up call" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jan4insight, coquiero, elmo

        seems to be the latest gun nut argument, and until I see proof, which I haven't, I'm putting it on the backburner with the anti-choice movement's "We're just trying to help poor little fluff-brained women stop themselves from doing something they'd regret."

        Jon Husted is a dick.

        by anastasia p on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:18:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Put it on any burner you like (0+ / 0-)

          I am pro gun control. This has nothing to do with gun control. This is an anti-hierarchy, anti-capitalist, hard left sort of thing, not a gun issue. We on the hard left, having seen the cops beat down our friends, and perhaps suffered such beatings ourselves, have little love for the pigs, in general. We also tend not to be gun nuts.

          But thanks for your fascinating guesswork and witty commentary, I'm sure you realize how much they are appreciated.

      •  Oh, what bollocks (0+ / 0-)
        Others have already pointed out, the police have NO responsibility for your safety, or to prevent crime.
        •  No legal responsibility (0+ / 0-)

          Not bollocks at all. Tell me, if the police fail to protect you, or if they fail to prevent a crime, do you have any legal recourse against them?

          No. You do not. Therefore, legally speaking, they have no actual, quantifiable responsibility to do so.

          If you believe my reasoning to be in error, I invite you to present your own counter argument. Hopefully it will be more cogent than "Oh, what bollocks" which as you may realize, is not an argument at all, but more of a pointless interjection.

          •  If I steal your wallet right in front of a cop (0+ / 0-)

            and he or she does nothing, you can bet anything you want the cop will be fired. That's not the same question as whether you can sue the city as the cop's employer for monetary damages for failure to prevent the theft.

            You're confusing two concepts.

            •  You think so? (0+ / 0-)

              I really doubt the cop would be fired. Can you provide an example of this happening? Because I've watched cops break the law themselves, and do nothing but chuckle at that fact when it is brought to their attention. In my experience, it's sort of hard for cops to get fired just on the word of a civilian.

              I'm guessing that you don't have any actual examples you can point to of a cop being fired for not pursuing a criminal. I'm guessing that what you are doing here is what is known as "wishful thinking." Like, if you admitted to yourself that what I am saying might be true, then you'd have to admit that we're all pretty fucked, and that this "free society" we live in is just a thin veneer over a violent,  authoritarian oligarchy.

              •  Google search took ...30 seconds (0+ / 0-)


                Care for more examples? Or have you finished your own guessing games for the moment?

                •  What a poor and irrelevant example (0+ / 0-)

                  They were fired for stealing. They claimed to be working, to be going on calls, but were not. Show me what you claimed: officer sees a crime, decides not to pursue, and is fired for it.

                  I've worked for state government, and time theft is one of the few things they will actually go after a person for.

                  Total fail. Care to try again?


                  •  Excuse me? (0+ / 0-)

                    They were fired for not doing their jobs (responding to calls).

                    I think you and I both know what the "total fail" here involves.  

                    •  Two very different things (0+ / 0-)

                      They were goofing off! "Going on calls" is not "responding to a crime" and you know it. They could have gone, seen some shit go down, said, "meh," then went back to the station, filed a report, and not been disciplined.

                      I refuse to argue with someone who won't argue in good faith, though, so we are done here. And I shall remember what sort of person you are, so I don't waste my time with you in the future. Good day, sir.

                      •  Are you seriously trying to argue (0+ / 0-)

                        that responding to a call for police is not "responding to a crime?" Wow. If you can be fired for not even showing up at the crime scene, in what universe would you not be fired for showing up and not doing anything?

                        These officers were fired for "dereliction of duty." Yep. See that word there? Duty.

                        Let's take a look at what one state's laws define as dereliction of duty.

                        (2) Fail to prevent or halt the commission of an offense or to apprehend an offender, when it is in the law enforcement officer’s power to do so alone or with available assistance.

                        Are you going to persist in arguing that police have no duty to, essentially, do their jobs?

                        Yeah, we're done here because you're wrong and you know it.

                        •  Okay. That is actually relevant. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          Good job. Much better than your previous attempt. I remove my accusation of arguing in bad faith. You have shown that, at least on the books, police have a duty to prevent crime and apprehend those who commit it.

                          But, has it been applied? That is the real question. I will argue that the police, in many places, act in gross dereliction of duty and get away with it regularly.

                          •  Why do you suppose those officers in Miami (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            were fired if not for "dereliction of duty?"

                            Look, I get that you don't like police, ok? But they're not all bad people out to do everything possible to aid criminals and harass innnocent citizenry.

                            And, yes, there are bad cops who get away with not doing their jobs. No system to police the police is perfect or anything even close to it. We tend to hear about those bad apples more because "Cop does job!" doesn't make it into the newspapers, even in the metro section.

    •  Actually no, they are not (0+ / 0-)
      Of course they're responsible for my safety.  
      This comes up a lot in gun control discussions.  People advocated gun rights cite self defense.  People advocated gun control say that protecting people is the cops' job.

      They are wrong.

      There have been numerous cases where police have exhibited pretty appalling negligence, allowing criminals to rape, maim, and murder innocent civilians and as far as I know there has never been a civil verdict against the police in such a case.

      In fact, some gun rights organizations are suggesting that the law should be changed so if the government prevents people from owning guns to protect themselves then the government must take legal responsibility (and liability) for protecting them.  Needless to say, pro gun control groups do not like this suggestion.

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