The police will protect you (trust us).

 

We don’t need personal weapons.  We have the police for protection.

Yeah, I couldn’t stop laughing either.

This claim is based on several presumptions that vary from the optimistic to the outright silly.

The first is the idea that the police will actually be present to protect you.  Have you heard the old saw “There’s never a cop around when you need one”?  There’s a reason for that.  If someone is going to break the law, most of the time, they’ll do it where the police aren’t.  Those of criminal intent have the initiative.  They get to choose the time and place.  And if the police happen to be present, why then the one of criminal intent simply chooses another time and place.  There are exceptions.  Sometimes the police are the target.  Sometimes the person is committing “suicide by cop”.  In either of those cases the presence of the police is not going to stop them.  But mostly, they don’t want to have the police after them so they’ll choose a time and a place where the police aren’t present to commit their violent acts.

“But,” some say, “you can call the police and they’ll come.”

Well, maybe (we’ll get to that later), but what do you do until then?  It takes time for the police to arrive.  How long?  Five minutes?  Ten?  Twenty?  An hour?  Even if it’s a rather impressive five minutes what can happen to you in five minutes.

Until the police arrive, what do you do?  What do the police say about that?

Well look at that.  Police say you’re on your own. (And how did you like that one officer, suggesting you show the attacker your phone so they can see you’ve called the police?)

But, let’s say that you called the police, they’re on their way, and you manage to lead the person who means you violent harm a merry chase keeping yourself alive until the police arrive, what about then?  The police will protect you then, right?  They have to, right?

Well, no.  They don’t.  In Castle Rock v. Gonzales the Supreme Court determined that the police do not have a legal responsibility to protect you, not even from someone against whom you have a court ordered permanent restraining order. (Text of the Supreme Court Case)

Ah, one might say, you can’t legally require it because there are too many things that are beyond their control which can prevent it, but police are generally good and decent people and they’ll at least try if they’re there.

Maybe.  But you cannot count on it.

In New York, police stood back and watched as a Joseph Lozito struggled with a man who had stabbed four people to death during a 28 hour rampage.  The police officers, who were sitting in a cab right next to the attack, waited until Lozito had subdued the killer, and had been stabbed seven times in the process.

Lozito sued.  The police officers were right there, positioned to watch it happen.  And did nothing until it was all over.

Case dismissed.

And, more recently, we have seen “protests” by the so-called “Antifa” (They say “Anti Fascist” but their actions more resemble the Fascists themselves and they could more accurately be described as Anti-First-Amendment) protestors assaulting people  for saying the wrong things, for wearing the wrong clothing, or simply for being in the way.

And what were the police doing?  Let’s see what they have to say:

So, will the police act to protect you?  Maybe.  If you’re really, really lucky.  But you cannot count on it.

You’re on your own.

 

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