Duty To Protect: CHAZ/CHOP Edition
Back in 2018, we discussed a couple of times whether the police have a duty to protect. In the case that we discussed then, it was whether Deputy Scot Peterson had an obligation to go into the school where children were being shot. A handful of students had sued Scot Peterson for failing to perform his duty to protect and the question was the extent to which he (and the county/state) were liable for him failing to perform that duty.
As it turns out, a judge dismissed the case:
“The critical question the court analyzes is whether defendants had a constitutional duty to protect plaintiffs from the actions of Cruz,” Bloom wrote. But she determined that “for such a duty to exist on the part of defendants, plaintiffs would have to be considered to be in custody.”
Well, more recently, there has been a situation where a handful of blocks in the Capitol Hill region of Seattle have either declared themselves an autonomous zone (that is, CHAZ) OR they have declared themselves an occupied protest (that is, CHOP).
Within the CHAZ/CHOP, there was a shooting on June 20th. In the aftermath, it looks like the medics did not go in to the area to retrieve/help one of the people who was in the CHAZ/CHOP-involved shooting incident.
Raz Simone tweeted (warning, strong language):
Medics refused to help even after people in the CHOP begged. They let our bro bleed out for 30 minutes till he died. Fuck politics. Fuck your currupt system. pic.twitter.com/PMwxU9yEzd
— Raz Simone (@RazSimone) June 21, 2020
Which seems to invite the question of whether medics have a duty to protect.
The claims about Scot Peterson that don’t seem to be in dispute are that he was a coward (which is not a legal term) and that he should not have the job of Deputy (well, the union fought for him to be able to keep his job but that’s what unions are for). Whether or not he had a legal duty to protect, there seems to be a consensus that what he did was bad anyway.
To what extent is there a similar set of expectations on the part of medical professionals? Is there a general sense that if these guys didn’t want to go into the CHAZ/CHOP, then they shouldn’t have their jobs?