May 01, 2013 Police set a dangerous precedent with warrantless Watertown searches for suspected Boston bomber
Last week, I decried law enforcement plans — which ended up being carried out for multiple hours — to interrogate Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev without Mirandizing him first.
Sadly, police not only violated Mr. Tsarnaev’s Constitutional rights by not Mirandizing him, but also violated the rights of the occupants of every home, in Watertown (nearby Boston), that the police entered searching without a warrant and wthout always obtaining consent (for starters, how is there consent at gunpoint and when ordered to put one’s hands behind one’s head?) — and at gunpoint, most sadly, as shown in video footage here — without success for Mr. Tsarnaev.
The Fourth Amendment circumscribes the authority of police to search homes, as follows:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
These warrantless home searches were an abomination of civil liberties that were not justified by the emergency involved. Moreover, for police and government officials to suspend Constitutional rights, they are playing right into the hands of the violent people whose actions the government officials use to justify violating our Constitutional rights, by causing more damage to people’s lives than the violent people were themselves able to cause.
Thanks to Ex-Cop Law Student for recently posting a compendium of shocking videos of the warrantless searches, and links to various blog entries on the issue. Thanks to Jonathan Turley for, once again, stepping up to the plate to speak up for preserving our Constitutional rights.
Please add your voice, as well, by telling your local and national lawmakers, government officials, and law enforcement chiefs your opposition to warrantless home searches — including in Watertown — at gunpoint no less.