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Warrantless Searches In Boston?

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http://myfreedomfoundation.com/blog/liberty-live/detail/can-the-police-search-my-home-for-a-bomber

Can the Police Search My Home for a Bomber?

Today in Watertown, Massachusetts, law enforcement officials are going from house to house with trained SWAT team snipers drawing a bead on any occupants and instructing those occupants to exit the houses so the police can enter and search the premises.

Is this constitutional?

No.

Contrary to this article posted on Slate.com, constitutional rights do not evaporate whenever the government decides they would be inconvenient. Police have no right to expel citizens from their homes or to engage in warrantless searches of those homes just because the government declares that an emergency exists.

The Fourth Amendment makes clear that people have a right for their persons and homes to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures, and that judges must not issue warrants permitting the government to intrude upon someone's home unless there is a clear reason to believe that a specific thing or person will be found in a specific, identified location. The Washington Constitution is even more protective of citizens' rights, stating that "no person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law."

Courts have, by-and-large, allowed certain exceptions to these constitutional rules, such as if the police see a potential criminal enter someone's property and there is no time to obtain the warrant that would otherwise be necessary to follow the suspect. This is known as the "hot pursuit" doctrine. Courts also usually recognize an exception if police believe that intruding on a citizen's property is necessary to assist someone threatened with immediate harm or injury.

But these exceptions do not apply to the circumstances in Watertown. The police do not know where the suspected criminal is, and they have no reason to believe that he is in any specific house in Watertown. Neither do they have any reason to believe that any specific citizen of Watertown is in immediate danger of harm or injury. And, importantly, they also have no reason to believe that any specific citizen is harboring the suspect in their home.

Thus, this entire operation is one gigantic fishing expedition - and that is precisely the sort of thing forbidden by the Fourth Amendment and Article I, section 7 of the Washington Constitution.

The police can warn people to be on the lookout for the suspect. They can ask for permission to search a citizen's home. But unless they have clear reason to believe that the suspect is on a specific property and that he might escape in the time necessary to obtain a warrant, the police cannot constitutionally force citizens out of their homes or engage in a warrantless search of those homes.

I can hear some people now saying, "But surely these are special circumstances..."

They are not, and it is extremely dangerous for the very idea of constitutional liberty to presume that citizens may be stripped of their rights whenever the government declares it necessary. History teaches us that one exception breeds another, and that pattern will continue until the exceptions destroy the rule. Once the principles of liberty have been sacrificed, it is exceptionally difficult for them to be recovered. We must remain vigilant and steadfast in our protection of our rights, and we must not allow fear to lead us to abandon those rights.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by on Apr. 19, 2013 at 5:43 PM
Replies (151-154):
kcangel63
by Amanda on Apr. 22, 2013 at 3:25 PM
1 mom liked this
Thank you for contributing to the discussion. It seems to have picked the group up from its sleepiness a little.

Lets get active on here. :)


Quoting LIMom1105:

 And that's your right.  This has been an interesting post--I don't agree with you, but thank you for bringing it up all the same.


Quoting kcangel63:

I disagree.


Quoting LIMom1105:


I have, well the same video that seems to be posted in several places. I did not find it shocking at all. Should they have knocked politely and said pretty please with sugar on top, while giving people all the time in the world to answer the door? I suppose you would say yes, however they were conducting a search of an entire neighborhood, for a man who had explosives and guns. Seeing military vehicles and people in body armor with machine guns IS scary, but I see it as necessary in this day and age following a terrorist attack. Sad but necessary. For months following 9-11 I saw military personnel (mostly National Reserve) with guns and bomb sniffing dogs in big department stores, train stations, and hubs with lots of people, and you know what? They were a welcome presence when the alternative is a terrorist who may blow up the subway I'm about to board. 


Its not nice, it's not pretty, but I haven't read any credible account questioning the legality of this process under the circumstances. I can only conclude you have never live in this sort of situation. If you have and these are your views, I can only SMH. 


Quoting Farmlady09:


You obviously have NOT seen any of the videos of those searches. These were not polite searches. These were beat on the door, scream at you to put your hands on your head, get outside so you can be patted down, drag your children with you with or without coats (and regardless of their screams of fear), in full armor carrying machine guns and backed by military vehicles that were also fully armed.



If 'you' are actually in favor of that in your home, I'm ... speechless.



 



Quoting LIMom1105:

OMG, so you want them to get search warrants for every apartment and home in Watertown? Do you realize how much time that would take? Meanwhile, he could slip away or blow up something else.

Gripe all you want, but I would gladly let them search my home to find this guy. I don't think it's unreasonable under the circumstances.


 



 




 

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Farmlady09
by Silver Member on Apr. 22, 2013 at 3:37 PM

The 'real' America has taken a back burner for almost 7 decades, and the slope we're sliding down into a socialist cess-pool has gotten a lot more slippery in the past 30 years. Just because you consider yourself aware doesnt' make it the reality. Like it or not, our 'government' hasn't been 'ours' for that same amount of time, and is sliding even faster.

The 'security' that is sold in this nation is not security, and it doesn't work. Obviously. Israel has the right idea and in spite of repeatedly being attacked, they are actually much safer than anyone here. Of course, most people living in Israel aren't cowering in their homes waiting for someone wearing a uniform to save them.


Quoting LIMom1105:

 I consider myself wide awake and aware, and it has been interesting to see who is and who isn't from reading replies on this post. Some are so busy looking at paranoid websites and feeding their own delusions that they can't pay attention to the news as it's unfolding.  This isn't some broader government based plot to take over the "real" America, give me a break.

So what would you have the authorities in the Boston area do to search for this terrorist? Or would you have them not search at all so your personal liberties remain intact? I see a lot of finger-pointing here, but no reasonable solution presented.

Quoting Farmlady09:

I'm part of a military and LE family ~ several generations worth in fact. I'm not frightened of military vehicles or weapons. What you see as 'necessary' I see as pathetic. I'm not a pet. I'm not a zoo animal. I'm definitely not a sheep. I don't want that kind of 'safety'. Those quotes are there because that kind of 'safety' is control, and it's control over everything BUT the problem.

They conducted this search and gave up without finding the guy ... that only happened AFTER they called off the search and only because someone who was paying attention called it in. I've watched video after video. These cops didn't check vehicles ~ including vans. They didn't check most outbuildings. They rampaged through peoples' homes, tossed them around like sacks of crap, screamed, yelled, and brandished their weapons and authority ... for NOTHING. All of that was for nothing. They didn't find the guy.

If you 'welcome' this, you're already a prisoner ... and you make those who want us under control very happy. Go on back to sleep.

 

Quoting LIMom1105:

I have, well the same video that seems to be posted in several places. I did not find it shocking at all. Should they have knocked politely and said pretty please with sugar on top, while giving people all the time in the world to answer the door? I suppose you would say yes, however they were conducting a search of an entire neighborhood, for a man who had explosives and guns. Seeing military vehicles and people in body armor with machine guns IS scary, but I see it as necessary in this day and age following a terrorist attack. Sad but necessary. For months following 9-11 I saw military personnel (mostly National Reserve) with guns and bomb sniffing dogs in big department stores, train stations, and hubs with lots of people, and you know what? They were a welcome presence when the alternative is a terrorist who may blow up the subway I'm about to board. 

Its not nice, it's not pretty, but I haven't read any credible account questioning the legality of this process under the circumstances. I can only conclude you have never live in this sort of situation. If you have and these are your views, I can only SMH. 

Quoting Farmlady09:

You obviously have NOT seen any of the videos of those searches. These were not polite searches. These were beat on the door, scream at you to put your hands on your head, get outside so you can be patted down, drag your children with you with or without coats (and regardless of their screams of fear), in full armor carrying machine guns and backed by military vehicles that were also fully armed.

If 'you' are actually in favor of that in your home, I'm ... speechless.

 

Quoting LIMom1105:

OMG, so you want them to get search warrants for every apartment and home in Watertown? Do you realize how much time that would take? Meanwhile, he could slip away or blow up something else.

Gripe all you want, but I would gladly let them search my home to find this guy. I don't think it's unreasonable under the circumstances.

 

 


 

 

 


 

Farmlady09
by Silver Member on Apr. 22, 2013 at 3:40 PM
2 moms liked this

... and to gauge public reaction and response :-(


Quoting kcangel63:

It wasn't for nothing. It was to show their 'power'. To 'flex their muscles' to the rest of us.

:(

Thank you for seeing this too.


Quoting Farmlady09:

I'm part of a military and LE family ~ several generations worth in fact. I'm not frightened of military vehicles or weapons. What you see as 'necessary' I see as pathetic. I'm not a pet. I'm not a zoo animal. I'm definitely not a sheep. I don't want that kind of 'safety'. Those quotes are there because that kind of 'safety' is control, and it's control over everything BUT the problem.


They conducted this search and gave up without finding the guy ... that only happened AFTER they called off the search and only because someone who was paying attention called it in. I've watched video after video. These cops didn't check vehicles ~ including vans. They didn't check most outbuildings. They rampaged through peoples' homes, tossed them around like sacks of crap, screamed, yelled, and brandished their weapons and authority ... for NOTHING. All of that was for nothing. They didn't find the guy.


If you 'welcome' this, you're already a prisoner ... and you make those who want us under control very happy. Go on back to sleep.


 


Quoting LIMom1105:


I have, well the same video that seems to be posted in several places. I did not find it shocking at all. Should they have knocked politely and said pretty please with sugar on top, while giving people all the time in the world to answer the door? I suppose you would say yes, however they were conducting a search of an entire neighborhood, for a man who had explosives and guns. Seeing military vehicles and people in body armor with machine guns IS scary, but I see it as necessary in this day and age following a terrorist attack. Sad but necessary. For months following 9-11 I saw military personnel (mostly National Reserve) with guns and bomb sniffing dogs in big department stores, train stations, and hubs with lots of people, and you know what? They were a welcome presence when the alternative is a terrorist who may blow up the subway I'm about to board. 


Its not nice, it's not pretty, but I haven't read any credible account questioning the legality of this process under the circumstances. I can only conclude you have never live in this sort of situation. If you have and these are your views, I can only SMH. 


Quoting Farmlady09:


You obviously have NOT seen any of the videos of those searches. These were not polite searches. These were beat on the door, scream at you to put your hands on your head, get outside so you can be patted down, drag your children with you with or without coats (and regardless of their screams of fear), in full armor carrying machine guns and backed by military vehicles that were also fully armed.


If 'you' are actually in favor of that in your home, I'm ... speechless.


 


Quoting LIMom1105:

OMG, so you want them to get search warrants for every apartment and home in Watertown? Do you realize how much time that would take? Meanwhile, he could slip away or blow up something else.

Gripe all you want, but I would gladly let them search my home to find this guy. I don't think it's unreasonable under the circumstances.

 


 




 


 


 

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Apr. 22, 2013 at 8:52 PM

I guess not.

There's been so much lately to pay attentin TO1!


Quoting Billiejeens:


Have you not been paying attention?

Quoting SallyMJ:

Well - the Boston PD & FBI caught their fish!  (liked your metaphor.)

I understand the points you are making - they make good sense. But I don't think that is accurate in a life and death situation like this. Otherwise, would never have captured 95% of our murderers. 

I wonder if the FBI can use different tactics - more like military ones? 

There has to be something else going on here.  Otherwise, the Mafia and the world-wide Al Qaida would have taken over DC by now.





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