7/7/2013 2:16:05 PM
Section 4: National
Subject: Constitution? What Constitution? Msg# 861757
In a perfect world, I think the police would do exactly that, Dale, surveil from a distance before moving in to confront. I know that we've had similar conversations with Jerry Webb in the Firearms Forum and he agrees that it's a bad idea to go in without adequate intelligence. That has to be factored in with other elements of the situation, though. Do we know that there were other circumstances that led the officers here into direct confrontation? Not from the TV blurb we don't, but that is the kind of stuff that should come out in the follow-up investigation.
As to the other situations you pointed out, I agree that they show governmental excess and should never have happened. I think highway check points for drunk or drug-impaired drivers are inappropriate and violate our rights. The young man in that video (which I didn't watch in its entirety - I've seen plenty of similar ones) likely was technically right but civil disobedience has its own pitfalls!
The home invasion by SWAT in Henderson was just plain wrong and I hope the homeowners prevail in court. The Third Amendment basis for a suit is curious and seems iffy to me but I don't think there's any question that their Fourth Amendment rights were grossly violated!
A governmental right to pilfer your safe deposit box at a bank? Give me a break! I predict that there will be a run on shovels and waterproof boxes if this ever becomes common knowledge. I was somewhat ambivalent on the need for a Patriot Act before but this seals it - get rid of the Patriot Act! I would rather be in peril from terrorists than from my own government!
As to the forcible blood draw, the police had a warrant. What made it forcible, their desire to execute the warrant or the presumably drunk driver's attempt to not cooperate with the warrant. Before reading this article, I assumed that the forcible blood draw was the result of an "implied consent" law where drivers give up the right to refuse a blood alcohol test as a condition of being allowed to drive on public roads, but it was more than that; it was an attempt by police to execute a legitimate judicial warrant! What's the difference between that and the police breaking into your house and physically taking you into custody with an arrest warrant?
Compared to these more serious issues, the Dearborn garage thing is just silliness. Certainly I believe someone should have the right to sit in their garage if desired. I had a friend in Michigan many years ago who carpeted his garage, constructed a big screen to fit the open garage door frame and set a table and chairs out there every summer. It was not uncommon. We used to play poker in his garage back in those days before whole-house air conditioning was considered a constitutional right! Of course, that was in Howell, not Dearborn. Incidentally, the Las Vegas Review-Journal finally covered that story in Saturday's paper but I can't link it here because it wasn't important enough to put on their web edition!
The problem here is that we have given up our right to do what we please with our property in a generally beneficial trade-off. Cities have long had the power, granted by their residents, to zone properties and legislate against certain usages. That's what keeps hog processing plants aout of residential neighborhoods and sex stores from setting up next to elementary schools. As stupid as I think this Dearborn ordinance is, it likely is the product of similar reasoning and would take broad and serious opposition to take off the books.
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I'm not a police officer and I don't play one on TV. I know that they've got a tough job and mistakes will be made. However, in the future it seems to me that if there is a situation where the suspect is not an active shooter, and in fact, isn't presently presenting a threat to anyone, it might be a good idea to observe from a distance before confronting the suspect directly. At least then officers would have a better idea what they were getting into.
So what do you think of the other incidents that I pointed out? I'm particularly concerned about the warrantless search and seisures.