Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Barnes Law: Police are Not Required to Protect You


Itchy Trigger
 Share

Recommended Posts

Quote

 

"Though alarming, we simply have no affirmative right to police aid, even when a person, including a helpless child, faces imminent danger. We are all responsible for our own personal safety, whether we like it or not."

 

 

 

Interesting article, I "kinda" knew it, but did not realize it had been confirmed by the Supreme Court in multiple cases.

The Police are Not Required to Protect You — Barnes Law (barneslawllp.com)

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was shocked when I was taught this in Police Basic.

I've never forgotten it, I've advised the unbelieving public of this fact many times.

Pitifully few chose to believe, at least in that moment, that Colonel Cooper was right when he observed that "when the man in the green eyeshade is turning over the final card, your own best protector is YOU!"

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first time I read this, I was surprised, but now understand why it has to be that way.  If the police had to protect every citizen, they would potentially be liable if they didn’t.  With our litigious society the lawsuits would quickly cripple any police force.  

 

many do not understand they are on their own when it comes to protection.  Unfortunately if they ever learn this by experience it’s a painful lesson. 
 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Still hand Bill said:

The first time I read this, I was surprised, but now understand why it has to be that way.  If the police had to protect every citizen, they would potentially be liable if they didn’t.  With our litigious society the lawsuits would quickly cripple any police force.  

 

many do not understand they are on their own when it comes to protection.  Unfortunately if they ever learn this by experience it’s a painful lesson. 
 

And often a final one.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can’t convince some folks that the police are neither responsible nor equipped to provide personal protection to the general population.

 

In most cases, the job of the police is to investigate and clean up after the crime has been committed.  
 

As a previous poster says, when the final card is turned…

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Marshal Dan Troop 70448 said:

Yet many have the motto on their squad cars, "To Serve, and Protect".  

Wonder if that motto could be used in court in case of a litigation or would it be best to remove?

 

 

I take that to mean protect society as a whole, not specific individuals in that society.  When a cop pulls someone over for drunk or reckless driving he is protecting society, not a specific individual.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Marshal Dan Troop 70448 said:

Yet many have the motto on their squad cars, "To Serve, and Protect".  

Wonder if that motto could be used in court in case of a litigation or would it be best to remove?


The police “protect” the general public, not individuals.  “Protective Custody”, often provided for certain individuals, is a service to the public in the interest of justice, but not simply for that individual’s own protection.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Marshal Dan Troop 70448 said:

Yet many have the motto on their squad cars, "To Serve, and Protect".  

Wonder if that motto could be used in court in case of a litigation or would it be best to remove?

 

 ....... well, .... it doesn't say who gets "served and protected" .........   :mellow:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, Marshal Dan Troop 70448 said:

Yet many have the motto on their squad cars, "To Serve, and Protect".  

Wonder if that motto could be used in court in case of a litigation or would it be best to remove?

The article left out that police are obligated to protect you when you are inside that car in police custody.

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, sassnetguy50 said:

The article left out that police are obligated to protect you when you are inside that car in police custody.

The motto was started in the 60s by the LA Police Department and spread as these words were seen, believe it or not, from movies and TV shows showing this motto.

 

Edited by Marshal Dan Troop 70448
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Los Angeles the police patrol units all used to say “To Protect and Serve”. They no longer have that motto on their cars because they got sued for not protecting someone or a group of someones.

The LA Sheriff’s cars had something similar. They covered the motto with “Dial 911” in big letters. 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Supreme Court's reasoning was that the police simply cannot be everywhere at once, but if they ruled the police were responsible for protecting every individual, they would be sued for not being everywhere at once.  In other words, if a crackhead starts beating down a door and the homeowner calls 911, but the crackhead gets in and murders them before the police arrive, the police would be held liable.

 

As a result, police are charged with protecting society writ large.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Marshal Dan Troop 70448 said:

Yet many have the motto on their squad cars, "To Serve, and Protect".  

 

A motto that was made famous by Dragnet, but to my knowledge there are no police cars with that on their doors today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can see where the school teacher has A right to be pissed, because the cops wearing the bulletproof vest did not come in and get in the way of the bad guy shooting people.

 

But that one in Arizona - where the guy is running from the cops and jumps off the bridge into the lake. I would have stood there and watched him drown too. Now, if he swam to the shore, the cops should have run down off the bridge to the shore of the lake and got him as he came out of the water. But if he jumped in the water inAND hisIS drowning they're supposed to get him? How about if he ran out the middle of the rush hour traffic and he was about to be run over by a semi? Are they supposed to run out behind him and push him out of the way, OR are they JUST supposed to turn their head away so they don't get splashed? If he decided his best way to escape from the police was to dive into a wood chipper, should they have reached in and tried to pull him out before he got chopped up?

 

Stupid. Man that can't swim jumps into the water - he has made the decision to drown.

 

Now IF some little five or six year old kid had been playing on the railing, and fell into the lake, and the cops stood up there and watched him go glug-glug - yeah, that ain't right. But that's not what happened.

Edited by Alpo
otto erased a lot of words this time
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Cyrus Cassidy #45437 said:

The Supreme Court's reasoning was that the police simply cannot be everywhere at once, but if they ruled the police were responsible for protecting every individual, they would be sued for not being everywhere at once.  In other words, if a crackhead starts beating down a door and the homeowner calls 911, but the crackhead gets in and murders them before the police arrive, the police would be held liable.

 

As a result, police are charged with protecting society writ large.

You’re right —  police are not responsible for protecting an individual even if a known threat exists
 

I had a liberal friend for whom the first step in becoming a gun owner was becoming convinced this was true. 
 

And becoming a gun owner was his first step in becoming a conservative. 

Edited by Ozark Huckleberry
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've heard of this before.  I have a hard time relating it to situations like Uvalde.  Obviously folks other than the police thought there was a duty to protect.  Was that just a communication failure?  Was the duty to protect the kids just an issue of personal decency (missing), with no legal basis or responsibility?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While the police might not have a duty to protect you, I think they do have a duty to stop crime.

 

So if someone is beating me to death with a crowbar, and the cop is standing there, he should have the duty of stopping the crime of murder. Protecting me from being killed is just a little side thing.

 

So in a school shooting, while he may not have the duty to protect the student or the teacher, he does have the duty to stop the crime of the guy shooting up the school.

 

Doesn't he?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, Alpo said:

While the police might not have a duty to protect you, I think they do have a duty to stop crime.

 

So if someone is beating me to death with a crowbar, and the cop is standing there, he should have the duty of stopping the crime of murder. Protecting me from being killed is just a little side thing.

 

So in a school shooting, while he may not have the duty to protect the student or the teacher, he does have the duty to stop the crime of the guy shooting up the school.

 

Doesn't he?


As far as it goes, you’re correct.  However, it doesn’t mean that the police have to stand guard or even send patrols.  
 

All the more reason to provide your own personal protection and even more reason for strict enforcement of the Second Amendment!!

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's easy to confuse the idea of Duty with the concept of legal duty, the breach of which can give rise to an individual lawsuit.

 

There's nothing wrong with the concept that police have the 'duty to protect' as long as one doesn't assume that that duty is actionable by an individual. That requires special circumstances. The general duty is to the public as a whole, not to individuals. It's still a duty.

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/7/2022 at 4:23 PM, Itchy Trigger said:

 

A motto that was made famous by Dragnet, but to my knowledge there are no police cars with that on their doors today.

 

On 11/7/2022 at 4:26 PM, Rip Snorter said:

Cut to the source https://www.lapdonline.org/

 

On 11/7/2022 at 6:05 PM, Marshal Dan Troop 70448 said:

Oh yes, the Motto is still around on many departments still. I see it everyday here.


The LAPD Motto is still “To Protect and Serve”, but it was removed from their cars for a time in the 2000’s, but it looks like I was incorrect. The newer cars do have it and it’s right next to their police emblems on the doors of their black and whites. 
 

This photo is from 2020. 

LAPD_squad_car.gif

 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

 

 


The LAPD Motto is still “To Protect and Serve”, but it was removed from their cars for a time in the 2000’s, but it looks like I was incorrect. The newer cars do have it and it’s right next to their police emblems on the doors of their black and whites. 
 

This photo is from 2020. 

LAPD_squad_car.gif

 

 

 


You’ll notice that the statement is now in MUCH SMALLER print.

 

It used to take up a LOT MORE space!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Blackwater 53393 said:


You’ll notice that the statement is now in MUCH SMALLER print.

 

It used to take up a LOT MORE space!!

If I recall the motto was on the black paint in white and it was on the two rear fenders and in the back of the trunk lid. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was traveling to California every other month in the ‘90s, I remember it taking up most of the rear quarter panels on both sides!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

If I recall the motto was on the black paint in white and it was on the two rear fenders and in the back of the trunk lid. 

That's what I thought - large white block printing on the black parts of the car.

 

Maybe that was later. But here we have a screen capture of the Adam-12 parking lot. Small black cursive on the white door. To the right of the emblem, so it was under the handle on the driver's side and next to the hinge on the passenger side.

 

e557886234ca97e5e2d94af93d7fd1b9.thumb.jpg.6ee7d2f60b4d292949e4f93cd625a3be.jpg

 

This is 67 - first year of the show.

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.