PENNSYLVANIA OATH KEEPERS AND PRINCE LAW OFFICE CONDEMN POLICE STATE OVERPLAY
PENNSYLVANIA OATH KEEPERS AND PRINCE LAW OFFICE CONDEMN POLICE STATE OVERPLAY
Pennsylvania Oath Keepers team with prestigious law firm to condemn newest police-state manifestation.
The story went national in the last week of September, 2014. An elusive suspect who is believed by authorities to have shot two police officers has been the subject of an intense manhunt in a wooded area of eastern Pennsylvania.
I shall link readers to two op-eds at the Prince Law Office site, but first let’s read how Pennsylvania Oath Keepers are reacting to what has unfolded during this manhunt. Here is how Tom Wise describes it:
Imagine peering cautiously from behind your door as heavily armed squads of armored police officers meander across your lawn. Feel the vibrations as armored patrol vehicles roll down your street, and a six and half ton armored breeching platform digs ruts across your front lawn. Pretend the local businesses are closed, parents and children separated, pets are left to fend for themselves, and the elderly are left without care because police have cordoned off your neighborhood. Your friends are helpless, sleeping in their cars through the cold mountain nights, and your family is hungry as they wait for you to return with food. But police refuse to allow you to drive back home.
This bizarre scenario isn’t taken from the plot for Red Dawn. This happened, and is still happening, in Barrett Township and other North Eastern Pennsylvania towns, and your state police are doing this “for your own good.”
Please understand that we are all praying for the family of Cpl. Bryan Dickson, and for the healing of State Trooper Alex Douglass. The loss or injury of any of our public servants is heartbreaking, and we support our State Police in their search for the killer.
At the same time we must ask ourselves if the loss of freedom and liberty, and the endangering of the residents of any town in the United States of America is the proper response in the search for one man. One man who, for what public information we now have, is accused by what seems at best a circumstantial connection to the crime.
In addition, those who have questioned authority’s response and point out its inherent assault on the citizens’ Constitutionally-guaranteed rights, and who have stood for the citizens of Barrett Township in the protection of their civil-rights have had their lives threatened. Threatened for taking a stand against an emerging militarized police presence.
Residents of Canadensis Pennsylvania were overwhelmed by State Troopers searching for Eric Frein, the accused police killer. Videos provided by residents have shown large groups of police officers in full battle gear, automatic weapons ready, walking through yards and wooded areas in squad formation. Pennsylvania State Police have brought in a six and half ton armored mobile sniper platform with breeching capability affectionately named “The Rook.”
Is this the right way to find a fugitive? What ever happened to neighborhood policing? What has happened to asking questions, and seeking input from those that live in the affected area? Do we no longer seek to partner as citizens and protectors? What ever happened to good old fashioned tracking, seeking clues, and detective work, using more peaceful means to police? Is brute force really an effective tool in finding a fugitive from the law?
We the people of Pennsylvania, Oath Keepers in support of the Constitution of the United States, standing ready to support our local and state police in times of trouble or calamity and to protect the Constitution, insist that our officers stand down in Barrett Township. No citizen of the great Commonwealth Of Pennsylvania should be subjected to the suspension of inalienable rights under the constitution in the common exercise of police discretion. No citizen accused of a crime should have their constitutional protections infringed, as we are assumed innocent until proven guilty. No police presence should take the role of a domestic army positioned to face the citizens rather than our outward enemies. The safety of our family and friends cannot be so threatened by police in the fulfillment of their duties, nor should our citizens be moved to accept such a threat as common to our lives.
So that is how Tom Wise and the leadership of Pennsylvania Oath Keepers have worded their concern. Tom Wise makes good points. One point he brushed over very lightly but hinted at is found down the column at this article on the local ABC affiliate News-13 website:
Lt. Col. George Bivens is quoted saying: “Lethal force is authorized upon positive identification if he is not actively surrendering,”
Shoot him if he doesn’t act right when apprehended, use lethal force if he does not “actively surrender”. No arrest, no charges, no trial, no jury verdict – just take him out unless he is actively surrendering. And then hope you shot the right guy.
Well, that is sorta where another side of this story comes into play. The esteemed Prince Law Firm has spoken up in opposition to this police-state drama, and for their trouble in defending the Constitution they are now receiving death threats from anonymous statist-minded parties. Anyone can relate to why a law firm devoted to protecting citizens’ Constitutionally-guaranteed rights would object to a call for lethal force to be used on a man who has not been brought to trial.
The elder Prince in Prince Law Office, PC, wrote an op-ed on the firm’s blog and titled it “The Uproar”. It was written and published by Warren H. Prince, Esq. on September 25, 2014. Link:
Warren Prince began his article with these words: “I must admit that I’m surprised by the vitriol arising from Joshua’s recent post about State Police action in Pennsylvania. Our staff has received death threats. Can you believe it? Death threats because we expressed an opinion contrary to theirs and in support of the Constitution.”
Warren Prince was alluding to an article his son, Joshua Prince, had written on the law firm’s blog, which has stirred the ire of some statist-minded people who want to see an over-played show of force by the State Police, and by some others who want to use this manhunt as an “on the job” training situation for teaching cops how to use their new military-grade mechanical toy, that “Rook”. After all, as the Department of Homeland Security continues to pre-position military-style equipment all over America by granting such vehicles and equipment to police departments and Sheriffs’ offices, it would come in handy for them if the local police were to be trained on how to use that equipment. The police then become an equipped extension of the military in a liaison of military-police state “martial governance” which DHS is attempting to construct.
In a more recent article by Joshua (Josh) Prince, the issue is clarified even more. Please read the whole article at the Prince Law Office blogsite, here:
From that article:
The Legal Issues of the Eric Frein Manhunt
By Joshua Prince, Esq., October 03 2014
As our viewers are likely aware, several of our recent blogs (mainly my own) regarding the Eric Frein manhunt have resulted in some controversy. Prince Law Offices has always stood by the rule of law and the Constitution. It is in that spirit that the blog articles at the heart of this controversy, and this response, were written.
At Prince Law Offices, we believe that our legal system, of which the Constitution is the heart, exists both to prosecute those who commit crimes and to protect the civil and natural rights of the citizens. Sometimes, those two goals come into conflict with one another, as they have here. The Pennsylvania State Police are operating to catch and prosecute the suspect of a capital crime. They should fully utilize the resources provided them under the law to pursue and arrest the suspect, who will then be afforded an opportunity to defend himself before a judge and jury. Let us not forget that, as of now, he is a suspect and no matter what evidence has been presented by the media or the police, the foundation of our criminal justice system is that everyone receives the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. It is for precisely situations such as this that the protections of the Constitution exist, and Prince Law Offices proudly stands by its dedication and commitment to protecting the Constitutional rights of all citizens.
While the State Police are clearly working to execute their mandate to enforce the criminal laws of the Commonwealth, our concern is they are neglecting the other side of the equation – the protection of all citizens’ Constitutional and natural rights.
(end quoted excerpts from Joshua Prince article at above link)
So it is imperative that this vision of justice be brought before the public mind. Oath Keepers commends the Prince Law Office as well as State chapter President Larry Liguori, Tom Wise, and all the other Pennsylvania Oath Keepers who are working to do just that. We will post an update as things there develop.
Elias Alias, editor