When it comes to mass shootings, I seem to have developed a tendency to blame the government. In fairness, we’ve seen governmental breakdowns lead to both Sutherland Springs and Parkland. Another example may well be the Pulse nightclub shooting almost two years ago. It seems the government knew about the killer well before he ever pulled the trigger.
Now, there is a lawsuit in the works by the survivors of that brutal attack in Orlando. However, the focus of their lawsuit is the police officers who they say didn’t save them in time.
Almost two years after a massacre at an Orlando nightclub left 49 people dead and 53 injured, some of the surviving victims were filing a lawsuit in federal court Thursday saying the city and police didn’t do enough to try to stop the shooter.
More than 35 victims have signed on as plaintiffs, accusing the city and its officers violated the Constitutional rights of those who were injured and killed on June 12, 2016, when Omar Mateen opened fire at Pulse. Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group during a three-hour standoff before he was killed in a shootout with police.
Plaintiffs contend that officers should have more aggressively confronted Mateen to prevent mass casualties. The lawsuit names Orlando Police Department Officer Adam Gruler, who worked an extra-duty shift at the nightclub that evening. The lawsuit says that Gruler “abandoned his post” and, during that time, Mateen walked in, looked around, walked out to retrieve weapons and returned to the club.
Gruler fired at Mateen from two spots outside the club after the shooting began. Officials estimated Mateen fired more than 200 rounds in less than five minutes.
Gruler was later hailed as a hero. He was honored by the city and invited to President Trump’s State of the Union speech.
The suit will also list another 30 unnamed officers, some for not capturing the shooter and others for rounding up uninjured survivors and bringing them to Orlando police headquarters for interviews.
The plaintiffs are also upset that police didn’t allow people to use their cell phones and detained them after the shooting was over. Unfortunately for them, that’s probably standard procedure and a means of making sure there isn’t a second shooter trying to hide among the victims. Don’t like it? Tough.
As for Gruler and the other officers, well…that’s another “tough.”
The police are not responsible to keep you safe. They’re not required to risk their lives to save you. This isn’t Tom Knighton talking, this is the Supreme Court which has upheld this multiple times. The government isn’t required to keep you safe and sound. That’s on you.
I don’t expect this lawsuit to go anywhere. In fact, I suspect it’ll get tossed out of court pretty quickly on just those grounds.
Further, unlike a certain Broward County School Resource Officer, Gruler did engage the shooter. He shot at the killer despite being outgunned. To say he did nothing is ridiculous. If the courts say their job isn’t to save people, but Gruler did actually try to save people, what hope in hell does this lawsuit actually have?
The same is true for the other police officers. Sorry but not sorry.