People are concerned that police did not protect the students during the recent school shooting at Uvalde in Texas that left 19 children, two educators and the suspect dead. People on Twitter and Facebook are expressing their confusion and looking for answers.
Unfortunately, police do not have to protect the public from harm. “The DeShaney decision has been cited by many courts across the nation and reaffirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Namely—on June 27, 2005, in Castle Rock v. Gonzales, the U.S. Supreme Court again ruled that the police did not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm,” cited Keobopha Keopong, Esq., at Barnes Law in 2016.
“In the 1989 landmark case of DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the failure by government workers to protect someone (even 4-year-old Joshua DeShaney) from physical violence or harm from another person (his father) did not breach any substantive constitutional duty. In this case, Joshua’s mother sued the Winnebago County Department of Social Services, alleging it deprived Joshua of his “liberty interest in bodily integrity, in violation of his rights under the substantive component of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, by failing to intervene to protect him against his father’s violence.” While the Department took various steps to protect Joshua after receiving numerous complaints of the abuse, the Department took no actions to remove Joshua from his father’s custody. Joshua became comatose and extremely retarded due to traumatic head injuries inflicted by his father who physically beat him over a long period of time.,” Barnes Law website reads.
Fortunately, advocates do work for police reform though there is not always support for it. Just yesterday, on the second anniversary of George Floyd’s death, because Republicans and Democrats could not agree on a police reform bill, President Biden signed an executive order into law. “The order creates a national registry of officers fired for misconduct and encourages state and local police to tighten restrictions on chokeholds and so-called no-knock warrants. It also restricts the transfer of military equipment to law enforcement agencies and mandates all federal agents wear activated body cameras,” reported NBC News.
Fox News immediately begin bashing President Biden over the police reform order claiming that the President is showing ‘Outrageous political theater’. On Fox News website Betsy Branther Smith, a retired police sergeant, slammed President Biden’s police reform executive order, accusing the president of “declaring war on law enforcement,” she stated, “Well, understand, this only affects federal police… This is political theater. President Biden can’t affect state and local law enforcement, so he’s going to just further hamstring his own federal police officers. I think the worst part of this bill is that… the one effect that he has on state and local law enforcement is to take away, though, that militarized equipment that local law enforcement often gets from the federal government to use in situations just like we saw in Uvalde. So now he is going to limit local and county SWAT teams. They’re not going to be able to get those armored vehicles, those MRAP vehicles, so that we can go in and save citizens, save kids in schools. He’s declaring a war on law enforcement when he should be declaring a war on crime and a war on poor mental health in this country. It’s political theater, and frankly, it’s outrageous”.
Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups in each state. The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We cannot give legal advice, but we can try and direct you in the right direction with your case. Links to legal services are listed with their states. Please share and let’s grow our groups. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support. If you would rather become active by donating, then visit the donation page.