NYC: no duty to protect
Here's a classic case of it, arising in Mayor Bloomberg's own city. A violent lunatic begins stabbing people. Police are present, but flee and lock themselves in the conductor's car for protection. An unarmed witness wrestles the lunatic down, but is stabbed and cut in the process. Eventually, the NYPD officers emerge from their hiding place.
Held: the fellow who tackled the lunatic when the officers fled has no right to sue the city.
But this is longstanding law in most jurisdictions, right? Not that I agree with it...
Posted by: Jim at August 1, 2013 12:26 PM
Most if not all jurisdictions, and since time immemorial. If there is a duty to protect then there would be liability for not doing the duty. The first hundred people murdered in NYC after liability kicked in could own all of the city's revenues for the next generation. No government can allow that to happen.
The tragedy is not that governments deny that they have any duty to protect their citizens, but that they then make it difficult to impossible (legally restricted and economically dangerous) for the citizens to protect themselves.
Posted by: wrangler5 at August 1, 2013 08:16 PM
If the people were allowed to defend themselves, the police might fear for their jobs. Can't have that.
Posted by: Dan Hamilton at August 2, 2013 08:09 AM