(National Sentinel) All Alone: The Valentine’s Day mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Fla., is the nightmare that just keeps on giving, thanks to a federal judge who has a strange notion of what role police officers are supposed to play in our society.
U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom on Monday ruled that Broward County schools and the sheriff’s department were under no constitutional obligation to protect students from Nikolas Cruz, the former student accused of killing more than a dozen people in February.
The Orlando Sentinel reported:
…Bloom dismissed a suit filed by 15 students who claimed they were traumatized by the crisis in February. The suit named six defendants, including the Broward school district and the Broward Sheriff’s Office, as well as school deputy Scot Peterson and campus monitor Andrew Medina.
Bloom ruled that the two agencies had no constitutional duty to protect students who were not in custody.
“The claim arises from the actions of [shooter Nikolas] Cruz, a third party, and not a state actor,” she wrote in a ruling Dec. 12. “Thus, the critical question the Court analyzes is whether defendants had a constitutional duty to protect plaintiffs from the actions of Cruz.
“As previously stated, for such a duty to exist on the part of defendants, plaintiffs would have to be considered to be in custody” — for example, as prisoners or patients of a mental hospital, she wrote.
The suit noted that Peterson, who was the only armed person on the grounds other than the shooter, was directly at fault. “His arbitrary and conscience-shocking actions and inactions directly and predictably caused children to die, get injured, and get traumatized,” the suit said.
Not so, according to Bloom.
“We respectfully disagree with Judge Bloom’s decision to dismiss our clients’ case. This case is about protecting the Constitutional rights of individuals who were the victims of one of the worst mass shootings in this country’s history,” Kristoffer R. Budhram of Jacksonville, who represented the student, said in an email to the paper.
While police may not have had a “constitutional duty” according to the letter of our founding document, didn’t they at least have a legal duty to ‘serve and protect?’ Because here’s the thing: If the police have no legal or constitutional duty to protect citizens who aren’t ‘in custody,’ how can lawmakers and local officials deny citizens the right to protect themselves, via the Second Amendment?
School children and young adults attending high school are bound by our laws to depend on others to defend them when they are exposed to a lethal threat. If police aren’t bound to provide that protection, then someone else has to be empowered to do so. That’s the only logical recourse here to Bloom’s decision.
Americans have grown weary of this duplicitous system of non-justice in our country. Rebellions are born of desperation, and after watching what’s been happening to POTUS Trump, what’s being allowed to happen along our U.S.-Southwest border, and seeing federal courts provide legal cover to those who fail to protect them, citizens are getting more and more desperate for justice.
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