Do police have a duty to protect anyone?

Do police have a duty to protect anyone?

Why are the police cruisers of many police departments emblazoned with the motto "To Protect and to Serve"?

In 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that police do not have a duty to protect anyone.  So does that make it official and final?

In 2018, disgraced ex-deputy Scot Peterson, one of several deputies who decided not to intervene while a lone sociopath was slaughtering unarmed victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was sued.  U.S. district judge Beth Bloom dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that police have no duty to protect anyone. 

Bloom apparently agreed with the 2005 SCOTUS ruling on that issue.  So that pretty much makes it final, right?  Peterson got off Scot-free, one might say.  Or did he?

In June 2019, after the conclusion of an investigation by Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Peterson, who had been unlawfully permitted to retire while under investigation, was arrested in connection with the unlawful acts he committed at the high school on February 14, 2018.  He now faces 11 charges, including dereliction of duty. 

But wasn't he exonerated by Judge Bloom, who found that he had no duty to protect anyone?  Bloom dismissed the lawsuit.  But Peterson broke the law.  The courts said Peterson had no duty to protect anyone, but the law says he was required to intervene.  It seems that executives and statutes disagree with jurists.

SCOTUS has its own police force, called the Supreme Court Police Department.  Ironically, the website of that police department publishes the following explanation of the duties of its police officers:

Serves as a Uniformed Police Officer with the Supreme Court of the United States. Supreme Court Police Officers are primarily responsible for protecting the Chief Justice, Associate Justices, building occupants, and the Court’s building and grounds.

Police officers of the Supreme Court Police Department are responsible for protecting justices of the Supreme Court, who have ruled that police have no duty to protect anyone.  So how does one classify this apparent dichotomy?

Might one imagine that police officers of the Supreme Court Police Department who failed to protect justices of the Supreme Court could plead not guilty in court if charged with dereliction of duty in case they did not intervene while justices of SCOTUS were being slaughtered by an armed sociopath?

If Judge Bloom were at some point appointed as a justice on the SCOTUS, and if she were attacked by an armed sociopath, would she suddenly have a change of opinion on the issue of whether police have a duty to protect anyone?

Chapter 943 of Florida Statutes clarifies that all law enforcement officials have a primary responsibility to detect and prevent crime.  So it would appear that police, upon realizing that people are being slaughtered, should be required by statute to prevent that crime from proceeding.  But SCOTUS and Beth Bloom say that they do not have such a duty. 

When the law specifies that the police must act in a specific manner, but jurists say police do not have to act in that manner, are we to bow to the whims of jurists? 

Scot Peterson stands charged for violation of law in connection with refusing to do as law requires police officers to do.  Why have the other police officers not been charged, as was Scot Peterson, for violating the same laws during the same mass shooting, during which they also refused to attempt to prevent the crime that statutes required them to try to prevent?

Do police have a duty to protect anyone?

Why are the police cruisers of many police departments emblazoned with the motto "To Protect and to Serve"?

In 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that police do not have a duty to protect anyone.  So does that make it official and final?

In 2018, disgraced ex-deputy Scot Peterson, one of several deputies who decided not to intervene while a lone sociopath was slaughtering unarmed victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was sued.  U.S. district judge Beth Bloom dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that police have no duty to protect anyone. 

Bloom apparently agreed with the 2005 SCOTUS ruling on that issue.  So that pretty much makes it final, right?  Peterson got off Scot-free, one might say.  Or did he?

In June 2019, after the conclusion of an investigation by Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Peterson, who had been unlawfully permitted to retire while under investigation, was arrested in connection with the unlawful acts he committed at the high school on February 14, 2018.  He now faces 11 charges, including dereliction of duty. 

But wasn't he exonerated by Judge Bloom, who found that he had no duty to protect anyone?  Bloom dismissed the lawsuit.  But Peterson broke the law.  The courts said Peterson had no duty to protect anyone, but the law says he was required to intervene.  It seems that executives and statutes disagree with jurists.

SCOTUS has its own police force, called the Supreme Court Police Department.  Ironically, the website of that police department publishes the following explanation of the duties of its police officers:

Serves as a Uniformed Police Officer with the Supreme Court of the United States. Supreme Court Police Officers are primarily responsible for protecting the Chief Justice, Associate Justices, building occupants, and the Court’s building and grounds.

Police officers of the Supreme Court Police Department are responsible for protecting justices of the Supreme Court, who have ruled that police have no duty to protect anyone.  So how does one classify this apparent dichotomy?

Might one imagine that police officers of the Supreme Court Police Department who failed to protect justices of the Supreme Court could plead not guilty in court if charged with dereliction of duty in case they did not intervene while justices of SCOTUS were being slaughtered by an armed sociopath?

If Judge Bloom were at some point appointed as a justice on the SCOTUS, and if she were attacked by an armed sociopath, would she suddenly have a change of opinion on the issue of whether police have a duty to protect anyone?

Chapter 943 of Florida Statutes clarifies that all law enforcement officials have a primary responsibility to detect and prevent crime.  So it would appear that police, upon realizing that people are being slaughtered, should be required by statute to prevent that crime from proceeding.  But SCOTUS and Beth Bloom say that they do not have such a duty. 

When the law specifies that the police must act in a specific manner, but jurists say police do not have to act in that manner, are we to bow to the whims of jurists? 

Scot Peterson stands charged for violation of law in connection with refusing to do as law requires police officers to do.  Why have the other police officers not been charged, as was Scot Peterson, for violating the same laws during the same mass shooting, during which they also refused to attempt to prevent the crime that statutes required them to try to prevent?