Police officers are not required to provide emergency medical aid to a suspect they shoot as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to review an Ohio case.
A lower court ruled in the death of Jason White that officers were obliged only to call an ambulance, not to render first aid, for which they are trained.
“If the police don’t have a duty to save lives, what are we paying them for? And who exactly do they serve if not you and me?” asked constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute.
“This case – and the Supreme Court’s refusal to hold government officials accountable to at least render emergency aid to those who have been seriously injured as a result of their interactions with police – sends the message that in the American police state, police have no duty, moral or otherwise, to help those in trouble, protect individuals from danger, or risk their own lives to save ‘we the people.’”
The case developed when Ohio police officers shot White several times then called for an ambulance while the military veteran bled to death.
Rutherford lawyers argued that if prisoners have a constitutional right to medical care under the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, police should be held to a comparable standard.