search
top

Suspending the Fourth Amendment in Pennsylvania

The manhunt for an accused cop killer is heating up in Northeastern Pennsylvania. I should be clear that I hope the State Police catch this guy, since regardless of whatever grudge one may have against cops in general, singling out two random officers for execution is unconscionable. But my support for the PSP in their manhunt is greatly tempered when I read of nonsense like this:

Heavily armed state troopers guarded an entrance into a neighborhood or area where they believe 31-year-old suspected cop killer Eric Frein may be hiding.

Police are checking every vehicle leaving. Local residents still have not been able to get back into their homes since last night, with some sleeping in shelters, others in their cars as it appears police are hot on Frein’s track but still haven’t got him.

No, you don’t get to kick people out of their homes and randomly search vehicles just because it’s a cop killer. You wouldn’t do that for someone who murdered a convenience store clerk, and you know it. You don’t get to suspend the Constitution just because its one of your own. This is what makes people hate cops in the first place.

39 Responses to “Suspending the Fourth Amendment in Pennsylvania”

  1. Robert says:

    I’m just waiting for some innocent guy in a truck that “sorta looks like him” to get 6 or 7 magazines emptied into him.

    • Cargosquid says:

      Doesn’t even take that.

      Remember the two women mistaken for that “rogue” cop in California. They were also driving a different model truck.

      The cops put a huge amount of rounds into the truck injuring the women.

  2. Sounds like the type of matter that 1983 actions are made of….

  3. Joe_in_Pitt says:

    Reminds me of the time some SWAT team kicked a guy out of his house to have a “tactical advantage” against someone barricaded in a house next door. Wondering what kind of arguments homeowners have under the 4th Amendment but the 3rd as well, as we’ve blurred the line between soldiers and SWAT team members sufficiently IMO.

    • Bitter says:

      There was a 3rd Amendment case brought, I believe, last year or the year before when a man was hauled out of his house by the police so they could use it during their response to a domestic issue next door. I didn’t see what happened with the case, or if they are still wading through the legal system. I know I blogged about the case when it was filed though.

      • Joe_in_Pitt says:

        That’s probably where I got my recollection from then. :)

        I do hope they get this guy, but hopefully someone wins a 4th or 3rd Amendment case against a PD for stuff like this at some point in the near future. Homeowners aren’t at-will tenants of the state, destined to be forcefully evicted from their homes whenever their police overlords deem it necessary.

      • I believe it is Mitchell, et al. v. City of Henderson, et al, District Court of Nevada, Docket No. 2:13-cv-01154. A copy of the Complaint is available here. Not sure of the current status

        edited by admin to reduce link size

        • Arnie says:

          Safari wouldn’t open your link claiming an invalid address. I would love to see 3rd Amendment issues win out in court. I am tired of hearing how outdated and irrelevant this Amendment is today. That dangerous lie is like a disease that could infect (and has infected) the other provisions in the Bill of rights as well, especially the 2nd.

  4. Merle says:

    Yep – that sure does lower people’s good will about cops.

    Merle

  5. RAH says:

    Sounds like the suspect is a very dangerous guy. Hope these police tactics don’t create more dangerous guys.

  6. Renegade_Azzy says:

    A State rep actually posted to his public FB presence that he didn’t care about the idea that this guy would not get a trial, and him and his other followers insinuated I was anti cop or anti American for wanting real justice and not a state funded lynch mob.

  7. Chris from AK says:

    Same shenanigans ensued when that Dorner guy in CA was on the loose. IIRC there were photos of nervous motorized infantrymen LEOs pointing ARs into cars with no RAS or PC or imminent threat. ARs with loaded mags (who knows if the rounds were chambered).

    Frankly I kind of wish we still just called out the National Guard if the local sheriff couldn’t handle the situation. The typical Guard unit is more professionally led and has significantly tighter ROEs than nervous cops seem to be.

    • Renegade_Azzy says:

      And I have little hope that police of any sort could not be unbiased in this chase.

    • Sebastian says:

      Sheriffs in PA have no general law enforcement power. If a town in Pennsylvania doesn’t have local police (which is a lot of jurisdictions, and probably most rural jurisdictions) your police are the State Police.

      • Rob says:

        That’s an odd arrangement. Where I grew up, it was the exact opposite. We had no local PD, the sheriff and his deputies were the police, and there were no state police, just Highway Patrol who only had limited jurisdiction (basically just to highways, freeways, and roads that connected to highways/freeways).

        • Sebastian says:

          That’s a more common arrangement in the West and South. In most northeastern and mid-atlantic states, Sheriffs have virtually no day-to-day LEO duties. And that’s a shame, because the sheriff in PA is still an elected office, and I think all LEO chiefs should be elected and not appointed.

          • Joe_in_Pitt says:

            Interesting, my hometown in NY actually voted to disbanded our town police back in 1996, to this day the town is patrolled by county sheriff’s deputies primarily (the Sheriff is elected) and one NY State Police car is usually in the town at any given time from what I’ve heard.

      • Kirk Parker says:

        Sheriffs in PA have no general law enforcement power.

        You learn something new every day!

        So what to sheriffs in PA do, then?

        • Arnie says:

          Indeed; I’d like to know, too!

          • Zermoid says:

            Mostly transfer prisoners from jail to jail or jail to court and back.
            And serve legal papers I believe.

        • Sebastian says:

          They are the enforcement arm of the courts in PA. They handle gun permits. They handle firearms transfers. They handle evictions and foreclosures. That’s it though.

  8. Stanley says:

    the overall cheerleading for the police state that took hold of boston after the boston marathon pretty much closed the book on these situations….. they’re here to stay…. no jury is going to end up with 12 people on it who give a damn about silly things like rights when something so precious as perceived security is at stake…. cops know it, even the ones who can name a couple of the first few amendments…. bend over and take it.

  9. Rydak says:

    “You wouldn’t do that for someone who murdered a convenience store clerk, and you know it.”

    Um.,..yes they would and they have. Check your facts sir. I find that statement to be an insult to every cop risking his life for his fellow citizen and an unwarranted character assassination of police in general.

    They got him cornered. He is armed and ready to kill anyone who gets in his way. As evidenced by his words and actions.

    Why set up a perimeter if your gonna let anyone come and go as they please? And if you do…what happens if a person they let into an area that they know the killer is in and that person gets killed? Oh..millions of dollars in law suits, payed for by the tax payers of course, because those stupid cops let the person into an area where a known killer was cornered.

    Nice to see they are out there breaking their humps to get this nutcase out of society and here are my peeps bitching and moaning about a temporary protective perimeter around houses…like they chose the location. They are very much aware of how inconvenient this is for the residents. They are also aware of the constitution and have not stopped anyone who wanted to leave the area. But to let them in…..if they got killed their death would be on the PD.

    Seriously man….cops are always dammed if ya do and dammed if ya don’t.

    I know it usually is over in about 20 mins on TV and all. Not in real life. Sometimes things get ugly and they make the best decision they can….which many times ends up being a choice between a bad decision and a worst decision.

    Didn’t mean to interrupt anyone’s insults. Please continue about the Constitution and stuff.

    • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

      Why set up a perimeter if your gonna let anyone come and go as they please? And if you do…what happens if a person they let into an area that they know the killer is in and that person gets killed? Oh..millions of dollars in law suits, payed for by the tax payers of course, because those stupid cops let the person into an area where a known killer was cornered.

      Because we have these things called rights. Yes there is a risk that he might get out, but just like the principle to let 10 guilty go free lest an innocent person go to jail, that is a risk worth taking.

      Sorry, but violating rights to catch a criminal is an anathema to our society. There are ways to do with without violating rights- its just harder. Sorry, but that’s the way it should be.

      Nice to see they are out there breaking their humps to get this nutcase out of society and here are my peeps bitching and moaning about a temporary protective perimeter around houses…like they chose the location. They are very much aware of how inconvenient this is for the residents. They are also aware of the constitution and have not stopped anyone who wanted to leave the area. But to let them in…..if they got killed their death would be on the PD.

      I’m glad they are trying to get him, but they do not need to violate the rights of the citizens they are supposed to be protecting. These are people’s houses, and if they want to take the risk of going there, that is their choice, because its their right. If they get killed its not on the police- because the police have no duty to protect citizens.

      • Arnie says:

        Agreed, Patrick. And that’s why the 2A secures our right to be armed, so that we can protect ourselves in these situations as well as from tyrannical government. If we are appropriately armed, this cop-killer has more to fear from the citizenry than they do from him. I am not as afraid of a terrorist attacking my well-armed home as I am the heavily-armed government attacking it and my God-given rights.

        Here is a link to a similar discussion following the Boston Marathon manhunt, with an excerpt about the detriments of an unarmed citizenry. You’ll recall that city was “locked down” and some of its innocent citizens forcibly removed from their homes and searched at gunpoint without warrants or reasonable suspicion. I think this a pretty balanced article and it asks that we have a conversation on the matter so we can do better next time, and not just descend into a police state.
        Here’s the excerpt and link:

        “A heavily armed citizenry would have made Boston a safer place. Boston isn’t exactly a gun-friendly environment. The terrorists certainly had guns, but most of Boston’s citizens were helpless, locked in their own homes with little means of defense. Once again, the only people who were inhibited by Boston’s gun control laws were the innocent citizens.
        I know we can do better. America, it’s time to have a national conversation about how we respond to danger and crisis. Think about how abusive and unconstitutional the TSA is at the airport, yet the entire organization is sloppy, corrupt, and ineffective. We cannot allow a police state to become the norm in our society. We must plan now to prevent such an outcome.”

        See more at: http://poorrichardsnews.com/post/48566461810/america-we-need-to-talk-about-the-boston-lockdown#sthash.XRefLYUE.dpuf

    • Alpheus says:

      I somehow doubt that the police would be in all that much hot water if the alleged murderer had gotten out of a non-existent perimeter and killed someone. The courts have ruled, again and again, that the police do not have the duty to protect individual citizens; they only have a duty to protect the citizenry at large.

    • divemedic says:

      Who cares about that pesky Constitution, anyway? After all, the police have a job to do, or something.

    • Sebastian says:

      I don’t have a problem with them setting up a perimeter. What I have a problem with is not letting people back to their homes if they accept the risk and want to go anyway. I have no problem with them advising people that it’s best to stay away. But at the end of the day people have a right to go home, and a right to refuse a search not supported by probable cause.

    • Laughingdog says:

      You know, you could keep all the citizens really safe from the guy if you just locked them all up in jail cells…you know, for their safety and that of the officers.

      If it’s too hard for you to do your job without trampling on the rights of an entire community, maybe you should just find another job.

  10. Braden Lynch says:

    Rydak, how about rolling in with some Apache gunships or nuking the site from orbit, just to be sure?

    It’s just private property and where people live, so it’s no big deal. /end sarcasm.

    Sorry, my faith in the police left me when my little town had an incident less serious than this. They rolled in an MRAP and a CHP pointed his M4 in the face of a driver coming up to the perimeter (that’s a lethal force threat).

  11. Larry says:

    As a contrast to the way this is being handled. Back in the mid 80’s a Inmate was being transferred for a court date in Charleston area of SC, On a road in the West of the Ashley area he over powered and shot the two LEO’s that were in the car with him and escaped. Massive response from all the local agencys. Area residents were warned, asked the public to stay inside and away from the search area ( but people were not forced out or stopped from entering area if had good reason). They did set a perimeter with roadblocks and had officers stopping cars driving out of one residential area that was mixed housing /woods/open lots /brush. the people in the cars were only stopped long enough to be shown a picture of the suspect and asked if they had seen anything unusual. They started a systematic search including knocking on each door showing a picture and asking to search out building and yards. For the most part even though SWAT types were involved most of the public contact was made by regular uniformed officers.The suspect was caught because a homeowner came home and noticed that his boat in the backyard had been moved slightly and called in a report. The homeowner had been away for a few days had heard the news on the way home and even though he was outside the current search area looked over his house and then headed out to check his shed when he stepped out he noticed that the john boat lying upside down by the shed had been moved just enough to see the dead grass that had been covered before.

    Based on my personal experience and of others I talked to or were reported in the news ALL Leo interactions with the public during this incident were very polite and as unintrusive as possible with one apparently a group of about 5 teens decided to have a party in the woods just down the road about a mile from the search area (common party spot)a couple of troopers were dispatch to check on a citizens report of suspicious activity. When the teens were asked to dump out their beer and go home they apparently refused to comply so ended up arrested on underage drinking and drug charges.

    • Jake says:

      A similar contrast can be shown with the hunt for William Morva here in My Town. Even after he ambushed and murdered one of the Sheriff’s Deputies looking for him, there was no running people out of their homes, no massive neighborhood lockdowns. Even Virginia Tech didn’t shut down until there had been a (unfounded) report that someone matching his description was in one of the buildings (the original search area was not near campus at that time).

      • Renegade_Azzy says:

        But this was before MRAPs were common police vehicles, and before police saw the Boston method as a viable option.

  12. Sterling Archer says:

    Karl Denninger is discussing this topic today:

    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=229439

    I guess the PA State Police have no more respect for the Constitution than the Boston PD.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Having Your Rights Violated? | Shall Not Be Questioned - […] in Pike and Monroe Counties to contact him if their rights have been violated based on an article linked…
  2. SayUncle » We saw this after the Boston Marathon bombing too - […] Suspending the fourth amendment in PA: […]
  3. How To Fix Invalid Picture Inpa Errors - Windows Vista, Windows 7 & 8 - […] Suspending the Fourth Amendment in Pennsylvania | … – Sep 22, 2014 · The manhunt for an accused cop killer…
top