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Boston Police to Conduct Warrantless Home Searches

November 19, 2007

 Cross posted at Grizzly Groundswell

Cross posted on Political Grind

 In a time where the left has accused the president of trampling the constitution with his foreign surveillance program, which the left has dubbed the domestic spying program, also known as warrantless wiretapping, I find this story rather interesting. The headline of the story,”Police to Search for Guns in Homes”, is innocent enough, but when you read the story it is a little more involved than that.

Boston police are launching a program that will call upon parents in high-crime neighborhoods to allow detectives into their homes, without a warrant, to search for guns in their children’s bedrooms.

 Boston police now want to prey on the fear of parents in order to illegally search their homes. Now while the left has been up in arms about the president listening to terrorists talk on the telephone, it will be interesting to see if there is an uproar over these illegal, unconstitutional searches.

 How many parents will be afraid to not let the police in for fear they will look as though they are hiding something? How many parents will feel pressured to let the police in?

 Police are promising they will bring no charges up against a teen if they do find an illegal weapon in the house unless the weapon was found to have been used in a crime. This seems like they are only going halfway with this. They want to break into houses to search for guns, but they don’t want to press any charges once they are found? How do they figure that will help a violent teenager. All that will teach a troubled youth is that the police are lawbreakers and will help to build their anger toward the police.

 Another troubling aspect to this program is how the police will decide which homes to try to break into. It won’t just be random searches.

Police will rely primarily on tips from neighbors. They will also follow tips from the department’s anonymous hot line and investigators’ own intelligence to decide what doors to knock on. A team of about 12 officers will visit homes in four Dorchester and Roxbury neighborhoods: Grove Hall, Bowdoin Street and Geneva Avenue, Franklin Hill and Franklin Field, and Egleston Square.

 Any tip whatsoever will be used to engage in this unconstitutional search. That means if you and your neighbor don’t see eye to eye they could decide to report to the police that they are afraid of your child and the police will try to search your house illegally.

 If the police come to a person’s door and ask to be let in without a warrant and the person refuses, does this give the police probable cause to then go and get a warrant? This is a scary precedent being set here. We need to stop this before it ever starts.

 What I find fascinating is that some are of the opinion that this is a way to empower the parents.

“What I like about this program is it really is a tool to empower the parent,” he said. “It’s a way in which they can get a hold of the household and say, ‘I don’t want that in my house.’ “

 How can this be empowering the parent? The parent is just passing off responsibility to the police, they are not being empowered by this program. They are handing over their civil rights and this is considered empowerment, what has happened to us?

 On a good note, there does seem to be resistance to this unconstitutional program.

“I just have a queasy feeling anytime the police try to do an end run around the Constitution,” said Thomas Nolan, a former Boston police lieutenant who now teaches criminology at Boston University. “The police have restrictions on their authority and ability to conduct searches. The Constitution was written with a very specific intent, and that was to keep the law out of private homes unless there is a written document signed by a judge and based on probable cause. Here, you don’t have that.”

 That is what is truly at stake here, the constitution. This an attack on the second and fourth amendments. People were so up in arms about a surveillance program that spied on terrorist calls originating from overseas coming into the United States, which affected nobody but terrorists or terrorist sympathisers, now we have a true attack on our constitution. An attack that in many cases will affect law abiding private citizens. Where is the outrage?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 21, 2007 2:12 pm

    this is absolutely Orwellian in nature. They might as well give the police tan shirts and red arm bands! I can’t believe that anybody would think that this is acceptable. Last time I checked, we didn’t live in a police state – which about the only instance that I can think of that would make this sort of thing acceptable.

    Like

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