Thursday, May 2, 2013

Boston Bombing and Controversy Around the Following Manhunt.


To  those who are factlessly claiming that the manhunt in Watertown Massachusets after the Boston Marathon Bombing included forced searches of homes and martial law, please consider the following.

First off, I must cover video and photos and their use to prove anything. Without context, they are useless. You can interpret any photo or video to say what you want if you do not have context. Not to mention several well photo shopped photos circulating the internet. Most of the videos and photos posted where I have read or hear people claiming warrantless searches, do not have the context of them included. For example, did the videographer/photographer know what the report was regarding the residence where people were being pulled out at gunpoint? No. Law Enforcement does not pull people out of residences, vehicles, side of the road, etc. at gun point without a reason. It is America, not Russia or China.

Next, let’s consider a few things about the Terrorists:
1. The Terrorists detonated two IED’s in a crowd of innocent marathon spectators and competitors, murdering three with many more injured.
2. The Terrorists were involved in a car jacking.  
3. The Terrorists murdered a police officer.
4. The Terrorists were in a many mile vehicle pursuit actively shooting at law enforcement while using and attempting to detonate more IED’s.

Next, was Martial Law declared? Unless the Governor or similar Government official states Martial Law is in effect (like during the Katrina disaster), it is not in effect. Just because you saw Law Enforcement out and about and National Guard units called up to assist (EOD skills in particular), does not mean Martial Law was in effect.

The video footage on Youtube such as I’m linking to below, lets you hear Law Enforcement asking, not ordering, people to stay inside. Naturally one would do that when you have violent criminals like explained above on the run.
http://youtu.be/Bm9CisNCS1g

Next, did Law Enforcement forcibly search homes? A few homes or business, yes. Why? Extra information had been presented to Law Enforcment indicating that there was more likely hood of the Terrorists’ being in those locations – i.e. a report of a suspiciously acting middle eastern/muslim male partially matching the description of the Terrorists.

I’m not going to go into the “Exigent Circumstances” clause as I’m not an attorney, but it was very well briefed and understood how it applied by Law Enforcment on scene during this. If a search warrant was or had been needed, the presence of representatives from the US District Attorney’s office and most likely local Jurisdiction Attorney’s on scene made any Search Warrant needs easily put to rest.

How did Law Enforcement conduct the neighborhood search? Read the following from a member of one of the SWAT teams in the search:
            We started out setting up a quick perimeter around each house, contacting the residents, speaking with them, asking them to step out while we checked their house/apartment/basement/garage, etc, and it was taking a long time and tiring the team. everyone was more than happy to give us consent to search, and since they were all watching out the windows as we made our way down the street, the knew we were coming and there were no "Plain view" issues. After a while, we realized that by asking to have everyone inside come to the door and by using our good cop skills, we conducted a quick threshold interview, asking them about their household, and inquiring about their neighbors and the neighborhood, we were able to move forward with our job. If we had any concerns, we asked and were granted permission to search inside. We have never had so many thank yous, or people relieved to see a SWAT team outside their door, than we did Friday

Next, watch this video of one team approaching a residence. No forced searches here, just good old fashioned Police Work like everyone is use to seeing or participating in. http://youtu.be/Z0mU7VATsC8

There you have at least my take on events, from a rounded viewpoint based on reports from those present who took place in the manhunt, but also firsthand footage of the search for the remaining terrorist. Take it for what it is, if it changes your opinion, great. If not, then I probably wasn’t going to anyways.