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Police Get...Helpful
Posted by: Dale Franks on Monday, June 23, 2008

Well, we've finally arrived at a point where something must me done about police who have attitudes like this.
A Lakeville man says he feels violated after two police officers woke him up at 3 a.m. to tell him his door was unlocked.

Their surprise visit was part of a public service campaign to remind residents to secure their homes to prevent thefts. Usually, officers just leave notices on doors.

But they went further in Troy Molde's case on Thursday. Police entered the house where four children under 7 were having a sleepover, and then went upstairs to Molde's bedroom.

The officers told Molde his garage door was open, the TV was on, the keys to his truck were left in the ignition and the door to his house was ajar.
Note to police: If you enter my house in the dark of night, you have an excellent chance of being attacked by very large dogs, shot without warning, or both.

You have no business in my house, unless you have a warrant. Other than that, if I want your help, I'll call you.

Leaving my door unlocked, should I choose to do so, is not probable cause for entry.
A police spokesman says the intrusion was justified because the officers' initial door knocks went unanswered, and they wanted to make sure nothing was wrong.
Yeah. Funny how police departments always determine that their officers are "justified".
 
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An unanswered door? At -3AM-?? Obviously something must be TERRIBLY wrong inside!
 
Written By: Lysenko
URL: http://
Note to police: If you enter my house in the dark of night, you have an excellent chance of being attacked by very large dogs, shot without warning, or both.

While I sympathize with you, if you’re going to have large dogs around or shoot at interlopers, there would seem to be an onus on you to keep your damned doors locked. After all, every now and then stupid kids, drunk people or senile people have been known to waltz into entirely the wrong house.
 
Written By: ben
URL: http://
"The officers told Molde his garage door was open, the TV was on, the keys to his truck were left in the ignition and the door to his house was ajar."

While I sympathize with your point, it says that the door was ajar, not just unlocked. Along with the garage door open at night, TV on, but no response to knocks, I’d assume my neighbor might be seriously ill or an accident happened and I would be concerned.

I get it that the cops shouldn’t have gone in, but there’s some context there.

If the dude had been lying unconscious on his kitchen floor, I bet he’d not be so worried about his rights being violated.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
I’m reminded of the Polly Klaus tragedy. With seven children holding a sleepover, I would have been grateful for their efforts. As would their parents probably were.
 
Written By: jfw1961
URL: http://
Sorry I have to side with the police at least a little on this one. If they had knocked on the door, got no response, then left and the next day it turns out the guy was murdered or had been attacked and couldnt respond then the police would have been hammered in the paper for their incompetence.

Who was it that went through a police road block? John Wayne Gacy. He had a victim in his car.

Maybe not totally analogous but still.

 
Written By: retired military
URL: http://
It wasn’t the door was UNLOCKED, it was AJAR and the garage door was open and his keys in the truck...dude is drunk or there is trouble...I’m with the cops on this one, sorry Dale.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I think I side with Dale on this.

The car was in the garage. How did the police know the keys were in the ignition? They entered the garage.

How did the police see that the door to the house from the garage was ajar? (The homeowner said on the local radio that it was ajar about 1/4 inch, i.e. closed, not latched?) They entered the garage.

I don’t think that merely having a garage door open is probable cause to enter the garage.

Every action the police took was predicated by their unlawful entry to the garage. Hence every subsequent action is suspect and possibly unlawful.

Is the homeowner under any obligation to answer his door at 3AM (ever)? Not that I am aware of.

The police were overstepping their authority, AND they were putting both themselves, and the home owner at great risk of bodily harm. If the home owner had shot at the (to him)intruders to his home, who had woken him from sleep, the police would have fired back. Someone could have been killed.

The homeowner is under no requirement by law to shut his garage door, lock his house up, or even to shut his door. Now is that wise, especially in an (sub)urban environment? Probably not, but it is the home owner’s choice.
 
Written By: Loren
URL: http://
"Leaving my door unlocked, should I choose to do so, is not probable cause for entry."

According to the article, the door was ajar, not just unlocked. At three AM. The garage door was also open. At three AM. And the television was on. Maybe in your neighborhood this is normal, but in many neighborhoods this is unusual and may indicate something amiss. In most places I know of it is certainly an invitation to miscreants.

Going farther into the article;
"He says the kids inside — Molde’s two sons and two nephews — were afraid to wake their dad, so the officers went upstairs."

And according to the video (http://cbs2chicago.com/watercooler/cops.wake.man.2.753174.html), the police rang the doorbell and knocked on the door before they entered the house. Upon opening the door from the garage to the house they apparently saw a child lying on the floor.

One step leads to the next step. At which point should they have just ignored a potentially serious situation and walked away?

 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
A little more information;

"It turns out nothing was going on, except that Troy had forgotten to shut the garage and lock his doors, but police say they worried. A third of Lakeville’s residential burglaries occur because of open garage doors, and just last month, a man in nearby Burnsville was murdered during a break in. That’s why Vonhof says his officers did the right thing, not knowing if the Moldes were in danger."
According to the accompanying video Mr. Molde states that the police looked in the windows and saw children lying on the floor
http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=515697

It seems to me that police work is one of those occupations where training and experience breed a little suspicion and paranoia. I think in this case they may have been justified in pursuing the next logical step in the chain of events. Fortunately in this case there was no problem, but I am sure they were mindful of the incident in the quote above.


Oh, and Mr. Molde hasn’t ruled out legal action. Quelle surpris.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Well, you’re just wrong. An open garage door simply isn’t probable cause for the police to enter. Befroe they knew that the keys were in the car, before they knew that the house door was ajar, they had to enter the garage without permission and without probable cause.

All of your "next logical steps" are built on the basis of what is essentially an illegal search of private property, conducted without a warrant or probable cause.

No matter what followed, or how reasonable you think it seems, the plain fact is that the first step in this series of events was the police entering a garage for no good reason. Indeed, the first step was crossing onto the property line of the residence for no good reason. Anything that followed after that was improper.
At which point should they have just ignored a potentially serious situation and walked away?
Before thyere was any indication of a "serious situation" other than an open garage door, seen from the street.
...if you’re going to have large dogs around or shoot at interlopers, there would seem to be an onus on you to keep your damned doors locked.
How so? My dogs don’t have opposable thumbs.
After all, every now and then stupid kids, drunk people or senile people have been known to waltz into entirely the wrong house.


Then it sucks to be them, huh?
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
All of your "next logical steps" are built on the basis of what is essentially an illegal search of private property, conducted without a warrant or probable cause.
It wasn’t a search, Dale...it was an investigation to see if everything was OK at home.....Question, if your NEIGHBOR had done this or the Neighborhood Watch done this, would you be as grumpy? If not, why not? What’s the difference between being a good neighbor and a good cop? Ralizing that without PC anything the Police found would be inadmissiable, and I suspect the cops knew that going in. Hence it was NOT a search without a warrant...
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Dale, what Joe said. It wasn’t a search, they didn’t arrest him, they were concerned. They also talked with some of the kids there before waking up the father. I don’t think they didn’t anything wrong or unusual. It doesn’t sound like they harassed anyone. It sounds as if they were just being genuinely concerned. I travel and if the police came to my house and saw the same thing I’d be grateful that they checked on my wife and kids too. Be careful about painting every unusual police action as a breach of rights. You’ve got a chip on your shoulder a mile wide.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Are the police ever just human beings to you - or are they just faceless extensions of the state?

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
A search does not need to end in an arrest to be a search, and any time the police come onto yuor property, there’s a search.

If the guy had had 5 pounds of pot in his car on the driver’s seat, the cops wouldn’t be able to do anything about it because they lacked probable cause.

Personally, the household policy here is "Shoot anyone that comes into the house uninvited".

If the cops don’t have a warrant, if there isn’t screaming or anything that would lead someone to suspect anything was wrong, and they wake me up in the middle of the night?

Well, I’ve taken a swing as people as the tried to wake me up. That was before I had a gun next to my bed. Do the math.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Are the police ever just human beings to you - or are they just faceless extensions of the state?
That’s an excellent question...

How about "They are faceless extensions when they violate my right to not have strange people wander into my house"?
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Right Scott, because nothing could possibly be wrong in a neighborhood with a recent history of burglary problems if there is no screaming. The police entered precisely because of something "that would lead someone to suspect anything was wrong." It’s not all black and white - they made a judgment call. If we hold the police to incredibly stringent standards when acting out of concern, innocent people will pay the price. The solution to excessive aggressive behavior by the police is not to prohibit all behavior without first getting a search warrant.

"Well, I’ve taken a swing as people as the tried to wake me up. That was before I had a gun next to my bed. Do the math."

Inflexible fool + gun = big mistake.

"They are faceless extensions when they violate my right to not have strange people wander into my house"?
You can’t imagine any scenarios where you’d want them to wander in without a prior invite from you?

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
You can’t imagine any scenarios where you’d want them to wander in without a prior invite from you?
I sure can... I call them "Cases involving probable cause".

You know, like this story lacked?

Door appeared, from outside the garage, to be closed. Not open, not broken in, but closed, and for all the cops knew, locked.

No windows were broken, nothing else disturbed...

And it was 3am.

Yeah, TOTALLY reasonable to go in because no one answered the door. I know I answer the door all the time at oh-dark o’clock...

Hell, I don’t answer my freaking door at MIDNIGHT when I’m AWAKE and sitting in a chair NEXT to the door.

The cops had no compelling reason to inspect the car, let alone enter the home.
Inflexible fool + gun = big mistake.
Indeed. Being in my house without invitation IS a big mistake.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
I have accidentally left my garage open all night. Careless? Yes. A justifiable reason for anyone, including police, to come on my property and enter my garage? Absolutely not. If I heard someone in my garage in the middle of the night after inadvertantly leaving it open, I would shoot them. These cops are lucky. An open garage is not an invitation to come on the property and check things out.
 
Written By: Is
URL: http://
From one of the articles:

Police were patrolling the Moldes’ neighborhood and had seen the garage door and a back door open.
So, if this is correct, they saw the door open WHILE DRIVING BY. Not when they entered the garage. It WASN’T THE INTERIOR DOOR BETWEEN THE GARAGE AND THE HOUSE. Maybe this is all very normal where you live, but if one of my house doors was open at 3AM, I wouldn’t mind if the police checked it out to be sure nothing was wrong.

I appreciate and respect everyone’s desire to protect their family and property with a gun, but those of you espousing the shoot-first, ask questions later attitude aren’t thinking clearly.


 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
So, you should ask questions first? Excuse me, sirs? Who are you, and what are you doing in my house? In this case, everything is fine. If it was one of the 2.1 million cases of burglary that occur every year, it is probably a bad idea. Probably the best thing to do is stay the he!! out of people’s homes if you are not invited.

I am thinking clearly. Thank you.
 
Written By: Is
URL: http://
Well IS, would you even bother to LOOK at who you are shooting before shooting?

Lots of tough guy talk on this thread today. How tough will you be when you shoot someone you shouldn’t have?

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
"Well, I’ve taken a swing as people as the tried to wake me up. That was before I had a gun next to my bed. Do the math."

I assume you are unmarried, with no children.

"If I heard someone in my garage in the middle of the night after inadvertantly leaving it open, I would shoot them"

I would suggest you try to make sure it wasn’t a stray dog or a neighbor’s wayward child first, if for no other reason than there is no point in getting the garage all messy unnecessarily.


There seems to be some differences in various accounts about which door was open, but they all seem to agree that this case was unusual. Usually they just leave a pmphlet or note on the door, so something must have make them think this situation needed more investigation. It is not like they were walking into every house they came to with an open door. In this case, pending further information, I am going to give the benefit of the doubt to the police.

By the way, were they acting unreasonably and trespassing by putting pamphlets on their doors?

 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"Well IS, would you even bother to LOOK at who you are shooting before shooting? "

Nah, that takes all the fun out of it. The challenge is to see how fast you can shoot.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"How tough will you be when you shoot someone you shouldn’t have?"

Reminds me of the case a few years ago when someone shot and killed a foreign exchange student who knocked on his door looking for a party.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I assume you are unmarried, with no children.
Something I thank God for every day... :)
I would suggest you try to make sure it wasn’t a stray dog or a neighbor’s wayward child first
At 3am, I don’t care if its Jesus, They have NO business being in my garage, and are very likely to be fired upon...
By the way, were they acting unreasonably and trespassing by putting pamphlets on their doors?
No...

But then again, that’s not quite the same thing as walking into the guy’s house now, is it?
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Reminds me of the case a few years ago when someone shot and killed a foreign exchange student who knocked on his door looking for a party.
Really? It does?

Yeah, because that’s totally the same thing as two people walking into your house at 3am...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
By the way, were they acting unreasonably and trespassing by putting pamphlets on their doors?

No...

But then again, that’s not quite the same thing as walking into the guy’s house now, is it?
Oh I don’t know. They are on your property after all. With no legal right, right? Does the distance from your property line to your front door matter? What if your house is a mile off the road? Hey, it’s 3am, NO ONE has a right to be out there, right?
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
At 3am, I don’t care if its Jesus, They have NO business being in my garage, and are very likely to be fired upon...
Doesn’t save you from the Wrongful Death Suit, dude...yes that’s right the CIVIL suit, you may be safe, In Fl and TX under the Castle Doctrine, from CRIMINAL action, and that’s OK, but not CIVIL actions from the parents of the kid or from God Almighty, in the case of Jesus. Just a quick note, there, Scott..in fact if you should wonder consult with your CCW instructor about the legal ramifications of shooting someone.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"the same thing as two people walking into your house at 3am... "
Two people who knocked. And called out that they were there. And spoke to the kids before going upstairs to the father. You’re right, unbelievably intrusive. The kids should have shot them first.

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Doesn’t save you from the Wrongful Death Suit, dude...yes that’s right the CIVIL suit, you may be safe, In Fl and TX under the Castle Doctrine, from CRIMINAL action, and that’s OK, but not CIVIL actions from the parents of the kid or from God Almighty, in the case of Jesus. Just a quick note, there, Scott..in fact if you should wonder consult with your CCW instructor about the legal ramifications of shooting someone.
Since an attached Garage is considered part of the house, I would love to hear the justification put forth by the parents of little Johnny Dip-sh!t for him rumaging around in my garage at 3am.
They are on your property after all. With no legal right, right? Does the distance from your property line to your front door matter?
Huh... And here I thought everyone knew what "plain sight" was...

You’re just bound and determined to be a douch today, aren’t you...
Two people who knocked. And called out that they were there. And spoke to the kids before going upstairs to the father. You’re right, unbelievably intrusive. The kids should have shot them first.
Did my kids answer the door? No? Then get the F*CK out of my house, officer...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
The kids should have shot them first.

Ok in Scott’s hose that’s not possible, he has no children..., but in the LIDDY household they might have unlimbered the M-240 GPMG and emptied a 50 round belt into the intruders.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Since an attached Garage is considered part of the house, I would love to hear the justification put forth by the parents of little Johnny Dip-sh!t for him rumaging around in my garage at 3am.
S/he is 3 y.o./Autistic/Blind/Drunk/Developmentally Disabled...a host of reasons, hence whilst it may be LEGAL to blast first and ask questions later, it isn’t WISE to do so. And if the child in question is, 3, autistic, blind or Jesus well you can bet the jury is very likely to say, "Gee Scott, having both a fire arm and a home is NOT a combination that grants the license to kill and as a reminder of that here’s a stiff 2 million dollar judgement to remind you." Plus the fun of having offed someone’s child in an act of bravado....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
...or our Lord and Savior, who, though He will forgive, will no doubt pile up the T*rds in Purgatory for you to suck on whilst contemplating your sin of shooting the Most High Jesus Christ.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
And for the record I HAVE wandered thru my house at 3.00 with the M951 Beretta, magazine in, round chambered, safety off, looking for an intruder...all I can say is that it was "exhilarating." And part of my concern was that it would NOT be a burglar and that I had to positively ID my target before engaging. This is not an entirely academic debate in the "Joe Household."
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Well IS, would you even bother to LOOK at who you are shooting before shooting?

Lots of tough guy talk on this thread today. How tough will you be when you shoot someone you shouldn’t have?
Of course, I would. I would not, however, "ask questions".
 
Written By: Is
URL: http://
..or our Lord and Savior, who, though He will forgive, will no doubt pile up the T*rds in Purgatory for you to suck on whilst contemplating your sin of shooting the Most High Jesus Christ.
I don’t know. Won’t he forgive you if you "know not what you do"?
 
Written By: Is
URL: http://
and that I had to positively ID my target before engaging.
All can say is anyone touting a gun and NOT doing this (this rather elementary, fundamental, gun basic)...I hope you’re a team of one and everyone is considered a hostile every time you cock the hammer.

That shoot first thing always goes down well in the end doesn’t it, cept the night you blow your spouse into the wind, or your kid, or the dog (sorry for you guys who don’t ’have these problems’).


I’m gonna come down on the side of the law on this one.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
S/he is 3 y.o./Autistic/Blind/Drunk/Developmentally Disabled...a host of reasons, hence whilst it may be LEGAL to blast first and ask questions later, it isn’t WISE to do so.
Since I rarely aim under the 3’ up mark, I’d probably miss the first shot.

Though I believe the onus would be upon the parents as to why such a kid was roaming loose at, I’ll say it again, 3am.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Frankly, some of you guys can’t put your ego aside long enough to think clearly. Who here is arguing that an open garage/door is an INVITATION for anyone? Hint: no one. That’s a strawman that should have burned already.

You can’t seem to contemplate the CONTEXT of the officer’s decision. This wasn’t an attempt to justify a REAL search for illegalities by the police, it was a act out of genuine concern, which, where I live anyway, is still appreciated by normal human beings. Maybe where you live the police are all corrupt and thus your outrage would be understandable, but I don’t really believe that’s so. For all of Balko and Dale’s talk, this isn’t a police state.

If it comes out later that the police are making this story up and they were really hoping to find something illegal, THEN you have a good point. Then they were being turds.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
They are on your property after all. With no legal right, right? Does the distance from your property line to your front door matter?

Huh... And here I thought everyone knew what "plain sight" was...

You’re just bound and determined to be a douch today, aren’t you...
So if you saw them outside, on your porch, that’s not a firing offense? How about in your barn? How about standing by your car in the driveway? How about looking in your flowerbed? Opening your mailbox? Standing 1 foot off your property but looking at your house with binoculars?

Just wondering where you draw the line Scott. Since being on our property is technically illegal without a warrant, when do we get to shoot them? I need to know next time someone makes the mistake of being concerned about my family. Or whatever they are doing. Of course, only between the hours of, what, midnight and 5am? What are those magic hours when the guns can start blazing, no questions asked?

You guys give the 2nd Amendment a bad name.

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Though I believe the onus would be upon the parents as to why such a kid was roaming loose at, I’ll say it again, 3am.
If you don’t have kids, my advice, continue in that vein so we don’t have to hear about a tragic shooting that justifies stronger gun control, or stories of kids being tied to the bed to restrain them that justify more intrusive government protections for children.

If you can’t imagine a kid being up for NO reason that will make very little sense to you at 3:00 in the morning, anything from ’drink of water’ to ’I had a bad dweam’ to ’I wanted to play with my (whatever)’ then you must have been cloned directly into adulthood.

Kids oten ’roam’ into your room because they want to be comforted. They usually don’t flip the light on when they do so, the first hint you get is when they squirm into bed next to you, sometimes sticking their grubby little fingers in your face as they climb over you. They can be silent or they can be noisy, either way they don’t expect you to shoot at them.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Though I believe the onus would be upon the parents as to why such a kid was roaming loose at, I’ll say it again, 3am.
The onus will be on YOU to explain why you blasted the kid, YOU’LL be in court...and I want to hear/see you try that one, "Hey it’s the parents fault the little ’spudgeon is dead, not mine. I only shot the little tyke, THEY didn’t have him/her tied tot he bed to prevent him/her from wandering around."

Looker said it best:
If you can’t imagine a kid being up for NO reason that will make very little sense to you at 3:00 in the morning, anything from ’drink of water’ to ’I had a bad dweam’ to ’I wanted to play with my (whatever)’ then you must have been cloned directly into adulthood.
They’re KIDS, dude, not adults, it doesn’t have to make sense to YOU, it only had to make sense to THEM.

 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Who here is arguing that an open garage/door is an INVITATION for anyone? Hint: no one.
You, Joe and tim to name a few are saying exactly that, when you say the police were not in the wrong and violating the man’s privacy and other assorted rights when they decided to wander into the house.
So if you saw them outside, on your porch, that’s not a firing offense? How about in your barn? How about standing by your car in the driveway? How about looking in your flowerbed? Opening your mailbox? Standing 1 foot off your property but looking at your house with binoculars?
In order: No, no, no, no and no.
Just wondering where you draw the line Scott.
The line exists at any point delineated by a door or window that is my house. Don’t cross any of them without invite, or else you just became a home-invader, and I was raised to believe I shouldn’t have to ask you to leave.
Of course, only between the hours of, what, midnight and 5am?
You’re quite dense, aren’t you...

Enter my home without either a) my permission, b) a warrent signed by a judge or c) clear probable cause, and you won’t like the outcome. I think that’s a fair rule for anyone to live by...
If you can’t imagine a kid being up for NO reason that will make very little sense to you at 3:00 in the morning, anything from ’drink of water’ to ’I had a bad dweam’ to ’I wanted to play with my (whatever)’ then you must have been cloned directly into adulthood.
So given that, why would the lil sh!t be in my garage? Not MY kid.
and I want to hear/see you try that one, "Hey it’s the parents fault the little ’spudgeon is dead, not mine. I only shot the little tyke, THEY didn’t have him/her tied tot he bed to prevent him/her from wandering around."
"I heard a sound in my garage, and upon investigation saw what appeared to be a person, univited, standing there next to my tool bench. I fired two shots, aiming for center of mass..."

In case you were wondering...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
I’m not dense, Scott, it’s called sarcasm. Look it up in what we call the dictionary (that was more sarcasm so you get the flavor of it). You, however, are hopelessly confused and I hope for your sake and the sake of whomever enters your home in the future without explicit permission (etc.) but no ill intentions that you miss.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
"I would love to hear the justification put forth by the parents of little Johnny Dip-sh!t for him rumaging around in my garage at 3am"

How about the fact that even the police in most states are limited to shooting only to protect the lives of themselves and others, or that even grand theft does not warrant the death penalty.




 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
How about the fact that even the police in most states are limited to shooting only to protect the lives of themselves and others, or that even grand theft does not warrant the death penalty.
Strange person, my property, 3am...

Yeah, no reason to fear for my life...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Frankly, some of you guys can’t put your ego aside long enough to think clearly.
You can’t seem to contemplate the CONTEXT of the officer’s decision.
So, you claim that if anyone does not agree with you, they are not thinking clearly and cannot contemplate the CONTEXT, but WE are the one’s with the ego problem? Well, I humbly bow down to your superior gifts of logic, examination, and comprehension. I must obviously not be thinking clearly and am simply wrong, because I do not share your opinion. A certain political science professor would certainly be proud.
 
Written By: Is
URL: http://
No, IS, agreeing with me is beside the point. I simply claim that you are not thinking clearly, are not considering the context, and that the testosterone/ego/machismo is flowing too high. What you and other have written is the evidence for those claims.

Even if I agreed with your conclusion (and others), I’d still think your arguments and reasons are poor. It’s got nothing to do with sharing opinions, though I can see why it might appear to be that way since we do, after all, disagree.
"I must obviously not be thinking clearly and am simply wrong..."
I think so.





 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
We can hypothesis all year about the kid in the garage or whether or not the cops saw an open door while cruising (from the street) or while standing at the door.

How many of you leave your garaged door open OR your door open OR your keys in your car every night? Just wondering....I mean, I can tell you around my house any of those by themselves would be unusual...ALL of them would be VERY unusual. I’m betting they saw an open garage door, probably a light from the ajar door INSIDE the garage (I can’t prove that, but bet me, I’m thinking of MY configuration and that is EXACTLY what they’d have seen had this guy been living in a house like mine...)

Let’s see...guy comes home, is feeling crappy(having heart attack?), leaves garage door open, leaves keys in car, leaves house door ajar...staggers into house past kids (who are oblivious)....staggers to bedroom and falls on bed...

How bout another - home owner comes home to find open garage...parks car(leaves keys)...goes into house to investigate (leaves door open just in case)...."oh, excuse me Mr Burgler!".....wham/bang.....

What SHOULD they have done when, once inside, the kids refused to wake dad?
I’m not comfortable they went in and woke the guy either, but I’m wondering what they SHOULD have done, just walked away? (yeah, that’ll happen....)

NOW - tie it all up with the WHOLE reason for this happening....
Their surprise visit was part of a public service campaign to remind residents to secure their homes to prevent thefts
You’re going to hear far more cases of ’something suspicious’ and ’cops drove right by’ than you are cases like this.

This is man bites dog.


 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
SO basicly, since anyone, in any house, could have had a medical emergency, cops can just wander in at will...

you know... Better safe than sorry...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Good strawman Scott. We’re arguing that this is a special case supported by reasonable circumstances and judgment by concerned police officers and you claim we’re saying cops can just ’wander in at will’ under the supposition that someone might be having a medical emergency, no matter what the circumstances.


 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
SO basicly, since anyone, in any house, could have had a medical emergency, cops can just wander in at will...
Was the straw in my medical emergency example easier to cut than the straw in the example where a burglar might have preceeded the home owner and clubbed or shot him?

I don’t think I suggested they could randomly wander into Mrs. McGillicuddy’s house to check her blood pressure every day and that it would be okay for them to do so. Now, if Mrs McGillicuddy has dropped inside her door, leaving it ajar and all that’s showing is her shoe, do you want them pay attention and care or not?

Part of their tasking was to LOOK for cases where they thought people hadn’t locked up, they FOUND a case, they looked further (due diligence given their task) there were things that, taken together, added up to unusual circumstances.
My gripe is they went all the way to the bedroom, but I can’t see them leaving once they were in until they’ve spoken with an adult, or determined there is no one there.

Are you telling me it’s common for you to leave your garage door open, your inside door ajar, your lights and TV on, your keys in your car, while you go to bed for the night?

I gave you two plausible scenario’s for where their, valid, thought processes might have gone on finding these unusual circumstances, especially given their tasking.

Are we seriously considering the idea we have two guys out to see how many times they can violate the Constitution just because they’re cops? Are we theorizing that this police deparment has decided to visit everyone in their bedrooms at 3:00 AM?

They didn’t ’wander’, nor was it ’at will’. They were patrolling and part of their patrol effort was to take note of places that appeared to be unsecured specifically because there were burglaries.

Man bites dog. It’s a one of.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Here’s another one for you - THERE IS NO ADULT in the house...they’re @ssholes and they’ve gone out for a night on the town and left 7 year olds in charge. That’s why the outside doors are open and all the lights are on.

Were I a cop, I’m not leaving till I know damn good and well there’s an adult in that house, and if there’s NOT, CPS is coming, and tomorrow mommy and daddy are going to jail. There’s the justification I was looking for as to WHY they needed to see Dad, NOW.

I can easily imagine, as a cop, discovering some low lives went out and left the kids ALONE. It’s not like cops spend all their time dealing with the ’right’ sort of people.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Were I a cop, I’m not leaving till I know damn good and well there’s an adult in that house, and if there’s NOT, CPS is coming, and tomorrow mommy and daddy are going to jail. There’s the justification I was looking for as to WHY they needed to see Dad, NOW.
And it all gets thrown out because there was no probably cause, and thus anything found is in-admissable...

You can’t use what you find as part of your excuse. "Well, there were kids in there..." doesn’t fly.

What if there were no kids, just a kilo of pot? Would that make it ok for the cops to have walked upstairs to wake the guy up? How about pirated software sitting on the kitchen counter? Where do YOU draw the line to actually having the right to expect the cops to follow the rules?
They were patrolling and part of their patrol effort was to take note of places that appeared to be unsecured specifically because there were burglaries.
And they ENTERED a HOME without a WARRANT or actual probable CAUSE! What part of this are you not getting? You don’t get to use stuff you find while violating someone’s rights as an excuse to violate those rights...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
or actual probable CAUSE
Doors open,
lights on,
3:00 in the morning,
no one answering door,
Burglaries known to occur in neighborhood,
Part of our watch effort is to pay attention to residences that appear to be accessible to easy ’entry’.

I repeat, doors open, lights on, 3:00 am, no adults in sight.
Well, there were kids in there..."
There is your probable cause, right there.

"I went to the door to determine if there was a problem, the door was open, I called and kids came"
or
"I looked inside and saw kids, no adults"

Both paths lead to -
"I asked where the adult was, they told me he was sleeping, when I asked them to wake him so I could speak with him, they said NO"

Why are you even discussing ’illegal’ no one said anything illegal occurred (except what the cops did....)
Why not posit a meth lab, in the kitchen and an IED lab in the game room instead of a kilo of pot, how about a prostitution slave room with naked women in cages, I mean, as long as we’re inventing things they COULD have found, let’s go for the gusto!

As it is nothing illegal occurred (except for your view of the cops activity) because there was an adult there. Until I know there’s an adult there, something illegal MIGHT be occurring, because you can’t leave 7 year olds in charge, it’s almost certainly classified as a criminal act these days. THOSE are facts, those are what the cops had to go with.

I’ve seen the kids, I know they are there, it’s not a maybe, it’s not a what-if.
I need to see an adult now.

The kids wouldn’t wake him.....
Does that mean he’s there?
Or have they been told to say he is when he’s not?

The kids wouldn’t wake him.....
Well, that leaves me one alternative, I don’t like it, but it’s all I have as the cop.
But I’m not going anywhere until me and sleepy have had a face to face.

I know of two adults in the Hershey Hotel in Philadelphia in 1987 who thought it was okay to go down to dinner in the restaurant while they left their 5 year old in charge of the 3 year old in the room on the 11th floor at 8:00 in the evening. I found the 3 year old wandering the hall crying outside my door. Don’t tell me people don’t do that kind of thing, I’ve seen it, and I haven’t ever forgotten it.

So, I’m the cop, I’m not leaving till I see this guy because I’m not going to go off duty and find out when I wake up tomorrow that 4 kids have died in a house fire while mom & pop were out screwing at a hotel.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Looker nails it for me...

Scott keeps talking aobut someone’s rights being violated, how were they violated? Did they arrest the guy, cite the guy, warn the guy, do the cops thereabouts make it a habit to walk into everyone’s house at all hours?

Here’s a news flash Scott, I’m walking about at 3.00, I’m an insomniac, and I see the garage door open, lights on, doors open, I might stick my head in and say, "Hello, everything OK." And IF, the 7 y.o. says, "Yes" I’m asking for Mommy and Daddy and if they say, they don’t want to be disturbed, I’M calling the cops...’cuz I figure Mommy and Daddy went to the party and left the 7 y.o. in charge...This isn’t about being a Fascist, but a good neighbor. I think the cops did the right thing...if a 13 y.o had answered the door or a 17 y.o. had answered the foor it’s a little different, but when minor children, and I mean minor, minor children answer the door, all bet’s are off. I really don’t bet on the maturity of Mommy and Daddy...Too many kids have died in cars whilst Dad or Mom were at work and "forgot" junior was in the car or in our area died whilst the adult in charge was shopping and left the 2 y.o. in the back seat of a car in 90 Degree weather. No, kids and adults do stupid things, and sometime those stupid things have lethal consequences for the innocent, so yeah I or the cops ought to do the right thing and make sure that there really is an adult there and that there is no problem.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I repeat, doors open, lights on, 3:00 am, no adults in sight.
Lights on? You mean "TV", yes? I see nothing about lights being on...

And no adults in sight... at 3am... God, how ever did that come to pass.
Why are you even discussing ’illegal’ no one said anything illegal occurred (except what the cops did....)
You brought it up with the CPS coming in if an adult wasn’t there...

The EXACT SAME RULES APPLY.
Until I know there’s an adult there, something illegal MIGHT be occurring, because you can’t leave 7 year olds in charge, it’s almost certainly classified as a criminal act these days. THOSE are facts, those are what the cops had to go with.
No. They saw a Garage Door open. Everything after that was discovered by violating the rights of the home owner. The police didn’t know the kids were there until they went inside.
So, I’m the cop, I’m not leaving till I see this guy because I’m not going to go off duty and find out when I wake up tomorrow that 4 kids have died in a house fire while mom & pop were out screwing at a hotel.
Then try to not be offended, officer, when I retrieve the gun from my nightstand and point it at your head, and tell you to get the frak out of my house. I won’t bother showing you out, since I know you know the way... You got this far, didn’t you?
No, kids and adults do stupid things, and sometime those stupid things have lethal consequences for the innocent, so yeah I or the cops ought to do the right thing and make sure that there really is an adult there and that there is no problem.
Ah, so working from the idea of "people might do something that hurts themselves", why not just lock us all up so we’re unable to make poor choices/mistakes?

You people just don’t seem to get the concept of "Warrant" or "cause", or even "rights"...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
You brought it up with the CPS coming in if an adult wasn’t there...
So, in your version, next time they can ignore the kids sitting in the back of the unattended car because, hey, it’s not their business, and they don’t have a warrant for the search they’re don’t intend to perform for the illegal stuff they aren’t hoping to find.

"Warrant" - for what? they were NOT executing a search, other than for a responsible adult party. They didn’t go there to execute any such search, they went to see if things were okay (fascist bastards!)

Okay, forgo the lights, I’ll bet they were on, but maybe not, still, can’t use it because I don’t know, so forget it.
was justified because the officers’ initial door knocks went unanswered, and they wanted to make sure nothing was wrong.
Garage open - walk up, look at garage...I have my really big hefty police torch....and there’s that open door between the house and the garage.
Hmmm, truck here, and there’s keys in the ignition...kinda stupid thing to do, even in your own garage.

Hmmmmmm, better knock.

(Normal)
Knock knock knock.
(a bit harder)
Knock knock knock.
(even harder)
Knock knock knock.
(cops knock hard when they’re tryin to wake ya ya know, because I mean, if they knock too hard, who you gonna call....them?)

"Awww screw it Bob, let’s get back to makin sure house’s aren’t easily accessible to criminals. Clearly THIS place is okay! Better leave the doors and stuff open."

Oh, right, that’s what SHOULD have happened, not what did happen.

I bet they probably rushed back to their car and grabbed their swat weapons and their night vision goggles so they could sneak in quiet like and perform an illegal search and that’s how they illegally found the kids.

Probably didn’t do anything like -
"Hello? Hello? Hello? - anyone home? Hey, it’s the fascist police! Anybody here?"
No, doing that would make sense, I mean, with people like, well, some of the people round abouts who’d shoot very quickly if I was a cop I’d never think to enter a house and identify myself, loudly, because I WANT to be shot by the homeowner for trying to make sure every thing’s okay.

Anyway, so, they illegally found the kids after failing to identify themselves, now -

"Awww screw it Bob, the doors are open, these 7 years olds are here, looks like they’re alone...no one answered us when we were knocking and failing to identify ourselves. Clearly this place is okay! Better leave these kids here alone and leave the doors and stuff open."

Oh, right, that’s what SHOULD have happened when they didn’t just walk away at first.

instead maybe it went down like this -
"You little criminal bastards! Where’s the ringleader! Get him for us!"
"He’s asleep upstairs! But we don’t want to wake him"

(smacks forehead) No no, that didn’t happen, instead here’s what should have happened -

"Is your mom or dad home?"
"Dad, but he’s sleeping upstairs"
"Can you get him for us?"
"No, we’re afraid to wake him up (now...THAT’S a good sign, no alarm bells for a cop THERE!!!!)"

"Awwww screw it Bob, it all looks good to me. Clearly this place is okay! Let’s just leave these kids here alone, I’m sure their dad, who obviously is a REALLY sound sleeper, will wake up in the event of trouble. We can get back to the business of securing the neighborhood from evil doers, think we should touch the doors? Might be a further violation of all the rights we’ve already violated don’t ya think?, better just leave em be and go".

You want to get exercised over them coming in illegally and searching for stuff to charge this guy with, fine, I’m all over it with you...this isn’t what happened here. And just because whiney Troy here called the newspaper after these fascist bastards tried to help make sure his house wasn’t on tomorrows blotter as a burglary doesn’t mean they’re fascist bastards or that we’re living in NAZI Germany now.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
So, in your version, next time they can ignore the kids sitting in the back of the unattended car because, hey, it’s not their business, and they don’t have a warrant for the search they’re don’t intend to perform for the illegal stuff they aren’t hoping to find.
Yes, because walking by a car in a parking lot is the exact same thing as walking into my house.
Anyway, so, they illegally found the kids after failing to identify themselves, now
And illegally entering the home. The rest of your scenario should never exist because the cops should never have gone inside
So apparently, if I forget to lock my door, and leave the garage door opn, you think it’s fine the cops walk in and have a look in my house.
You want to get exercised over them coming in illegally and searching for stuff to charge this guy with, fine, I’m all over it with you...this isn’t what happened here.
But it is exactly what COULD have happened, and by merely substituting one item for another, it goes from not ok (the dope) to ok (the kids) in your eyes.

Would it be horrible if kids WERE left alone and something happened? Yes it would. But horrible things happen every day, and if you want to use "for the children" as an excuse why the cops should be allowed to at will - without warrant, probable cause, or invitation - enter your home, I think you might want to switch out what party you registered as...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Are the police ever just human beings to you - or are they just faceless extensions of the state?
As long as they keep using excuses like "just following orders" or "I have no choice under the law" that would be faceless extensions of the state.

Let them behave like human beings, first.

"How tough will you be when you shoot someone you shouldn’t have?"

Reminds me of the case a few years ago when someone shot and killed a foreign exchange student who knocked on his door looking for a party.
I remember a similar case where it was the cops doing the shooting.

They - of course - were cleared by their fellow cops.
Good strawman Scott. We’re arguing that this is a special case supported by reasonable circumstances and judgment by concerned police officers and you claim we’re saying cops can just ’wander in at will’ under the supposition that someone might be having a medical emergency, no matter what the circumstances.
Problem is that the police all over have a history of using such "special circumstances" and "concern" to exceed their authority.

Some it it may actually be true, but that’s another story.

 
Written By: The Gonzman
URL: http://
Still man bites dog guys.

Not a pre-planned, crappily executed, unwarranted and unwonted search where a granny ends up dead in a gun duel with the over bearing minions of SWAT law enforcement.

Not a sign of the continuing decline of our free society and the further erosion of our Constitutional rights.

A couple of cops trying to make sure this guys house wasn’t broken in to and that’s ALL it is. What are they DOING on the property you ask? leaving a note about the garage, as they have been doing (paper says so), and finding an open exterior door maybe?.....nah.

IF it had been drugs, it’s NOT a problem is it, because it IS fruit of the forbidden tree. So....no problem, no admissible evidence, right?

When the cops see something suspicious in the future (open doors at night in neighborhoods that have been subject to burglaries) they should call the lawyers and get a reading on whether or not they can act on the suspicion, and how far they can act, so we don’t have another Constitutional crisis on our hands.

And someone can generate further reams and reams and reams of paper writing rules of what can and cannot be done, under what circumstances, when and where, rather than allowing application of experience and common sense by the guys who are on the scene.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t LIKE the idea they were in the guy’s bedroom either, but I think this was a highly unusual 1 of circumstance, not a Constitutional crisis or a bellweather of government intrusion.
If you think the Police deparment will now make it standard procedure, it WILL be a problem, but it isn’t yet.
As it is, aside from Troy getting foolish and trying to take legal action on it, this is the last any of us will hear about it.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Hey Gonzman, fine, bring up your objections when it’s a case that deserves them. Clearly here we are talking about ONE specific case where they DON’T apply. No one here has argued that ALL police behave honorably and according to the law ALL OF THE TIME. Do you guys even read what the h*ll anyone writes?
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
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