Duty To Protect (Update)
Back in March, we discussed whether the police have a Duty to Protect.
A news article said that:
A 15-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting survivor and his family have put Broward County authorities on notice that they will sue to seek money damages to help cover the cost of his recovery.
Well, the lawsuit has moved forward. From the article:
Peterson took shelter rather than confront the killer, but he did not act with malice or bad faith, according to his attorneys, Michael Piper and Christopher Stearns of Fort Lauderdale. Therefore he can’t be held legally responsible for the deaths, they say in court documents.
Allegations against Peterson suggest only that he “opted for self-preservation over heroics,” the attorneys wrote.
Also from the article:
Peterson’s lawyers say police officers are responsible for injury only if the officer takes control of a situation and people are hurt as a result or if the officer creates risk.
A Florida statute gives immunity to officers for injury suffered as a result of what they do while on the job unless they acted in bad faith or exhibited “wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety, or property, ” the attorneys say.
(For my part, I still suspect that the police will not be found to have a Duty to Protect and the precedents set in Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales and Warren v. District of Columbia (trigger warning on both those cases) will be further upheld by this lawsuit.)