Active Duty Houston Peace Officer Speaks His Mind About Unconstitutional Actions in Wake of Boston Bombing
Like most other people, I was glued to my television when I heard that terrorist suspects were on the loose in America. More so, peace officers around the country put themselves in the place of the officers in and around Boston wanting to catch the terrorists. Unfortunately the City of Boston, the State of Massachusetts, and the Federal Government completely threw the U. S. Constitution out of the window in the process and imposed martial law on the people in and around Boston. Martial Law is totally incompatible with the beliefs of the framers and founders of our constitution and the imposition of Martial Law actually hampered the best efforts of all sworn peace officers involved in the man-hunt.
From check points on all major roads, to orders for all people to remain in their homes, to military vehicles patrolling the area, to people being detained and arrested for merely coming outside, to paramilitary troops aiming loaded rifles at people for looking out of their windows, to door to door warrantless searches the peace officers and military troops involved in the “Lock Down of Boston” violated the their oaths and set another terrible precedent in the ongoing erosion of our personal freedom. The above actions are those of a military force occupying a conquered territory, not those of constitutionally bound public servants.
The most important concept for you, as peace officers, to understand is that an “Emergency” doesn’t change or erase the constitutional limits on their authority. Basically, if you don’t have a right to do it on any normal day, you can’t do it in an “emergency”. There is no “emergency” exception to the U. S. Constitution. There is no “emergency” exception to your Oath of Office. Don’t get caught up in the fervor of “catching the terrorist” and throw away your integrity. In fact, many argue that it is indeed these times of “emergency” that peace officers should be MORE protective of individual liberties and restrained on the use of their authority. This is fidelity to your oath. This is fidelity to the people you swore to protect.
In the end, did Martial Law do anything to further protect the people from the terrorists. The answer is NO. The citizens of Boston almost uniformly abided by the martial law edicts and stayed in their homes. They sat on their couches glued to the televisions waiting for the government to solve another one of their problems. For hours everyone waited, and waited, and waited with nothing of note taking place. It was only when the martial law was lifted did a man go outside for a cigarette and see the blood leading to the covered boat. How much sooner would the accused terrorist have been caught if instead of being told to “Stay on Your Homes”, they were told to “Check your property for anything suspicious” and “Check in with your Neighbors and make sure they’re OK”. The citizens have always been the best tool in the peace officer’s arsenal. Instead of 2,000 pairs of eyes looking for the suspect in areas they knew little of nothing about, it would have been 600,000 pairs of eyes each searching areas they had personal knowledge of. The math speaks for itself.
We, as sworn peace officers, must zealously guard the rights of the people we are bound to protect and use our minds to successfully complete the police mission without violating our oaths. As Oath Keepers we have an even higher calling because we are called to Watch the Watchers, and be ever ready to call out those that violate their oaths.
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