Judge: Cops, School Had No Duty to Protect Parkland Students

Scot Peterson Broward County Parkland Shooting Waited Outside

Following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and the revelations of multiple failures on various levels on the part of those in positions of responsibility that day and in the months before the incident, fifteen students filed a lawsuit against the school district and the Broward County Sheriff’s Department.

Those named in the lawsuit include former school resource Deputy Scot Peterson, Broward Sheriff’s Office Capt. Jan Jordan, former MSD baseball coach and security guard Andrew Medina, Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and three unidentified BSO deputies referred to as John Does 1-3.

The current and now former students who sued claimed severe psychological injury and trauma. You might have thought that given the sterling performances of people like Runcie, Peterson, Jordan and Israel, they’d have a good case that those in whom they place their trust had utterly failed to do their jobs. All of the defendants had multiple warnings that Nikolas Cruz was a danger to himself and others.

The lawsuit argued that the Sheriff’s Office and School Board “either have a policy that allows killers to walk through a school killing people without being stopped. Alternatively, they have such inadequate training that the individuals tasked with carrying out the polices … lack the basic fundamental understandings of what those policies are such that they are incapable of carrying them out.”

Both of those assertions may, in fact, be true. However…

A federal judge says Broward schools and the Sheriff’s Office had no legal duty to protect students during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

While that may seem surprising, the ruling in the Parkland students’ suit is consistent with previous case law. In Castle Rock v. Gonzales and the earlier DeShaney v. Winnebago County, the Supreme Court held that police and other public employees have no constitutional duty to protect the public from harm.

In her Parkland lawsuit ruling, US District Judge Beth Bloom wrote:

“The claim arises from the actions of [shooter Nikolas] Cruz, a third party, and not a state actor,” she wrote in a ruling Dec. 12. “Thus, the critical question the Court analyzes is whether defendants had a constitutional duty to protect plaintiffs from the actions of Cruz.

“As previously stated, for such a duty to exist on the part of defendants, plaintiffs would have to be considered to be in custody” — for example, as prisoners or patients of a mental hospital, she wrote.

As so many have pointed out over the years, individuals are their own first responders. Even the most dedicated police officers — those who don’t wait outside a building while a killer is shooting children inside — can’t respond to a situation quickly enough to save your life if you’re confronted by someone with a firearm.

That realization is no doubt a big part of why the Parkland commission that investigated the shooting recently voted 13-1 to recommend arming teachers and administrators in pubic schools. It’s the only rational way to protect students in “gun-free” zones. And the only thing those who fight against such policies and bury their heads in the hoplophobic sand accomplish is to endanger more innocent lives.

 

 

comments

  1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

    Go all the way to the Supreme court. Best remedy is private school or home school.

    1. avatar Felix says:

      Did you not read that this issue of “duty to protect the public” has already gone to the Supreme Court twice?

      1. avatar Dev says:

        Because the Supreme Court has never reversed previous rulings?

        1. avatar Kyle says:

          We really dont want them to reverse this one.

          If cops have a “duty to protect” then that can be a rational to disarm and overturn the 2nd amendment. Why should we need it, we have cops to “save us”.

          They then, will “fail at this duty” as it a tactical and logistical impossibility to accomplish.

          So then their will be plenty of payouts to attorneys and families of dead people that the cities and counties will be bankrupted paying, but we will be no safer….and disarmed.

        2. avatar Nate says:

          My understanding was that the police weren’t required to protect individuals but public as a whole. How the f*ck are kids supposed to be their first responders when weapons aren’t allowed in schools? Government says kids are required to go to school. States often, though not always, make homeschooling difficult. Government then says not responsible for kid’s well-being. BS. Kids aren’t “in custody”… Yeah, right. Schools used to call police on students walking out of school in 2003… All parents have signed their kids in at the start of the year, then dropped them off, for the past century, with the understanding or belief that the schools will protect them while away from the home and providing them with an education. This is why me and the wife chose to homeschool…

      2. avatar Amar says:

        The decision said that there was no CONSTITUTIONAL duty for the police to protect the students. I am guessing they considered that because this was not a state actor, as the article says, but a third party–implying that they had no duty under state law.

        This makes zero sense to me; if police have no duty to protect us, why pay them? Perhaps their duty arises under county or municipal law–but surely there is a duty there, which they did not honor.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      The SCOTUS has already been there, and with a case that lays bare what a crock the position that “the police are there to protect you” is.

      The case is Castle Rock v. Gonzales, (2005), and the court found that, even when you have a court order, there is no “enforceable property right” created by such court orders to have the police provide protection.

      https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/04-278.ZS.html

      This case comports with many other cases, at both a federal and state level, that hold that the job of the police is to “enforce the law,” not provide protection to any individual not in their custody.

      In short: If you are a law-abiding citizen, the police are have no duty to protect you, the citizen, at a personal level. If, and only if, you are under arrest/detained/imprisoned, are the police required to protect you, the individual.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Yep, they have a duty to protect the perp but not the victim.

      2. avatar Mike says:

        Who then will protect me, the perpetual victim?
        I guess if my safety is on me, I’ll just keep my guns, thank you VERY much.
        Where have all the survivors gone? All we seem to have these days is victim culture, which is perfect, because victim-hood is passivity, and the passive don’t speak up. The difference between a victim and a survivor is the choice, so, where have all the survivors gone?
        Would have been nice to see their faces when the court told them that police are not bodyguards, and that if they want a bodyguard, they’d have to hire their own.

        1. avatar SNORT says:

          check out the movie DEMOLITION MAN!

    3. avatar J says:

      LEOs have no duty to protect or serve anyone. There are court rulings all the way back to 1850 saying this.

      A few case rulings to check out would be Warren vs DC and Gonzales vs Castle Rock.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “A few case rulings to check out would be Warren vs DC and Gonzales vs Castle Rock.”

        A more enlightening case would be Griswold v. Connecticut. This is the SC decision that enshrined the “Penumbra” theory into SC power to legislate. Establishing the idea that courts are to “read between the lines” of laws/legislation, and find government, or individual rights, not enumerated in the constitution. One might say it is the root of all evil.

        OTH, amendments 9 and 10 declare that rights exist that are not enumerated, or specifically called out in the constitution. Since those rights reserved to the States are not specifically listed, the illumination of those rights must come from somewhere. Since the federal government has no universal and updated list of retained rights, the courts decided they were the final arbiter (Marbury v. Madison). Thus, the courts declared their power to legislate from the bench. To counter, the states, via congress, could pass legislation declaring/illuminating rights in specific cases, guiding the courts. The congress has the power to limit the courts, but the courts will probably declare such limits unconstitutional.

  2. avatar GS650G says:

    Just like taht famous SCOTUS decision that paved the way for CCW. You are on your own.

  3. avatar GS650G says:

    BSO breathed a huge sigh of relief. Next they will sue the gun company, store, and bullet makers for their negligence in failing to stop Cruz despite the authorities failing to stop Cruz.
    Because a judge isn’t going to save companies like he did the authorities and taxpayers who hired them.

    1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

      Pretty sure commerce clause and 20+ years worth of case history says otherwise

      1. avatar bryan1980 says:

        Don’t think for a minute they won’t try. All of the defendants will still have to spend money mounting a legal defense.

        1. avatar Big Bill says:

          Those defendants have a legal team on retainer. The costs of such a defense should (emphasis on should) be minimal, as the courts should simply dismiss the case as having no merit under the law.

    2. avatar J says:

      Aurora parents already tried that with luckygunner and failed spectacularly. They lost their house paying luckygunners legal fees.

  4. avatar Kman says:

    I don’t want or expect anyone to protect me and mine.
    I do expect them to not strip me of my 2A rights to do the job myself.
    Subjects vs free men.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Unfortunately we will get disarmament and little safety in the bargain.

      1. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

        yea, ask the average Venezuelan citizen how their Socialist Paradise is working for them…especially now after they were forcibly disarmed by their dictator in 2012 (they can’t resist or fight the thugs…whether government ones, gang ones or the random individual preying on them).

        I recently had a discussion, citing Venezuela, with a Socialist-leaning person I know and his response was…”we [sic] won’t make the same mistakes in the USA”? WTF?

      2. avatar J says:

        “We will get disarmament”

        They might try, they will fail in spectacular fashion, just like prohibition.

        Goodbye America, hello breakdown of law and order.

  5. avatar Mercutio says:

    End Game: Gov’t has NO duties, only authority.

    1. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

      Yep. Leftists’ dream.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Not so. Firefighters and EMS have a duty to respond. Firefighters/departments and EMS companies/paramedics/EMTs have been sued and sued successfully for failure to respond, failure to attend, failure to act at the scene as a “reasonable” hypothetical other EMT would, etc. If you’re a FF/EMT and you’re paid, and you’re on duty, you have a duty to respond.

      Only police have a special carve-out in the law that allows them to blow off requests for aid from a citizen.

      1. avatar R3 says:

        Lets arm firefighters

      2. avatar Freeheel says:

        Not entirely accurate. While duty to act laws excist for FF/EMT’s that duty to act ends where scene safety begins. No duty to act laws require FF/EMTs to enter and provide care while an active shooter is shooting. They simply stay in the cold zone and wait to be cleared in by police. Sure like some police officers there are some FF/EMT’s willing to enter before cleared to attempt to help injured victims, but just like PD that action is not mandated by law. So when it comes to dangerous/deadly events literally no one is coming police, fire or ems.

  6. avatar GunnyGene says:

    Well the plaintiffs suing the cops and school lost their case. Bet they don’t like that, but beyond that, is the question about who does have the duty to protect? Seems like somebody will have to rewrite the rules.

    The ruling also has implications for other GFZ’s such as retail businesses, hospitals, court houses, public parks, etc.

  7. avatar Shire-man says:

    Governments the world over don’t want you protecting yourself and won’t to protect you. It’s almost like politicians regardless of nation, party or system want all us useless feeders dead.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      They don’t want us dead, they just want us disarmed and helpless. After that, us being alive is fine, they do need servants.

  8. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Yep, they have no duty to protect you and you have no right to protect yourself. Shut up and pay your taxes.

    1. avatar Warlocc says:

      I was thinking the same. Funny how they can strip our right to defend ourselves, and also rule there’s no duty to do it themselves.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        And you’re going to pay them to sit in their cars two blocks away drinking coffee and eating donuts while your children are being slaughtered. And you’d better pretend you like it.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      And thanks to LEO pensions, in some states you’re going to pay through the nose – twice.

  9. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    Oh no! The (Half) Truth About Guns strikes again! I thought that tactic was retired when Farago bailed.
    While this federal court ruled as reported here, a state court ruled in the opposite manner:

    “In that case, Peterson’s lawyer sought to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the family of one of those killed in the massacre. Broward Circuit Judge Patti Englander Henning rejected his argument that Peterson had “no legal duty” to protect the students and faculty. Englander Henning found that Peterson, whose job was security, had a duty and an “obligation to act reasonably” under the circumstances.”

    Now, we’ll see how this issue plays out in the courts, especially from a state vs. federal aspect, but why didn’t TTAG report the totality of the story? Is one facet of it more enticing, more click-bait worthy?

    1. Unlike the state court ruling, this federal court decision is wholly consistent with previous Supreme Court precedent, to which we linked. That lower court ruling isn’t going anywhere.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Question: If state and federal governments can try the same crimes (one crime, two court systems), can the plaintiffs recover in state court, when they cannot in federal court? If a criminal is acquitted in state court, and found guilty in federal court, the criminal goes to jail, anyway. Could not the plaintiffs recover in state court what they are forbidden in federal?

        1. avatar EWTHeckman says:

          Further questions. Where these the same suits, where one was an appeal? Or were they separate? When was the state level ruling made?

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Further questions. Where these the same suits, where one was an appeal? Or were they separate? When was the state level ruling made?”

          The issue is one of sovereignty.

          If a person pursues a case first through the federal system, and is denied award, can the person initiate a state-level case that does award?

          It is a matter of equity before the law. To date, dual sovereignty seems only to work for governments who want to exact revenge, not justice. And the traffic is only one way. If both state and federal jurisdiction exists, should it not be possible that a sovereign state can rule however it desires, and the federal system not be allowed to interfere. The result might be sticky (the subject wins in state, but cannot travel outside the state), but should dual sovereignty benefit only government?

        3. avatar Geoff "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" PR says:

          Sam, if memory serves, in some states citizens are required to at least attempt to render aid in a casualty event, like a car crash.

          If true, why isn’t the same required by ‘public servants’, who’s salary is paid for by the public?

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          ” If true, why isn’t the same required by ‘public servants’, who’s salary is paid for by the public?”

          Understand your thinking, but “rendering aid” likely does not imply intervening in a deadly situation while in progress. Rather, “rendering aid” would more likely include first aid after a deadly situation ends. It would be quite interesting if “rendering aid” were extended to a requirement to enter into a gunfight in progress.

          If we read carefully, the courts are only declaring that there is no implied, implicit, moral obligation for police to “protect” the public. However, it would be informative to see what happens in a case where state or local law requires police to protect.

        5. avatar Mark N. says:

          No. Once and done. The reason a criminal action may be tried in both federal and state court is that the same act may violate separate federal and state statutes. In the civil system, you can only have one recovery, and if you lose in a case that results in a final judgment, principles of res judicata (the thing has been adjudicated) bar relitigation in a separate forum. This suggests that the federal court case involved different plaintiffs.

        6. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Is deprivation of a civil right criminal or civil?

        7. avatar Big Bill says:

          “The result might be sticky (the subject wins in state, but cannot travel outside the state), but should dual sovereignty benefit only government?”
          “,,,(the subject wins in state, but cannot travel outside the state)…”
          IANAL, but I posit:
          If a perp commits an act that violates a state’s law, that state can prosecute that person. If that person is found not guilty, he can safely travel to another state because he didn’t violate that other state’s laws while in that state.
          OTOH, if a person commits crimes in several states that violate the laws of those states, and is found not guilty in one of those states, he can still be tried (after being extradited or voluntarily traveling to) in any of the other ‘violated’ states.
          As I see it, anyway.

        8. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “OTOH, if a person commits crimes in several states that violate the laws of those states, and is found not guilty in one of those states, he can still be tried (after being extradited or voluntarily traveling to) in any of the other ‘violated’ states.”

          You could be right about that.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Dan, I suspect you’re wrong, because there’s a difference here. This was not a cop (although he was an off duty cop), this was a private security guard, who was IN FACT hired and paid to defend those students, that was his job! Video demonstrates he did not even try. I suspect his pension is in danger of being assigned to others.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          Huh? Peterson was assigned to the school to provide some level of security, but he was on duty as a deputy sheriff, not as a private citizen. In my state they call them “resource officers,” meaning that they have duties in addition to providing a police response in case of an incident. My understanding is that Peterson had a similar role, but I cannot recall his specific title.

        2. avatar Xaun Loc says:

          No he was NOT “an off duty cop” hired as a private security guard. He was a county sheriff’s deputy ON DUTY assigned to protect the school.

          Try to get at least some of your facts right

        3. avatar Oliver Harrington says:

          What is left out about the Parland shooting is the perp already had an order for confinement but the authorities failed to carry it out.

      3. avatar 4808 N says:

        Do you think they’ll get a better ruling in a civil court? Like Ron Goldman’s family?

    2. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

      I see that you failed to note that the federal judge has precedent and SCOTUS behind him. The state judge has bupkus.

  10. avatar kap says:

    All they want is Money! and they will not accomplish anything constructive, somebody else’s failure not me, sad that they believe the Democratic Party agenda of cradle to grave “but we cannot protect you”!
    Democratic party does not give a sh*t about you the American citizens only Illegal immigrants and how much power they have!

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Same voters who repeatedly vote for the guy who promises the exact same free stuff they were promised at the last election, too stupid to understand that there is no free lunch, and they’re being lied to.

  11. avatar MB says:

    The police exist to arrest the criminal after the crime has been committed, and draw chalk lines around the body. I prefer they draw chalk lines around the criminal, we will make sure he stops moving so they can. You are responsible for you, if you happen to protect someone else in the process, great, but you can’t rely on police to protect you 24x7x365. I carry a gun everywhere, even in my home.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      MB,

      In general I agree — especially with respect to ADULTS going about their business and pleasure in both private and public settings.

      However, we are not talking about autonomous adults going about their business and pleasure. Instead, we are talking about children who are in the care and responsibility of the school. It is blatantly obvious that adults who are responsible for children are legally responsible for the well-being of the children, as borne out in child abuse, neglect, and endangerment laws.

      And yet the judge stated that school personnel, security, school resource officers, and the Broward County Sheriff, “… had no legal duty to protect students during the shooting … for such a duty to exist on the part of defendants, plaintiffs would have to be considered to be in custody”.

      So, according to that ruling, children are not in the custody of the schools that they attend. Wow! Just, wow!

      I am surprised that no one else noticed that gem.

      1. avatar MB says:

        I’m all for allowing parents with CCW/LTC to stand guard in our schools, same with former/retired military and police. All civilians who want to volunteer should be considered. Arm any teachers, administrators & staff that qualify, as strictly volunteer basis, compensate they with training and continuing education.

  12. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    I hope the coward, SRO, and the other Seven cowards, deputies, who did not enter the school building to stop the shooting are successful in saying,

    “I don’t have to save your life, if I don’t want to.”

    Then finally the rest of the country will know what the rest of us know. You, are your first line of defense. And a school teacher is the first line of defense for school children.

    Arm teachers who volunteer. The FASTER program is the best organized solution. But individual teachers should be allowed to CCW at school.

    But what to Liberal gun owners have to say?

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Arm teachers who volunteer. Fire teachers who do not volunteer. Are your children worth protecting, or is it more important to support snowflakes who would watch your kids slaughtered rather than protect them? We want 100% armed teachers. Raise salaries $1000/year as opposed to paying guards $80,000/year.

      1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        Larry in TX
        I agree. And I like the pay increase for teachers. Instead of $$$$ for armed guards, that I no longer trust. As far As I’m concerned, armed guards at schools are worthless.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      The other seven officers were ordered by the incident commander to NOT enter the building. Because she was an idiot or had not received the appropriate training for such an incident. She too was fired. So they were just following orders by setting up a perimeter.

      1. avatar Southern Cross says:

        Were they hoping to negotiate with the promise of a million dollars and a plane to Cuba?

        I hope Nik Cruz did get to Cuba. Namely Guantanamo Bay.

      2. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        Mark N.
        The white woman (Lesbian?) was an “affirmative action” hire. She got the job for “diversity” reasons.

        “In this clip, you can hear Sheriff Scott Israel describe that essentially Jordan was hired because she was a woman and would balance out the team’s mostly male staff.”

        The seven cowards were there before the white female Affirmative Action hire showed up to make matters even worse. Its seems ALL of the badge cam audio recordings for every LEO present at the school, were examined. A time line has been established.

        “The Sun-Sentinel reports “seven Broward deputies, including the school resource officer, heard shots, but none ran into the school to confront and kill the shooter”

        http://thefederalist.com/2018/12/06/5-things-the-mainstream-media-wont-tell-you-about-the-parkland-shooting/

        I believe every person working for the Sheriffs department in Broward county should be terminated. Let everyone re-apply for their jobs. And then prove they are worth keeping. The government, LEO, Labor union is protecting the guilty.

    3. avatar Elaine D. says:

      To me this is one of those “no good solution available” things. why?

      1. I work with a lot of teachers as clients. Not one of them would agree to carry a weapon as part of their job. Hell no! They trained to teach, not to do law enforcement work. They would rather quit their job or find a school that hires separate security than carry a gun at work. Or change careers. I have not talked to one teacher yet who feels differently. And I understand that, because:

      2. Having worked in schools quite a bit and been present at a scenario that was one gun away from a school shooting, what I know about kids is that they’re smart. They can get just about anything you have on you or in your purse. That would include a gun. I don’t see how teachers can supervise classes of 30 kids in overcrowded schools without risking their firearm at many different points, with unpredictable results – another reason teachers will not accept that liability, at least not the ones I know. Because there’s no doubt that that if a teacher shoots the wrong person or a kid steals a gun and shoots someone with it, that teacher’s career is over anyway. Let alone going to jail for it. For what teachers get paid, that’s not even remotely worth it.

      3. As someone who has both worked in schools and works hard at training including force on force active shooter training, I absolutely do not think most people have the skills to deal with such a situation in a mass chaos environment. I have more than most, and I would not want to be put in that position.

      No good answers here at this point.

      1. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

        …Gosh, just because I don’t know any…there must not be any….

        Presumptuous, aren’t you?

        Just a guess that “all” the teachers you know are probably Democrats.

        The female firearms instructor that I assist has had a number of female / male teachers welcome the training she conducts…to the extent that they enroll for the force-on-force and scenario-based training conducted in the advanced classes.

        A simple search will reveal many States, counties and school districts that are allowing, nay, even encouraging, qualified teaching staff and non-teaching staff to lawfully carry a firearm on school grounds.

        1. avatar Elaine D. says:

          Chris asked what a liberal gun owner would say. I said my piece. You do not seem to be a liberal gun owner, so I’m not sure why you felt the need to reply to what I had to say.

          I am pretty sure that requiring teachers to be armed or introducing more arms into schools in this way has a high risk of leading to the exodus of good teachers from teaching as a career. Based on my work with teachers and in schools. That’s what I have to say about it.

      2. avatar Chip in Florida says:

        “…They trained to teach, not to do law enforcement work”

        They are not being asked to do law enforcement work. They are being allowed to excercise their right to self defense. If the teacher doesn’t want to carry a firearm that’s ok. What is not ok is that same teacher telling others they can’t carry either.

        1. avatar 4808 N says:

          All armed teachers would be volunteers. To say they would be doing “law enforcement “ work is dishonest and intellectually shallow.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “To say they would be doing “law enforcement “ work is dishonest and intellectually shallow.”

          Did you intend the sentence to contain a redundancy?

      3. avatar Troubled Soul says:

        Your no different than the doctors who think because they see some gun shot wounds that it makes them an expert on “gun violence “.
        All they have is the same as you have and that is just antidotal evidence
        It’s not a study nor statistical evidence.
        There are teachers who would carry
        And no one is suggesting that they are going to be doing police work
        They are not going to be clearing rooms like the military
        And I am going to guess that in the cases where the shooters breached the class room door that no teacher ever thought “God I’m glad I don’t have a gun “
        Now I don’t have any evidence regarding their what their last thought was either.
        But you have no evidence that any of your fear mongering of what terrible things will happen if teachers are armed is going to be true
        That is no different than those who screech that those who open carry are setting themselves up to be shot first.
        There is No evidence.
        A man (woman) should know his limitations.

      4. avatar Alex Wilson says:

        Elaine: You do make some excellent points. The recently released study on the subject of School Safety by the DOE does point out there is no “One Size Fits All” solution. The areas where some school staff, whether administrators coaches or teachers, choose to be armed are most likely rural areas where law enforcement response will take 20 minutes or more and even then is likely to a single officer. The individuals who choose to be armed at a school are likely to be military veterans or former or retired law enforcement officers. There are, in rural areas, a higher percentage of individuals who meet this definition.
        Your point number 3. Minimizing chaos. The best response to minimize casualties both from an active shooter and from “friendly fire” is for schools to hold drills so students know how to take shelter and get out of the line of fire. Even so it is possible a student may be hit by “friendly fire”. This does happen both in police shootouts and in combat fire fights. Never the less this preferable to defenseless students being killed by an armed attacker. Only training and the a proper mental attitude can be effective in this type of situation. In my personal experience the best responders to an active shooter situation are those of us who have “seen the elephant” before in combat or an active shooter situation. There is a lot more I can suggest on this subject if you care to discuss this further.
        My Twitter Id is Alex Wilson (milalex43)
        I am a Viet Nam combat veteran and also have law enforcement experience.

  13. avatar damion cocchi says:

    “But I don’t know a single cop that would follow orders to take your guns.” -Common statist proverb

    This is vile, but the message to not only parents with school aged children is LOUD AND CLEAR, but to Americans as well. Something all Americans need to be aware of, that the police do not exist to protect citizens, they exist only to enforce laws, and those that generate “revenue” for government coffers are the most important.

    As typical the police have advised Americans that they have absolutely no duty to protect anyone or even the community. They exist solely to enforce unconstitutional laws to steal money from citizens.

    Here is just another court ruling that cops aren’t responsible for anything but will disarm you for their phobias and only they are worthy of self defense and self-protection, everyone else must beg and plead to be allowed government permission under unconstitutional laws or hope that the police will bother to show up to help defend us, but more often than not they don’t.

    Another reason, in a long list of reasons to ignore unconstitutional laws, and never register or license anything. So train and be prepared to defend ourselves and others.

    The police and the US & state governments have spent over a century passing and enforcing unconstitutional laws to disarm citizens so that they are incapable of protect themselves, their families or their communities making them victims to criminals, and government agents/ officers to abuses.

    When it gets dangerous, police officers first duty as thousands of court cases and news stories have proven its that they will run away and protect themselves, and then if they feel like it they’ll come to help us.

    Police are NOT sworn to protect us. They are sworn to uphold the law, period. Good cops will and may go the extra mile, but the point is that they don’t have to. Excellent reason why we need to follow the US Constitution in all 50 states and have officers/ agents/ beauracrats and officials that actually uphold their oaths and those that don’t should be reviled as the criminals that they are and treated accordingly.

    Try not paying mandatory school taxes, try not sending your child to school, try to get your taxes exempt from going to police departments, try not complying with all the unconstitutional laws, edicts and mandates that we are subjected to, then they hide and go to court and tell us they have “NO Duty” to protect our anyone. Law enforcement represents and protects the government, not its citizens!

    Every American needs to be aware of this, right away!

    https://thefederalistpapers.org/opinion/judge-rules-cops-schools-no-duty-protect-students

    Just nothing more than lip service. They already enforce everyone of the infringements.

    “all federal and State acts, laws, orders, rules or regulations regarding firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition are a violation of the 2nd Amendment.”

    Still I like it and hope one day they will actually uphold their oaths.

    https://www.policeone.com/chiefs-sheriffs/articles/482125006-Wash-police-chief-says-he-wont-enforce-new-gun-law/

    More lip service from an “anonymous” LE source, whose really only advocating to make sure only he and the thin blue line have self defense arms, he’s not really advocating for American citizens.

    We’ll see when his superiors tell him to kick that door down if he will follow the law the US Constitution or if he’ll follow the illegal unethical and unconstitutional orders of his employer…. my money is that he’ll kick that door down and take your guns, history doesn’t have any record of “just following orders” officers/ agents refusing these kinds of criminal behaviors

    https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/officer-on-gun-control-i-will-not-comply/

    All gun rules, regulations, policies and laws are unconstitutional and MUST be removed! Regarding the governments ability to impose “Reasonable Restraint” which has now become the mantra of our liberal socialist tyrannical police state influenced government.

    Supporters of the Bill of Rights claim they have a constitutional or Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Opponents counter even if it were the case, the government was granted the general power to place restraints on this right. Both of these assertions are based on a misconception concerning the intent of the document known as the Bill of Rights.

    When the Bill of Rights was submitted to the individual States for ratification, it was prefaced with a preamble. As stated in the preamble, the purpose of the Amendments was to prevent the government from “misconstruing or abusing its powers.” To accomplish this, “further declaratory and restrictive clauses” were being recommended. The Amendments, when adopted, did not create any so-called constitutional rights or grant the government any power over individual rights; they placed additional restraints and qualifications on the powers of the government concerning the rights enumerated in the Amendments.

    Why Every (Yes, Every) Gun Control Law Is Unconstitutional!!

    The Second Amendment of the greatest government document in the world’s history — the United States Constitution — states that:

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    What’s interesting is that this language states explicitly clearly that the right to bear arms SHALL NOT be infringed. While the Second Amendment specifically ensured the federal government was bound by this complete no exceptions prohibition, they also worded it such that the states were also equally bound by the amendments through the Tenth Amendment so that The Founding Fathers placed a bright-line prohibition on infringement of the right by any government entity in the US. They knew the difference between an outright prohibition and the providing to the federal government the ability to place reasonable restrictions on a right. For example, the Fourth Amendment prohibits “unreasonable” search and seizure.

    “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” often attributed to Patrick Henry

    1. avatar Aaron Walker says:

      Proposed 25 September 1789
      Ratified 15 December 1791

      The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    2. avatar john says:

      I thought this a good time to provide you all with some arguing prowess when the uninformed make false comments about our constitution. There are twenty instances of ‘Shall not be’ in the constitution. If we question one we must question ALL. Which does not happen and will NEVER occur in some instances as they are rights no one would ever dream of altering.

      The second amendment. THE ONLY PLACE IN THE CONSTITUTION THAT STATES ‘ SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED’. No other right has those SPECIFIC instructions. Also the ONLY place ‘INFRINGED’ is used in the constitution. To me that has obvious and irrefutable meaning that they were being specific that this right should not be touched or regulated.

  14. avatar mark s. says:

    I ABSOLUTELY AGREE !!!!!
    This is one of the most important and factual court rulings I’ve yet to see , anywhere .
    This judge may be an ultra progressive liberal , it doesn’t matter . He has hit upon a point he may not even understand the implications of . He may have surrounded his argument around and with anti-gun sentiments and false claims , it doesn’t matter .
    POINT IS ………… Police , school officials , city and county officials , elected and non elected alike , are not responsible for my safety , your safety , or the safety of our children .
    WE ARE , the parents are responsible for children’s safety in America .
    We are responsible for our own safety , and thank God it is so and we need to forever stand tall and keep it so .
    Who pays the taxes that allow the public schools to exist ?
    This is why we must decentralize the public schools , de-federalize all schools and take back control .
    Is playing sports more important than the three R’s ?
    We , as a society , have grown way to complacent and just handed our children over to the state and the state has handed over the schools to the federal government and we only flinched .
    NO , WE are to blame ultimately .
    ” Complacent ignorance is the most lethal sickness of the soul .” Plato
    ” Change before you have to.” Jack Welch

  15. avatar Baldwin says:

    The soldier (sailor, Marine, airman) is obligated to engage and defeat/kill the enemy…following lawful orders. Our military is very closely controlled under one set of rules under one SecDef under one CinC under Congressional oversight. The LEO? Well, you probably don’t want a “legal obligation” to hazard themselves in that community with literally thousands of versions of laws, reg’s and ROE, lack of training, lack of oversight, and vulnerability to local political manipulations. Therefore, we rightfully, and properly have no legal requirement for the Deputy Scot Petersons to engage bad guys. It is, and should, be up to our communities to instill the sense of moral obligation and mindset in their own LEO structures to actively intervene, to “protect and serve”, as the situation determines the need. And to absolutely purge those that fall short of their moral obligations and forfeiting all benefits of said employment.

  16. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    But, but, if we outlaw all the guns the police will protect me. (sniffle, sniffle)

  17. avatar GS650G says:

    I always remind people I discuss police protection with that the gun on their hip is to protect the cop not you. If you are saved by their bullets that’s a side effect not a primary result. If you’re unarmed you can try and beg or talk your way out of being harmed but that’s a long shot.

  18. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    While the ruling should come as no surprise to observant People Of The Gun, it goes a long way to underscoring a essential conceit of anti-gun and gun-control politics. I can’t think of a single time, for instance, were a gun-free zone advocate has ever admitted this clearly evident fact that their insistence on being “gun-free” essentially turns innocent people into victims. This is where the conceit is most visible.
    Gun controllers have to know that the police—who they constantly claim will protect us—are under no legal obligation to do any such thing. Knowing this (and it’s hard for any activist to not know it) means that gun controllers who argue against self-protection are tacitly accepting the resulting high casualty counts as an acceptable amount of “collateral damage”. Even worse, a case can be made that, since it’s impossible to not know what happens when undefended people are attacked by a spree killer, gun controllers are in an unholy partnership with individuals who’s single purpose in life is to kill and maim as many people as possible. If gun-controllers didn’t have spree killers in their sick little dramas, they’d have to go out and find some.

    So long as they can maintain their gun-control dogmas, the blood of innocents who might otherwise be able to defend themselves or be defended by private armed citizens are an acceptable social cost.

    1. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

      “So long as they can maintain their gun-control dogmas, the blood of innocents who might otherwise be able to defend themselves or be defended by private armed citizens are an acceptable social cost.”

      Wanna make an omelet, you gotta break eggs. Wanna have socialism, you gotta kill people.

    2. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “So long as they can maintain their gun-control dogmas, the blood of innocents who might otherwise be able to defend themselves or be defended by private armed citizens are an acceptable social cost.”

      The gun control mob is more devious than that. The whole GFZ and “no duty to protect” blanket is designed to raise the body count so as to make private use of guns more dishonorable, because…

      If no civilians have guns, the body count would disappear. Except for the high-crime areas where no one cares what happens there.

      To raise and enrage opposition to personal firearms, the left creates the need for disarmament, decries the result of the lack of disarmament, and builds popular support for a complete ban on gun ownership. It is that devious.

  19. avatar Gman says:

    “As previously stated, for such a duty to exist on the part of defendants, plaintiffs would have to be considered to be in custody” — for example, as prisoners or patients of a mental hospital, she wrote.

    Are not students in the “custody” of the school and its faculty? They are not “free” to just leave and if one attempted to walk away would most likely be physically restrained and prevented from doing so. I think most parents would consider their children in the “custody” of the school and its faculty. Wouldn’t you?

    1. avatar John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt says:

      This. I would be curious to know if the plaintiffs specifically mentioned the concept of in loco parentis. This well-established legal doctrine allows schools enhanced authority over students that a government does not enjoy against a regular private citizen on the theory that they are acting in place of the parent, not as an arm of the government.

      It seems hypocritical that the government can argue schools have a special quasi parental relationship with students that grants them extra authority and then disavow any special relationship or obligation to said students when it suits them.

      Ultimately, I think that it amounts to the fact that our government, or any government, does whatever it wants by right of conquest and it’s very real ability to use violence and lethal force against any dissenter. We may have the trappings of law and justice, but the government routinely casts them aside when it doesn’t suit their agenda.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        that’s my name, too! not really.
        it’s jan jansen.

      2. avatar Ian in Transit says:

        “It seems hypocritical that the government can argue schools have a special quasi parental relationship with students that grants them extra authority and then disavow any special relationship or obligation to said students when it suits them.”

        I ran afoul of this two-faced school policy last winter when my daughter’s bus driver randomly started denying her access to the bus. Some days she simply would not let my daughter on. When I pressed the school they told me that because the weather was bad the bus driver can turn students with paid for bus passes away to ensure there are room for other students. I was . . . less than cordial for the rest of the exchange. Part of what I pointed out is that if I lock my child out in the snow I go to jail for criminal neglect. If they lock my child out in the snow “their policy” will find the police asking them questions from this day forward. My daughter was not denied access to the bus for the rest of the year and I am told they changed their policy. I doubt they had ever heard the term “loco parentis” but I wish I had been calm enough to use it.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      um, I am pretty sure that the judge meant that the students were not in POLICE custody, i.e., not under arrest. Without that, there is no civil rights violation. I can’t say that this necessarily applies to the school personnel in failing to provide fro security, but the fact of the matter is that they did so, but the system failed because a gate that was opened to allow students to leave allowed the shooter to enter, and the failure of the SRO to engage, for which the school cannot be held liable.

  20. avatar Ed in North Texas says:

    According to statistics I’ve read the average time to accomplish a felony criminal act in the US, from start to finish is 90 seconds. The fastest response time by any police department for a highest priority call is NYPD at right about four (4) minutes give or take. Needless to say NYPD generally has officers closer than most PDs to the location of the call.

    Not long ago there was an officer’s body cam video posted for a department I no longer recollect, but I would characterize as a town or small city, not a physically large city. I seem to recollect a department not larger than a dozen officers total. The officer is shot in the neck and returns to his motor patrol vehicle and calls in an “officer down” to dispatch. From the time the officer called dispatch until an ambulance arrived at his location was (IIRC) right at eight (8) minutes with his sergeant the first officer arriving some seconds (20 or 30) after the ambulance.

    The point of all this is that an “Officer Down” call will prompt the fastest possible response (not that shots fired won’t do the same) from every officer on duty. And still the old “saw” holds true – when danger is seconds away, the police are only minutes away. The officer involved above survived and recovered well.

  21. avatar EWTHeckman says:

    Did this ruling address the fact that by refusing to enter the building the Deputies actively violated their department’s written policy? What about the numerous calls and warnings of active threats where there was reason and opportunity to act by doing their job?

    That police are sometimes unable to protect due to lack of information, inability to arrive, lack of necessary equipment, etc. makes a “no duty to protect” ruling sensible. (In the original case, officers did arrive but couldn’t find anything.) But refusing to act when they are present and able to act smacks of negligence in the performance of why law enforcement exists. That is very different than a reasonable “no duty when there is no ability” or a “no duty when a good faith attempt fails” standard.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Officers owe a “general” duty to the public at large to perform their function, but not a specific duty to any individual. Plaintiffs are individuals to whom no duty was owed.

  22. avatar Bucephalus says:

    I’m waiting for this to be covered by the major networks along with the ramifications.
    I’m holding my breath….

    1. avatar Brandan says:

      I was thinking the same thing. This’ll be buried. To acknowledge this reality is to undermine one of the central tenants of social democracy, that the state cares about you and will protect you.

      Whenever I get into debates with my liberal friends I tell them about Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, Warren v. District of Columbia (et all) and they look at me as if they were a child who was just told that Santa isn’t real. Recognizing this legal reality is, in my opinion the one seed of cognitive dissonance within political belief.

  23. avatar Ralph says:

    I’m not sure that this case is on all fours with Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales or DeShaney v. Winnebago County, which are the SCOTUS cases held up as controlling.

    In both of those cases the authorities did not know that a crime was being committed. This massacre occurred while the cops stayed outside pulling their puds even though they knew that kids were being shot inside the school. That is exactly why they stayed outside — the poor dears didn’t want to get hurt.

    In any case, SCOTUS’ decision depended on a determination that the victims were not deprived of due process under the 14th Amendment. Does Parkland need to be a 14th Amendment due process case? I don’t know. That determination requires expertise in FL law that I do not have.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Sarcasm mode. No doubt we will hear a citation about how Scot Peterson bravely conducted a withdrawal under fire to a defensive position.

      However there won’t be any mention of him using his trousers as an emergency latrine.

  24. avatar Hannibal says:

    “As previously stated, for such a duty to exist on the part of defendants, plaintiffs would have to be considered to be in custody” — for example, as prisoners or patients of a mental hospital, she wrote.”

    Uh, ever heard of truancy? Schoolchildren are a perfectly good example of someone who is in the custody of the state while they are at school, such that they can be prevented from leaving. But no, we’re just gonna pretend that doesn’t extend to actual responsibility.

    At this point if moms really cared about action, they’d demand a statutory solution that declared as such.

  25. avatar MLee says:

    So “Protect And Serve” doesn’t really mean that. WTF are armed resource officers there for then?

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “So “Protect And Serve” doesn’t really mean that.”

      No more than,

      “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

      is immigration law.

  26. avatar TomC says:

    The fact that police have no legal duty to protect people is long-established black letter law in the US. Dozens of courts have ruled on this issue. It doesn’t matter how egregiously the police fail to protect someone, they are not responsible unless the person is in police custody at the time (and even then it’s a tough case to make).

    The issue for the school would be a bit more complex – courts have ruled that schools are responsible for protecting the students to at least some extent. Generally a school is responsible to take reasonable measures to protect students against reasonably foreseeable risks.

    On appeal, I expect that courts will continue to rule that the sheriff’s department is not responsible, despite the gross failure of one officer to do his job

    I would also expect that a court will eventually decide that the school was responsible but not at fault based on:
    1) the school has a duty to take reasonable measures to protect students against reasonably foreseeable risks.
    2) A school shooter would be a reasonably foreseeable risk.
    3) There was no specific threat.
    4) The school did take reasonable measures to protect the students against the reasonably foreseeable risk of a school shooter by arranging for an armed law enforcement professional to be on campus.
    5) The school is not responsible for unforeseeable gross cowardice of the individual officer assigned to the school by the sheriff’s department.

    1. avatar Chris Morton says:

      “5) The school is not responsible for unforeseeable gross cowardice of the individual officer assigned to the school by the sheriff’s department.”

      And besides that, “gross cowardice” by a cop is literally IMPOSSIBLE. Just ask a cop.

      1. This is why I prefer the military to secure our schools, as they did in Little Rock in 1957.

        If a soldier had done in Little Rock in 1957 what Scot Peterson did, he would have been executed for cowardice before the enemy!

  27. avatar GaPharmD says:

    How is this a defense?

    “As previously stated, for such a duty to exist on the part of defendants, plaintiffs would have to be considered to be in custody” — for example, as prisoners or patients of a mental hospital”, she wrote.

    Maybe I am crazy or maybe they worded the suit wrong, but I am postive that those children where in the “custody” of the school (which is a state funded enitity). And if not required to be in their custody then why do student and parents get punished for not going?

    I can only see how this “proves” that the school and those employed by the school are directly responsible for those who are in their “custody”.

    For any court or person to imply that schools are not responsible for the safety of their students then why have nurses, etc….

    And I understand that cruz was not apart of that, but the entire reason for employment and payment to a school resource/police officer is presented as student safety!

  28. avatar Ing says:

    Nice catch-22 we’ve got here.

    The school and the government that runs it have no duty to protect the students. And no one in school is allowed to defend themselves, lest they run afoul of the entity that won’t protect them.

    FTGYOYO (Forget the government, you’re on your own)

  29. avatar bob says:

    Seems like a business opportunity to hire Veterans and create a security service for schools.

    More jobs, safer students, win.

    1. Just send in the Army, like what was done at Little Rock in 1957.

  30. avatar Souredbuttcrack says:

    “individuals are their own first responders”, seems like a clear indication that I need to Protect myself with anything available such as a firearm. From what the ruling says it can be used to justify carring a handgun for self protection.

  31. avatar Michael says:

    When sued, city employees are pretty much non-recoverable. The cities’ insurance company settles, pay these liability claims and increases premiums to the cities. An insurance companys’ only legal obligation is to make money for the stockholders. Insurance law is written by politicians The insurance lobby assists the politicians’ staff about insurance legislation. Sweet. This undrainable end of the swamp REALLY needs an industrial strength shot of chlorine. -30-

  32. avatar CZJay says:

    It isn’t about “constitutional duty” rather it’s about you being hired to protect and serve within a specific jurisdiction and to uphold the two oaths to the constitutions you took. That is your duty while you are on the clock. Otherwise there is zero want or need for law enforcement.

  33. avatar Aaron says:

    no constitutional duty to protect + qualified immunity.

    hmm.

  34. avatar Chris Morton says:

    The new motto on the doors of the Broward County Sheriff’s Department vehicles:

    “We don’t have to protect you and we won’t let you protect yourself.”

  35. avatar sound awake says:

    what do they take the oath for then
    if they have no duty to protect
    then the taxpayers have no responsibility to pay them
    why are they being paid 5 and sometimes 6 figure salaries and 5 and sometimes 6 figure pensions
    what cant continue wont
    what we have here is another case of the government more interested in protecting itself
    if this continues we will no longer give our consent to be governed by them

  36. avatar Loe says:

    Thought they had to uphold the law. Was a law not being broken by murder… I do believe that is against the law

  37. avatar Chris Morton says:

    “what do they take the oath for then”

    If they don’t take the oath, they’re not covered by qualified immunity.

    Remember, as long as they claim they’re “afraid”, they can shoot you for ANYTHING.

    If you’re in danger, they have to “protect” you from NOTHING.

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      2018 law enforcement logic: When a man is armed be afraid and run away, when a man is unarmed be afraid and shoot to kill.

      1. avatar Chris Morton says:

        Maybe if the killer had been on his hands and knees, begging for his life, they would have shot him.

        1. avatar Michael Ejer says:

          I wonder why liberals like German Lopez want police to have discretion to deny a pistol permit to an applicant, even if the applicant meets all statutory criteria.

          http://www.vox.com/2018/11/13/17658028/massachusetts-gun-control-laws-licenses

          Remember the good old days when liberals wanted to restrict police discretion?

  38. avatar Salty Bear says:

    It’s nice to see that the masters aren’t being punished for treating us slaves like the worthless chattel we are.

  39. avatar 22winmag says:

    No duty to protect… to the surprise of pretty much nobody.

  40. avatar Alex Kevarsky says:

    I understand the precedent, although I don’t understand the reasoning behind it. However, don’t sworn officers, you know, swear to serve and protect? An oath is binding for the military. Why isn’t is for police?

    1. avatar Chris Morton says:

      Police take no oath to protect you as an individual, and unless they’re assigned to you as personal bodyguards, they almost certainly won’t.

  41. avatar Chris Morton says:

    Remember: You don’t need a gun because the police will “protect” you…

  42. avatar possum says:

    . I just declared my little piece of property a sovereign nation. Deals are made with a handshake and if you don’t hold up your end of the deal yah get shot. Just like it used to be without all the cops and lawyers

  43. avatar Tt78 says:

    The state requires children attend school. It is a crime if children do not go to school. The children cannot come and go as they please from the school. The children must follow the school (i.e. the State’s) rules while at the school. Some schools enforce dress codes and limit speech.

    How are they not in custody?

    1. avatar Chris Morton says:

      I find your erroneous belief that the schools are run for the benefit of the children heart warming… totally wrong, but heart warming nonetheless. You’re a good and decent person… unlike the personnel of the Broward County Sheriff’s Department, from the Sheriff on down.

  44. avatar Boz says:

    They had a moral duty. May they all burn in héII.

  45. avatar Dave says:

    I know what the law says but any armed police officer who stands outside while students are being shot should be drawn & quartered on the town square along with any supervisor who instructed him not to go in.

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