The ruling by U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom came about as a result of a lawsuit filed by 15 of the students of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting back in February that resulted in the death of 17 kids.
The students were claiming they were traumatized by the incident and named six defendants in their lawsuit that included the Broward County Sheriffs Office, Deputy Scott Peterson who was the school resource officer on duty that day, the Broward County School District, and Andrew Medina who was the campus monitor.
While the judges ruling may shock some people I hope it opens their eyes to the misconception many have that the police have a duty to protect them. The Supreme Court has long held that the police have NO DUTY to protect the individual citizens. Law enforcement in America is responsible for maintaining the public order, not protecting us as individuals…
The judge writes in her ruling:
“Thus the critical question the Court analyzes is whether defendants had a Constitutional duty to protect plaintiffs from the actions of Cruz.”
The judge goes on to explain that for such a duty to exist, the plaintiffs would have to of been considered in the custody of the plaintiffs, using the example of prisoners or patients involuntarily committed to a mental hospital.
While the federal court may have shut down the lawsuit of these 15 plaintiffs based on them having “no duty” to protect, a Broward County Judge rejected an argument by Deputy Peterson’s attorney that he had “no legal duty” to protect the students allowing a lawsuit filed against him by the family of Meadow Pollack who was one of the 17 students killed that day to move forward.
Broward County Circuit Court Judge Patti Englander found that Deputy Peterson was not protected by sovereign immunity normally afforded public officials and that Deputy Peterson had a duty to the school community as someone whose job was security and who had an “obligation to act reasonably” under the circumstances of the shooting.
Morally there is no doubt in my mind that the Broward County Judge is correct but I am not so sure given the past rulings by the Supreme Wise Ones that the ruling will hold up, in the end, should it ever appear before them.
It might seem reasonable at first thought that the police should be responsible for protecting people, but if they had a legal obligation to do so the lawsuits would put them out of business… The police can not possibly be by everyone’s side all the time. Even though I think Scott Peterson should have been fired rather than allowed to retire and live off a nice retirement provided by the taxpayers he failed to even try to protect when the occasion arose requiring him to earn his paycheck, he could not possibly of saved all of those kids on that terrible day… There is no doubt though that had he engaged the shooter as fast as possible he may have prevented many from being killed.
American citizens who frequently advocate doing away with the 2nd Amendment or promote the idea that the police will protect everyone should take note of these court rulings… Especially if they failed to take note of the previous rulings where the courts have clearly made it known that the police in America have “NO DUTY TO PROTECT” the individual!