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Why Churches Should Report Criminal Activities

Air Force's liability for church shootings has broader implications—including the reporting of sexual abuse.

Key point. Negligence is a common basis for liability. Negligence is conduct that creates an unreasonable and foreseeable risk of harm to another person that results in injury. Negligent conduct need not be intentional. It may consist either of a specific act or failure to act.

A federal district court in Texas ruled that the United States Air Force was 60 percent at fault for the shooting rampage at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland, Texas, in 2017 that left 26 persons dead and 22 more wounded. The failure of Air Force leaders to report the perpetrator’s prior criminal conduct demonstrates the potential liability that organizations—including churches—can face as a result of failing to act.

A former service member attacks Texas church

Devin Patrick Kelley (Kelley) entered the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on November 5, 2017, and opened fire, killing ...

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  • July 15, 2021