US Supreme Court, 1981: Police have no duty to protect citizens except in special circumstances

US Supreme Court decision that police have no duty to protect citizens
Another Supreme Court decision that police have no duty to protect citizens

I found this to be simply startling! If you really can’t depend on the police to protect you from harm even when they get to you 10 minutes after your call, WHY IS OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GOING FULL BORE TO RESTRICT OUR SELF PROTECTION RIGHTS??

This is the article that prompted me to look at this closer: Police NOT Obligated to Protect Citizens

Shall we try to educate the masses? Citizens need to know that they are responsible for their own defense when attacked by others with evil intent no matter what their police department leads them to believe.

This, to me, is the second most compelling reason to keep our rights to own and bear arms.

The first, of course, being a tyrannical government.


About tannngl

Believer (God the Father, the Son and Messiah, the Holy Spirit), daughter, wife, mother, memaw, RN, hobbit, street evangelist I love people, music, reading, praying, studying the Bible, keeping up with national news and politics. I am a strict constructionist, a true American. I love my country. I honor her warriors. I am thankful for our Constitution and will personally bear arms for it.
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11 Responses to US Supreme Court, 1981: Police have no duty to protect citizens except in special circumstances

  1. I think it was the Virginia Tech shooting — but I might be mistaken — where the police waited for the shooting to stop before they went in to deal with the shooter. The police chief, when interviewed, said it was a departmental requirement to not put their officers in harm’s way needlessly.

    There’s a saying in the gun culture — which I am not a member of — though I like to listen to them on our local talk radio station — “When seconds count, a cop is just minutes away.”

    Not too long ago, one of my neighbors was robbed while standing in his garage. He’d just been to the bank to pick up cash to buy a car outright and apparently someone followed him home. He lives within sight line of a police officer’s home and our mutual neighbor was there at the time. The robbery was actually thwarted by another neighbor who owns a hand gun.

    When seconds count, the police are just minutes away … or eating breakfast and not looking in your direction.


  2. tannngl says:

    What’s with that? As a nurse, if I didn’t stop and give aid to someone in a traffic accident or someone having a heart attack I would feel an awful guilt. Couldn’t do it.
    Thanks for your comment.
    More evidence for the point of the post.


  3. bullright says:

    I never heard of this case but this is so disturbing.
    “1981 a 4 – 3 decision was rendered stating that since Warren did not have a special relationship with the police department that the police were not obligated to go beyond the measures they took to protect her and the other women.”

    No special relationship. Wow, what can anyone say to that?


  4. citizenx says:

    no duty to protect citizens -individually- as a personal bodygaurd, 2 exceptions must protect 1) citizens in custody (arrest, jail), 2) where government creates danger (witness protection?). However is it not their duty and obligation to protect community at large? That is after all their job. Prosecutors, no duty to prosecute. But what about courts, I’ve heard no question of their duty, seemingly opposite, failing to protect the public by duly keeping criminals out of society, and too often in collusion with zealous prosecutors incarcerating wrong suspect (innocent citizens). Aren’t the courts supposed to protect individual civil rights? Frequently failing. Or would that be another example of governmental non-duty at taxpayer expense?


    • tannngl says:

      I think you ask a lot of good questions.

      It seems that according to the courts, the police have a duty to capture and confine those who commit crimes. Their duty of protection for citizens is only an illusion due to their arrival to catch the perpetrators. I think the community at large is indirectly or maybe directly protected when the police take criminals off the street.

      I’m not sure what you mean by the prosecutors not having duty to prosecute. I thought that was their only goal. But they are also politicians and will prosecute the innocent many times for political reasons. This is the human taint in the justice system and this justice system came from the old times, some of it based on the Old Testament of the Bible.

      I think the courts, too, have a duty to fair decisions according to our laws that are on the books. Problem is many or our laws are based on human political expedience that has nothing to do with justice. Many are put prison for minor things and today our jails are filled. Judges run the courts and many are elected as well which means they are less than altruistic in their judgments.

      You are so correct to question all of this. Much of it makes no sense.

      But my point was that we must take action to protect our selves in situations where another wants to do us harm. We can’t depend on police. We are on our own in many more ways than we know, I think.

      Thanks so much for your comments, citizenx.


  5. The mind just boggles at the mess we’ve made of our Constitutional Republic


    • tannngl says:

      I wonder if more people knew about this, would it stop the opinion of about half our citizens that the government needs to draw up more laws to restrict fire arms? It made my opinion firmer with this article.

      Of course the other part of the puzzle is to actually make criminals obey the laws already on the books. This is another statistic that is unbelievable. I don’t have it at hand right now but prosecutions for the laws already on the books is very low…maybe 30%? I’ll have to look it up. People just don’t know about these things. What good is any law if it isn’t required. Of course it also shows that the reason for these firearms restrictive laws/background checks, is for confiscation. Eventually.

      Thanks for the visit TX. And your comment.


      • Agreed. First we should try enforcing existing laws before adding more laws in a knee-jerk fashion. One of the things that was brought to mind with your post was that post you reblogged from THABTO – that criminals cannot be prosecuted for failing to register an illegal firearm, because it would violate their 5th Amendment protection…just crazy.


  6. tannngl says:

    We’re uncovering Supreme Court rulings we never knew existed. Might pay to find a summary of their rulings. Of course, they are not always good rulings…


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