Did the NYC Cops at the Biker Beatdown Have a Duty to Intervene?


Now that we have found out that at least 5 NYC cops were at the scene where Alexian Lien was pulled from his vehicle in front of his family and beaten by a biker gang, understandable outrage has come from the public. Calls for these officers to lose there jobs, be arrested and sued have been prevalent, but will they?

While it is true that 1 cop has all ready been arrested, that was for his active participation of the beating, the fates of the other cops who just stood by and watched has yet to be determined.

Would it surprise you that legally these cops have no duty to interfere and stop a crime against an individual?

In 1856 the Supreme Court ruled in South v Maryland that local law-enforcement had no duty to protect individuals, but only a general duty to enforce the laws But that was over 150 years ago, things have surely changed since, no?


The courts have ruled consistently for the past 30 years that the police are under no obligation to stop a crime and protect a person.

In July of this year the courts in New York City dismissed a lawsuit brought on by Joseph Lozito. Lozito tackled and subdued spree murderer Maksim Gelman after Gelman killed 4 and injured 5 while both men were on the No. 3 train pulling out of Penn Station. Lozito’s heroics earned him a couple of stab wounds to the head requiring 22 stiches and 20 staples to close it up.

Why was Lozito suing? Because there were two transit cops in that train car with him who didn’t intervene for the 60 seconds that he was struggling with Gelman. Those officers waitied until the threat was subdued and Lozito immobilized the mass murderer before they calmly tapped him on the shoulder and told him “you can get up now”.

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