Does the Fourth Amendment still protect US citizens from unlawful searches and seizures? When considering the recent Boston lockdown and the House-approved CISPA bill, the answer may surprise you.
One of the largest threats to liberty within the United States and elsewhere can be found in injustices that are actually supported by the people themselves. You see, when a media campaign is behind an event like the Boston manhunt, it becomes more of a patriotic event than anything else. The Boston bombing suspects represent terrorism and anti-American ideology, and the Boston police force are the heroes who hunted them down amid the lockdown.
Media narratives like these, which can be found behind many such events, can actually lead the population to cheer on the erosion of their own rights. In fact, my previous article detailing the extent to which police and military would enter private homes at gunpoint led to aggressive hate mail. Some readers called me anti-American, and others called me obscenities for daring to post the video of cops entering the private home at gunpoint. Now to be clear, I understand how brave many police officers are in tracking down dangerous suspects and risking their lives — that is very courageous.
What is unacceptable, however, is for officers to go against the Constitution they swore to uphold. For that, we need to start speaking up.
Boston Lockdown Sets the Precedent to Ignore Your Rights
The reality is that during the Boston lockdown, which was really martial law to the fullest extent, sets a powerful precedent for what can go on during a police investigation. Remember, that’s actually what it was. Dzhokar Tsarnaev was a suspect in the Boston bombings case. And during this investigation/manhunt, police deployed a full arsenal of equipment to track down the 19-year-old. From mine-resistant vehicles used in Afghanistan, to military on the streets, a sizable army soon occupied the streets of the city and nearby suburbs.
One Politico article articulates the precedent of this scenario well, the title of which asks the question as to whether or not city-wide lockdowns are now the ‘new norm’. And the answer to the question is likely ‘yes’. The difference is that next time the police may not have the backing of the people in their endeavor – but does it matter? Now that Boston police have succeeded without a hitch in shutting down an entire city to pursue a single suspect through warrantless home searches, what’s to stop other major cities from engaging in the same practices?
What’s to stop other police agencies from entering homes at gun points to check for dangerous suspects? The Politico article asks the question as well, writing:
“And one of the most unsettling questions is whether the violence-related lockdown of a major U.S. city — an extraordinary moment in American history — sets a life-altering precedent.”
Quite frankly, nothing is stopping them — expect the Fourth Amendment. A powerful set of rules that are above any legislation placed into law by politicians, or excuses made by police. The problem is it’s up to the population if they will choose to hold up the Fourth Amendment, or simply allow for it to trampled underfoot by those who wish to pretend it does not exist. Remember what Benjamin Franklin said, in a chilling statement that seems to foreshadow the current state of our nation (and the world):
“He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.” – Benjamin Franklin