Police Are Under No Obligation To Protect Anyone

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 5 months ago

As if we needed volume XVII of this, via David Codrea comes news from Florida.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — He had just stepped from the shower and was settling in for the night when he caught a glimpse of a figure outside his window.

Seventy-year-old Bill Norkunas, a childhood polio survivor, headed over to the light and flicked it on hoping to scare away whoever was there. Instead, the light was a beacon drawing a young man to his front door, a door made of glass.

And then for the next 15 minutes, Norkunas stood there, barefoot and unclothed, with his crutches, on one side of the glass pane trying to steady a gun in his trembling hand while the stranger stood on the other side, pounding on the door, banging it with his hip or gnawing at the thick hurricane-grade glass with a garden paver.

Norkunas, who suffered minor injuries from the glass digging into his foot, has no idea why the man, later identified as 23-year-old Timothy Johnson of Fort Lauderdale, tried to break down his door on Nov. 7.

And as bewildering, and just as terrifying to him, is the knowledge that a squad of Broward sheriff’s deputies responded to his Tamarac neighborhood, but none came close to his home to stop the man. Instead, they waited down the street until he walked over to them and surrendered, witnesses told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The result is a palpable sense of outrage toward the Sheriff’s Office with many in the neighborhood questioning why deputies would leave a terrified, disabled man to fend for himself for as long as they did.

[ … ]

“If he opens the door can I shoot him?” Norkunas asks the 911 dispatcher about two minutes into his phone call for help.

By the third minute, Norkunas is telling the dispatcher that the stranger is trying to kick the door in, according to recording of the call. While still on the phone with the dispatcher, Norkunas can be heard warning the stranger that he better leave or he is going to get shot. Until this point in his life, Norkunas had never pointed a gun at anyone before.

“Get the cops here quick,” he barks into the phone at minute four.

Three minutes later, Norkunas’ voice is weary: “Sheriff, hurry up please.”

Three more minutes pass. “Where the hell are the cruisers? … They are still not here. Jesus Christ. There’s still no cruisers. Come to my house, please please.”

He tells the dispatcher his glass door is smashed in and he doesn’t know what to do. The dispatcher tells him the deputies are canvassing the area to “make sure no one else gets hurt.”

While law enforcement officers take an oath to serve and protect, they are not bound to do so legally, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled.

“The law doesn’t require law enforcement officers to protect you from other people,” said Rodney Jacobs, assistant director of the Civil Investigative Panel, a police oversight committee for the city of Miami.

As a reminder to regular readers, and a brief primer for new readers, the police are under no legal obligation to protect anyone.  If you doubt this, read the following decisions.

Castle Rock v. Gonzalez

Warren v. District of Columbia

DeShaney v. Winnebago County

As for talking to the dispatcher, this in my estimation is a very unwise move.  Calling to report the incident may have been necessary (although as I’ve pointed out before, if you think things can’t get any more dangerous for you, just wait until the police arrive), but sticking around over the phone was a distraction for him, and consuming of time and energy.

Do not ever, ever, ever, ask permission from a dispatcher to shoot an intruder.  When the police do finally arrive, if you have had to discharge your firearm, do not talk to them.  Let your attorney do the talking.

Bottom line.  The police are not obligated to protect you.  You are obligated under God to protect yourself and your family.  I think with the recent flurry of gun-buying in America, many people grok that notion now who didn’t just weeks or months ago.


Comments

  1. On December 1, 2020 at 12:46 am, Jimmy the Saint said:

    As the moniker of the New Orleans Police Department states: Not Our Problem, Dude.

  2. On December 1, 2020 at 3:58 am, Nosmo said:

    Remove the battery from your cell phone, put on the gloves, booties and bunny suit, retrieve the plastic sheeting and bleach from the garage, deal with the problem, continue with what you were doing.

  3. On December 1, 2020 at 7:40 am, Roger J said:

    The Cowards of Broward wouldn’t protect a bunch of school kids. Why did this citizen think those cowardly POS “officers” would protect him? But I bet they’d lay it on the line for one of their Democrat politicians.

  4. On December 1, 2020 at 8:26 am, Bill Buppert said:

    No man on Earth can be denied his liberty by any politician without cops. Full stop.

  5. On December 2, 2020 at 1:02 am, xtphreak said:

    “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”

    Robert A. Heinlein, Beyond This Horizon

    “Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”

    Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

    “There is no safety this side of the grave”

    “Government! Three fourths parasitic and the other fourth Stupid fumbling.”

    “I grok in fullness.”

    Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

  6. On December 2, 2020 at 1:05 am, xtphreak said:

    And one worth reading for a glimpse into (our / the) Future.

    Robert A. Heinlein, Farnham’s Freehold

    Started reading him in junior high school, still go back and re-read.

  7. On December 2, 2020 at 11:46 pm, X said:

    Unfortunately we live in a nation in which you have to beg the permission of the same government that has no obligation to protect you before you can own a handgun. Thankfully this gentleman lived in Florida where he only had to suffer through the NICS check, and not a state like NY, NJ or MA where you have to spend hundreds of dollars, undergo a background check more intrusive than a rectal exam, and then wait for months or even a year or more to get the arbitrary and revocable permission to have a handgun in your own home.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Police and was published November 30th, 2020 by Herschel Smith.

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