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In a recent local news article, a federal judge in Florida ruled that law enforcement and the school district had no legal duty to protect the the students at Stoneman Douglas High School. Furthermore the judge ruled that to do so, the students would have to be in custody of law enforcement.

Let's expand this ruling beyond the classroom and into the street with a hypothetical question: I'm being assaulted, kidnapped, raped, robbed, stabbed, and on and on. I manage, in spite of this attack, to call law enforcement and request their assistance. Under this ruling law enforcement has no legal responsibility to come to my aid. Is there a moral responsibility to respond? Will law enforcement respond? If not, who do I call? Ghostbusters? Or am I truly on my own? Do the best I can and hope for a survivable outcome?

From my chair this ruling should concern every citizen in need of law enforcement assistance. In the end, if I can't rely upon law enforcement as this ruling implies and its up to me to protect myself, then don't question me how I go about it.

If there is a legal mind reading my letter and can clarify this judge's ruling as it applies to everyday citizens, then please speak up. I think the citizens of Albany would be interested in what you have to say. I certainly would be.

Larry Ciaffoni

Albany (Dec. 25)

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