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No duty to protect

A group of Parkland shooting survivors are suing the Sheriff’s department:

Incompetence, poor training and inaction cost lives in the Valentines Day shootings that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, 15 current or former students claim in a new federal lawsuit.

The suit says the 15 suffered at least, psychological injury and trauma during the Feb. 14 mass shootings, which left 14 students and three adults dead and 17 other people injured.

Courts have ruled in the past that cops have no duty to protect you.

7 Responses to “No duty to protect”

  1. Ken in NH Says:

    IANAL, but I would try the theory that while any individual LEO does not have a duty to place himself in harms way to protect me, this is different because a pair (or more?) of LEOs ordered others, who might have been willing, to not engage contra written policy.

  2. Tirno Says:

    They might have a basis for alleging negligence on the part of the sheriff’s department for poor training and/or tolerance of incompetence in their deputies. One does not have a basis to sue on the theory that the cops didn’t defend one in a particular circumstance, but there is some precedent for suing a law enforcement agency for their officers being generally incompetent in an area where general competence is required.

  3. rickn8or Says:

    I’m betting on an out-of-court settlement; BCSO doesn’t want a lot of things coming out in open court testimony.

  4. Ron W Says:

    But “March for Our Lives” demands, ” no guns in our schools”….except they want the police guns to arrive instanteously to protect them. Well mainly, they want to take ours away–to be enforced by the guns which never arrive in time.

  5. Jim W Says:

    The closest I can come up with is to allow a suit to proceed based on negligence in training and department policy, using the following theory

    That police have a duty to protect the public, and that includes following best practices in active shooter scenarios. “Wait outside for SWAT” is an approach that was discredited many years ago. Almost all departments follow a “charge straight in” approach because it works.

    Failure to maintain best practices prevented an effective response to the shooter and lead to increased casualties.

    There’s your duty of care and your cause and effect. Following this rule would encourage departments to not follow the Florida or Vegas scripts where there is a shooter but the cops wait outside unless everyone is dead.

  6. Ron W Says:

    I suppose the FBI gets a pass for not acting on a “see something, say something” report of the perp’s criminal threat to shoot up the school on social media. And a “Kill the NRA” billboard criminal threat is OK too.

  7. nk Says:

    The kids who were actually shot, or the families of those who died, may have a case. But nobody has a duty to keep you safe from “psychological injury and trauma” because a scary guy with a gun shot other people. Just go to church and light a candle that you weren’t shot.

    But this is Coward County we’re talking about. Why should the general run of the population be any better than its government?