Cops Aren't Obligated to Protect You
Updated: Nov 18, 2021
Ask subway hero Joseph Lozito who sustained savage injuries stopping a homicidal maniac named Maksim Gelman (pictured) on a subway car in 2011. During the incredible fight, two officers, Terrance Howell and Tamara Taylor, took cover in the adjacent operator’s cab and did nothing until Lozito pinned Gelman to the ground.
Lozito took his case to court incredulous that the officers would do nothing while all of the passengers were in peril.
Alas, the courts -- again -- ruled that law enforcement officers are not obligated to protect you or any citizen for that matter.
The city defended the actions of the police officers, or lack thereof, with the surprising argument that officers have no “special duty” to protect a citizen, even if they are being assaulted in plain sight. Judge Margaret Chan has ultimately sided with the defense, using the rational that because “no direct promises of protection were made to Mr. Lozito,” the officers had “no special duty” to protect him.
This is not a special case. Other cases from the Supreme Court on down have ruled similarly.
You are your own bodyguard.
You are your own first responder.
By all means ask for help, but don't count on any.