I Just Wanted To Say...

What is your problem?

Name:
Location: Georgia, United States

I am me. More than I was, less than I will be. This is difficult. Facts-female, southern, mother and grandmother. Abstract-a Christian, a loner, intelligent, somewhat arrogant, impatient with stupidity, an unusual sense of humor.

10/08/2005

Castle Rock v. Gonzales

Working in the court system, I come across things that the general public doesn't hear about. The following story and the link is an example.

Castle Rock v. Gonzales
The background- a woman has a protective order for herself and limited visitation order pertaining to her children against her estranged abusive husband. Husband abducts the three girls. She calls the police repeatedly and they do nothing, not believing the husband to be a threat to the girls. Even after he has violated the terms of his limited visitation, they still do nothing to try and recover the girls. The next morning, he drives to a police station and shoots repeatedly through the windows. Suicide by cop. After the police kill him, they find the three girls in his truck, murdered. Mother sues the police department for failing to protect her and the children.

Case goes to court, mother wins; there is an appeal by the department, mother wins in the appellate court; department appeals higher and mother loses.

Why? Because police have no constitutional obligation to protect individuals from private individuals.

Read the excerpt:
http://www.kscourts.org/ca10/cases/2002/10/01-1053a.htm
In rejecting the substantive due process argument, the Court pointed out that "nothing in the language of the Due Process Clause itself requires the State to protect the life, liberty, and property of its citizens against invasion by private actors." Id. at 195.
If the Due Process Clause does not require the State to provide its citizens with particular protective services, it follows that the State cannot be held liable under the Clause for injuries that could have been averted had it chosen to provide them. As a general matter, then, we conclude that a State's failure to protect an individual against private violence simply does not constitute a violation of the Due Process Clause.
The Court also pointed out that although the state may have been aware of the dangers faced by the plaintiff in DeShaney, "it played no part in their creation, nor did it do anything to render him any more vulnerable to them." Id. at 201.

This decision was not a fluke. There are a number cases dating as far back as 1856. That year, the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of South v. Maryland found that law enforcement officials have no affirmative duty to proactively protect an individual.

So the police are not obligated under the law to protect me against another individual. Which leads me around to the subject of gun-control. If the police are not obligated to protect me, then do I not have the obligation, the right, to protect myself and what is mine? Should I not be allowed the opportunity to protect myself?

I don't know if knowledge of the fact that the police have no obligation to protect you from a known threat would have any effect on the mind-set of people who advocate that no private citizens be allowed to have weapons, but it might be interesting to find out. Maybe I'll bring it up among people that I know are gun-control advocates and just see.

3 Comments:

Blogger Cosmic Siren said...

I would like to see they're response too.

What are you supposed to do? Though I do know that in Oklahoma, you can report your ex and get something done in short order if you have the divorce decree. I've known people who've done it - and abused it. I think it's the same in Texas too.

1:04 AM  
Blogger Phelps said...

Allowed hell, you had it right the first time. You have a right and duty to do so.

(Hence my letting friends pay me over time to get a rifle today, just to make sure they are a part of our Nation of Riflemen. Got another $60 on an SKS I sold a friend about six months ago yesterday.)

4:10 PM  
Blogger Mexigogue said...

I'm just reading this entry for the first time. I must bookmark it for future reference. It makes great debate ammo.

5:00 PM  

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