Another “Dirty Little Secret” … About Calling 9-1-1.
The Dirty Little Secret: Call 911 and probably, you will DIE.
In an earlier contribution to the Defense Actions blog, I mentioned the “dirty little secrets” I share with students in Utah Concealed Firearm Permit courses. The one that gets the most attention and even shocked reactions is when I point out that the police do not have to even show up if you call for help using the 9-1-1 emergency phone system.
I’ve been aware of this for a long time and find that this fact is not well known and even hidden in some areas. Where I live, there are billboards that proclaim “Save a Life, Report a Fire, Stop a Crime: Dial 9-1-1”. With the facts I will present below you will quickly learn that this billboard and most police agencies mis-lead the public they supposedly serve, about their “duty to protect”.
Concerning whether the police and/or the government can or will protect you; Yes, Truly, a Dirty Little Secret
From “Taking Chances or Making Choices” by Elizabeth J. Swasey, American Guardian Magazine, (now First Freedom) May 1997 issue, page 26:
“As courts have held’…a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection to any particular individual citizen…”
Warren v. District of Columbia 444 AA.2d1(D.C.App181)
Or put another way, “[T]here is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen.”
Bowers v. Devito, 686F.2d 616 at 618 (7th Cir. 1982).
From “Safe, Not Sorry” by Tanya K. Metaska, page 160, Supplement 1:
Using more than thirty cases to make the point, the standard U.S. legal reference American Jurisprudence (57AmJur2d 441), puts it plainly: “In the absence of special circumstances, there is no duty resting on a municipality or other governmental body to provide police protection to any particular person and the government may not be held liable for its failure to do so…”. In a related section (446) it adds, “even where a person has anticipated harm and requested police protection.”
From “Effective Defense, the Woman, the Plan, the Gun” by Gila May Hays, page 12:
These were eye-opening courts cases and statements. Here are further facts about 911 calls:
“Gun control proponents have argued that Americans should give up their armaments and rely on the police to protect them. Realistically, however, police forces are installed to patrol, maintain peace, and investigate crimes after the fact, not prevent the crimes. (Emphasis added) In 1975, three women were raped, sodomized, and terrorized for fourteen hours in Washington D.C. The police were called in the initial moments of the attack, and four cruisers were dispatched. None of the victims was able to answer the door, and after five minutes, the officers left. A second call received a promise of help on the way. It was later determined that officers were never dispatched to answer the second plea for help. Fortunately, the women survived. Lawsuits followed, and in 1981 the Court of Appeals for Washington D.C. ruling on Warren v. District of Columbia, wrote that under American law the “government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen.”
This was the landmark case that blew the cover off of the dirty little secret. In my area I’ve picked up literature from local law enforcement agencies that basically tells victim
s to “give in” to their attackers and not fight back and to relay on the police to help them. As an email a friend of mine sent me says, “Why do I carry a gun? Because I can’t carry a cop.” Another one I received pointed out that police response times are measured in minutes or longer in certain areas, and a bullet can travel 1250 feet per second. This is one of those “Do the Math, Idiot” statements.
Recognized author and expert Don B. Kates wrote the following: From Don C. Kates Gun Rights column “Gun Permits and the (Non) Right to Police Protection” Handguns Magazine, February/March 2006 issue, page 34:
“Whenever cities are sued for failure to protect individuals, the mayors send forth their lawyers to invoke the “fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen,” though that quote happens to be from a District of Columbia court. The same rule is accepted in every state—see Braswell v. Braswell, 410 S.E.2d 897, 901 (N.C. 1991): “The general common-law rule, known as the public-duty doctrine, is that a municipality and its agents act for the benefit of the public, and therefore, there is no liability for the failure to furnish police protection to specific individuals.” (Emphasis added)
See also Castle Rock, Colo. V. Gonzalez decided by the U.S Supreme Court on June 27, 2005. The Court ruled in a 7-2 decision that “individuals have no right to police protection under the Federal Constitution.”
The Colorado case was particularly disturbing in that the woman’s three children were murdered by her ex-husband who had violated restraining and protective orders. When she sued, the court ruled as noted above.
The earliest I recall reading about this was in Guns and Ammo magazine’s July 1992 article entitled “Dial 9-1-1 and Die” written by Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JFPO). This article was expanded in to book form with the same title, written by Attorney Richard W. Stevens. In it my home state got a tombstone or failing grade after research in a number of cases where the system did not work and the police did not respond in a timely manner or not at all. I have in years since met family members of the victims of one of the crimes in the book. It is sobering to hear their stories. The book is available from www.JPFO.org. I often will ask people why the Jews would be interested in preserving the ownership of firearms. Sadly, few younger people even have a clue as to why this is so important.
In the end, each of us individually is in charge of our own personal safety. We are the “First Responders” when evil appears and cannot depend on others to do it for us. This is why we train and prepare, practice and educate. History has shown repeatedly that the police will not be there and they have no duty to protect you as an individual. That is why you no longer see the “To Serve and Protect” logo on police vehicles, other than in TV shows and in movies. They patrol, and respond AFTER something happens. My many law enforcement friends remind me regularly that they cannot be everywhere, and they pick up the pieces and investigate after something happens. The good ones realize that. We should recognize our personal responsibility and prepare for whatever comes. Now this is no longer a “dirty little secret”. It has been revealed to the light of day. Learn from this and prepare accordingly. Become the sheepdog.
Until next time, stay safe and check six often.