As one terrorist lay dead in Boston the other, his younger brother, was on the loose in Watertown Massachusetts. The police from many local, state and federal agencies descended on the town to find the accomplice to the deadly Boston Marathon Bombing. During the search the rights of the people were violated and very few objected or took a stand to prevent the intrusion of government into their lives.
Parts of Boston were locked down. Businesses were told not to open and residents were told to stay inside their homes. There is no indication that any order, executed in accordance with Massachusetts law, was implemented. People were told to stay put and they did. Was martial law declared? Why were people not allowed to move freely about town and go about their lives?
Then the police conducted a house to house search for the terror suspect. The police are well within their duties to knock on doors and ask if there is a problem or if people have seen the suspect. They are free to ask people if it is OK for them to come inside and look around.
But people are free to say no. Unfortunately, it appears as if people were not really given the chance. The police were outside with firearms pointed at doors and people were asked if it was OK to look around. No one can give free consent when faced with armed people. It amounts to coercion.
There are reports that at least one household told police that they did not consent to a search. Those folks were marched out of their house while the police conducted a search of the premises. This is a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution. Without a validly executed warrant the police have no right to enter someone’s home (barring a few limited exigent circumstances).
Forcing people from their homes at gunpoint (or even not at gunpoint) in order to search that home after the occupant has denied consent is a violation of the Constitution and those who did this should be held to account for what they did.
The police did a great job hunting down the bad guy and this is in no way an indictment of their work in that regard BUT there is no excuse for violating the rights of citizens in order to catch a bad guy no matter how dangerous he is.
Our rights are enshrined and protected by the US Constitution (and as shown above, by the Massachusetts Constitution) to prevent these things from happening. To dismiss this as some extraordinary circumstance allows government to define or invent all kinds of circumstances in which they can ignore our rights.
And since people in Boston did not push back the police now know they can get away with further erosion of the people’s rights.
It is a sad time in America when the government violates rights. It is even sadder that people allow it to happen.
Does it bother anyone that the government can shut down an American city and infringe on the rights of Americans to find one terrorist but refused to send help to Americans in Benghazi where it would have been appropriate to secure the place and help Americans?
Never surrender, never submit.