J (right)

Candice Spivey (right)

It is a lesson we dare not forget, not if we want to survive, not if we want our families to survive. When it comes to the use of force, particularly deadly force, we’re always on our own. Consider this story from news4jax.com: 

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Jeffrey Polizzi is accused of approaching a woman in a Yulee Target and asking her inappropriate and indecent questions.

Candice Spivey took video that’s gone viral. In the video, Spivey is seen chasing the man out of the store. She said the reason she pulled her phone out is because he’s done it to her before, and now dozens of other women are telling police it’s happened to them too.

The video has been viewed more than 1.5 million times on Facebook, and more than 24,000 people have shared it.

As of Monday [May 02, 2016], 50 women have reached out to investigators about Polizzi.

What Polizzi allegedly did in Target, according to the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, is not illegal, but it is disturbing, which is why police are asking women to come forward.

Spivey is no stranger to Polizzi. She said they had met two years ago at a Publix. She said that time he had two young boys with him.

‘At first he is very believable,’ Spivey said. ‘At first he comes up and seems like he genuinely needs your help in regards of answering questions about a dress he bought for his wife.’

But she said the conversation quickly gets awkward when he starts asking indecent questions about undergarments. She said he also asked her about her body, which is why when he approached her at Target she knew who he was before he even opened his mouth.”

Spivey chased him and filmed him and his vehicle as she did because she wanted to be certain the public became aware of him. Unsurprisingly, Polizzi has a prior record of similar behaviors:

News4Jax found out Polizzi was arrested in 2009 on charges of video voyeurism and criminal mischief after being caught hiding a camera in his shoe, putting it under dressing room doors at Aqua East surf shop in Neptune Beach and recording women changing. He pleaded no contest to both charges, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

A woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she was inside one the dressing rooms when he stuck his shoe underneath the door.

After fleeing from Spivey, Polizzi was soon arrested for reckless driving.

Also consider this story from Fox News:

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You know, never in my whole life did I ever anticipate having to take another life — especially at age 80,” [Barb] Moles told KOMO-TV in Seattle, Wash., last week. ‘Give me a break here!’

Moles grabbed her gun, a .38-caliber pistol, when she saw her 75-year-old husband bleeding on the floor during a home invasion in their rural Sultan home around 8:30 p.m. on April 28.

Deputies said Steven Sheppard, 25, attacked Leland Moles after breaking into the couple’s home to steal drugs.

KOMO reported that when Sheppard encountered Barb Moles, he said one word: ‘Gun.’

Moles, a grandmother of eight and a great-grandmother of three, pulled the trigger four times. Three bullets hit the mark, KOMO reported.

‘I was just intent upon stopping him,’ she told the station. ‘I didn’t have any other thought in my head. I just knew I had to stop him.

And stop Sheppard she did. He was hospitalized, sadly in stable condition. Unsurprisingly, Sheppard is an ex-con who has been imprisoned, among other crimes, for robbery.

These are two very different types of crimes with very different outcomes, but they share one very important characteristic: when they occurred, the police were nowhere to be seen, and would have taken a very long time to arrive, even if it were possible to immediately notify them.

In the case of Barb Moles, she and her husband faced deadly danger in their own home. An elderly couple pose little threat to a 25 year-old ex-con seeking drugs, unless they are armed. Candice Spivey didn’t face the threat of death, but she could not have known that at the time. She displayed impressive courage and altruism, particularly since she was apparently unarmed.

The facts are simple and stark: the police have no legal obligation to protect any citizen.  The Supreme Court case is Castlerock v. Gonzalez (2005).  Even if they did, they couldn’t possibly fulfill that obligation.  There are far too few of them and far too many of us.

Criminals take care not to commit crimes when the police are around. To that degree, the police are very effective in preventing crime, but their job is not to protect citizens, but to prevent crime by their presence, and when that fails, as it usually does, to investigate crimes after they’ve been committed. It is they that figuratively draw the chalk outlines around the bodies of the dead who refused to recognize the threat, or were unprepared to deal with it.

When it comes to preserving our lives and the lives of those we love, we’re on our own. We always have been.