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“Temporary Intrusion” of the First Amendment

The Express-Times in Lehigh Valley area decided to attack those concerned about potential constitutional violations in an op-ed, saying that those who have had their rights violated and want to stand up for them are merely “opportunistic” and too concerned with themselves to put up with a “temporary intrusion” that has lasted at least a week.

They even highlight a quote from the Pennsylvania State Police’s PR guy that assures us that not all people are completely cut off from their homes. Citizens can trust that if the police think you actually have a good reason to go to your home, then they will be the ones to decide if/when you get access, and only under escort if they like your reasons for wanting to go home.

So, I’d like to know how the Express-Times staff would react to the news that the state police argue that their coverage of the events is helping the suspect evade law enforcement. Sure, they have no actual evidence that the suspect has access to their papers, but it’s a possibility that he might be in the area and using the resources to evade them – like he might possibly be hiding out in every single car in the area or every home in the area.

Therefore, the police ask that the Express-Times stop publishing their paper during this “temporary intrusion” and that any efforts to argue that they have a First Amendment right that must be respected is a case of them being “opportunistic” and overly greedy with their Constitution rights claims.

Some public relations officer will remind their editors that they aren’t really blocking all access to their publishing equipment – because if the police determine there’s any message worth hearing, then they will provide an armed escort to any reporter or editor they hand select to supervise their limited visit to the printer.

I find it hard to believe that the Express-Times staff wouldn’t be on the phone to lawyers trying to argue for their Constitutional rights. Why are they condemning anyone else who is concerned that in specific instances, perhaps law enforcement have gone too far and actually crossed the line into violating someone’s rights?

According to another report on the situation, attorney Josh Prince has already talked to someone who was forced out of their home, despite having three dogs there, and has been refused access to care for them since Sunday. It was Tuesday when that story was posted. The New York Times found a man who was thrown to the ground and detained in handcuffs just for going to his own home.

Regardless of what the public relations officer is telling the media, it’s clear that there are reports from those forced to leave that the police are keeping people away from their homes. If they aren’t keeping them away from their homes, it’s clear that at least some officers have gotten a little too quick to act against local citizens. Any lawyer who is helping someone understand their rights – and whether or not they have been violated – should be applauded.

6 Responses to ““Temporary Intrusion” of the First Amendment”

  1. James says:

    Indeed, this subject makes my blood boil. I’m probably going to regret hitting ‘submit’ on this post.

    As evidenced by the comments on the opinion piece by the Express-Times editors, bravo to the free people of PA. Way to tell statists to FO.

    Free people aren’t going to put up with this nonsense for very long. Most of us know it shouldn’t have gotten to this point anyway; it’s a never ending battle.

  2. Sebastian says:

    I doubt you’re going to find many people here who are apologists for police acting beyond the law.

  3. Sendarius says:

    Third amendment?

    What exactly is the difference between “unable to use my house because a government soldier is there” and “unable to use my house because an armed government employee says that I can’t”?

    • Sebastian says:

      Not much. I think a third amendment claim is plausible. Especially because it really protects fundamental property rights and the common law notion that “a man’s home is his castle.”

      The Constitution certainly emanates the penumbra, if you get what I’m saying.

  4. Drifter says:

    I can’t believe the paper agreed with a cop killer being more seriously hunted than the murderer of a regular citizen.

    Another thing that annoys me is that killing a police K-9 = killing an officer, but your dog’s life is worthless. I guess some dogs are more equal than others.

    • AuricTech says:

      According to another report on the situation, attorney Josh Prince has already talked to someone who was forced out of their home, despite having three dogs there, and has been refused access to care for them since Sunday. It was Tuesday when that story was posted. [emphasis added]

      Indeed.

      Actually, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the person in question ends up being charged with felony animal neglect for failing to feed those three dogs.

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