Police Have NO Duty To Protect Individuals


There is much ado, particularly where I live in St. Clair County, about budget shortfalls and the resulting lay-offs of police. The media is commenting on possible “safety” issues and residents express concern over lack of protection. In reality, there is no protection by police. That is not their job. If it were, then there would be some remedy at law for their failing to protect anyone. People have made such a claim in the past and the courts have opined on the fallacious belief that police are for anyone’s protection.

People are responsible for their own protection. It is insane to think that another man will respond to a plea for help from someone he has never met in such fashion so as to prevent imminent harm, or to otherwise identify impending harm and prevent it. People disarm themselves and rely upon an emergency phone call to keep them from violence. Government prefers it that way, because for every case where an individual suffered harm, they ask for more money to pay more police; lending to the perception that one day we all will have our own armed guard.

Now, if police actually addressed crime, that being violent acts perpetrated by people against people rather than legislative prohibitions such as drugs, motor vehicles, ordinance violations… there would be less demand for such police and thereby lower budgets. It has gotten to the point where police inject themselves into our private affairs, not because they care for our safety, but because they are looking for any possible transgression for which to arrest someone and reap financial gain for the State through fines. This also applies to roadside checkpoints where they look for seatbelt violations and impaired drivers. It is an illusion of safety, when it is really a revenue generating endeavor. The State profits from the imperfections of people. I am not threatened by unlicensed or un-belted drivers, nor am I threatened by someone who has a .1 blood alcohol level and competently operates their vehicle.

Fewer police does not mean more safety, it means more freedom to non-violent people. More police means a false sense of security by insecure or frightened people who want everyone to pay for their illusory safety.

Forget about police having a duty to protect you. There is no such thing. I’ve linked to court cases which say the same thing.

“Protect and to serve”, is as binding as “Good to the Last Drop”: IT IS ONLY A SLOGAN as the following court rulings clearly indicate:

Bowers v. DeVito, 686 F.2d 616 (7th Cir. 1982) (no federal constitutional requirement that police provide protection)

Calogrides v. Mobile, 475 So. 2d 560 (Ala. 1985); Cal Govt. Code 845 (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Davidson v. Westminster, 32 Cal.3d 197, 185, Cal. Rep. 252; 649 P.2d 894 (1982) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Stone v. State 106 Cal.App.3d 924, 165 Cal Rep. 339 (1980) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Morgan v. District of Columbia, 468 A.2d 1306 (D.C.App. 1983) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C.App 1981) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Sapp v. Tallahassee, 348 So.2d 363 (Fla. App. 1st Dist.), cert. denied 354 So.2d 985 (Fla. 1977); Ill. Rec. Stat. 4-102 (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Keane v. Chicago, 98 Ill. App.2d 460, 240 N.E.2d 321 (1st Dist. 1968) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Jamison v. Chicago, 48 Ill. App. 3d 567 (1st Dist. 1977) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Simpson’s Food Fair v. Evansville, 272 N.E.2d 871 (Ind. App.) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Silver v. Minneapolis, 170 N.W.2d 206 (Minn. 1969) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Wuetrich V. Delia, 155 N.J. Super. 324, 326, 382, A.2d 929, 930 cert. denied 77 N.J. 486, 391 A.2d 500 (1978) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Chapman v. Philadelphia, 290 Pa. Super. 281, 434 A.2d 753 (Penn. 1981) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Morris v. Musser, 84 Pa. Cmwth. 170, 478 A.2d 937 (1984) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)


6 thoughts on “Police Have NO Duty To Protect Individuals

  1. Com Menter says:

    I think you missed a few cases from the SCOTUS, to wit:

    Castle Rock v. Gonzales (2005)


    Bowers v Devito (1982)

    Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App.181)

    South v Maryland (1856)

    I could go on, but, you get the idea (that you could have gone on.) Cops are there to feed the machine, not to serve or protect me or you.

  2. Neighborwatch says:

    You say the police have No duty to protect us, but is that not what they are hired for? To protect me, my property, and well being? I have read some of your paragraphs and am a little confused on some of your conclusions. It sounds to me you feel all police are corrupt. I have met many people in that position and I do not feel that is true. That is like saying that a nurse is corrupt. that they don’t have a responsibility to you. While most repeat an oath, to nurse someone doesn’t require it. It means compassion for your fellow man. Can’t a police officer feel the same way?

    • Mark McCoy says:

      No, they have NO duty. That is not what they are hired for. If you look at any of the cases cited you will see that is very clear, as stated by the courts. Their job is to enforce statutes and ordinances. If there were a duty there would be a corresponding penalty for violating that duty. The police take no oath binding themselves to the people. The whole system is upside down.

      What is commonly referred to as the “police power” of the State is the inherent right to legislate for the “health, safety, and welfare” of the “citizens”. It is NOT the police as we know it. That is a private enforcement agency who has been empowered with the power to arrest only upon probable cause or upon warrant. The people have the same power, they just don’t know it. Even though a private individual cannot arrest merely upon probable cause, they do possess the power of arrest when witnessing a crime. You can’t arrest your neighbor for having tall grass, but you can if you see him committing a crime against another.

      Just because police inject themselves into private affairs and make arrests does not make that their job. It is merely for perception to seduce people into thinking they are there for them. A police officer can feel nothing. People feel. Police are fictions. They take no legally binding oath. There is no duty established by law which commands them to obey or lose their office. They are a fiction of the legislature. They are not elected by the people and therefore not controlled by the people. You have to rethink the whole sworn officer misconception.

      Read some of the referenced cases and then reconcile what the courts have held and what you are told. It will be very different. The next time you speak with a cop, ask to see his oath of office or ask who swore him into office and if he has an obligation to protect anyone. Go ahead….ask.

    • Mark McCoy says:

      Police are nothing but employees of the municipality. They are not officers. They have no binding oath. They have no duty. Where in law does that duty exist? I could raise my hand and swear an oath, but what if i violate it? Where is the recourse for those who claim I owed a duty to them? Will they go into court and say, “Mark McCoy swore to protect us.” How is that legally binding?
      If you understand the law behind public office and a binding oath you will find the police do not take an oath to protect anybody. If they fail, you have no recourse. Police are not corrupt. Men are corrupt, and many hide behind the persona of being a police officer in order to shield themselves from liability for their actions.
      A nurse has responsibilities assigned through her employment or law. If the hospital has a policy stating that someone coming in with a gunshot wound will be denied treatment unless they agree to file a police report and you come in with a gunshot wound refusing to file a police report the nurse would be prohibited from treating you regardless of whatever oath she took.
      If people have compassion for their fellow-man then they will choose to be compassionate whether they are employed as a police officer, nurse, or otherwise. A police officer feels no compassion. People feel compassion. However, someone who claims to be compassionate while at the same time committing injustice by using their position to harass or assault people engaged in peaceable activities is not compassionate.
      The next time you speak to a police officer, ask them what oath they took, who gave the oath, and where in writing can that oath be found. Ask them if they can be sued or arrested for failing to protect anyone. Ask them if there is a duty to protect you or anybody. I think you’ll be surprised as to their answer.
      Read the court cases that are in this post. The courts have said as much. These are not merely my conclusions.

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