Has Watertown Made Warrantless Searches The ‘New Normal’?
By Bob Parks
April 25, 2013
The whole notion of the police “manhunt” is not a new American phenomenon. Cops chase bad guys, cops corner bad guys. Sometimes the bad guys give up quietly, sometimes they go down in a blaze of glory. But we’ve always had rules of engagement when it came to law enforcement interaction with the general public.
It appears all that got thrown out the window in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon terror bombing and the subsequent police chase in Cambridge, Massachusetts that came to a screeching halt in Watertown.
Seemingly, for the first time in the United States, we witnessed paramilitary-garbed law enforcement personnel forcing residents out of their homes at gunpoint. In some cases, the language used by law enforcement was menacing.
Because of the hysteria that comes after any terror event, the American people wanted the perpetrators caught and, in doing so, appeared to have allowed their rights against unlawful search and seizure to not be suspended, but removed.
How many times have we watched cop dramas on television where the police had a pretty good idea of where the bad guys were, but as they weren’t sure, came to the door and asked permission to come inside to “have a look around”? The only time they ever bashed a door in is when they absolutely knew the bad guys were there. If there was ever any doubt, they’d have to wait… for a court order from a judge.
That did not happen here.