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SWAT team conducts encroaching house search for the second bombing suspect in Watertown, Massachusetts

What happened in Boston, Massachusetts two weeks ago was, in a way, a real reminder of how terror can strike and how quickly daily life can change. After hearing about the events at the marathon and the following manhunt no doubt many people were confused, tense, and fearful. And for me the events were all too familiar, even though I live nowhere near Boston.

For me terror came on March 13th, in the form of 64 year old Kurt Myers who went on a shooting spree in the towns of Mohawk and Herkimer, New York. He killed four people leaving two others wounded, but not before putting a whole town on edge, garnishing a response from the FBI, state/local police, and even the governor-Andrew Cuomo.

As the news of the killings spread, around ten-thirty in the morning, I was in the hallway of Herkimer County Community College rushing late to class to hand-in and present a research paper. I begin to notice few students in the hallway and as I arrived at my class the door was locked. Catching my breath, my professor opens the door and whispers for me to come in. “Daniel,” she said, “the school is on lock down, there is a man in the town shooting.”

At that point I discovered that turning in a late research paper was the least of my worries. What ensued was a six hour taste of what it is like to “shelter in place.”
For the people of Massachusetts their situation was more dramatic as two bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston marathon and a massive manhunt to locate those responsible went under way.

The nature of the situation encouraged law enforcement along with government officials to issue a “shelter-in-place” order on a magnitude dwarfing the incident in Herkimer. In the case of Myers, after his shooting spree, he was held up in a building where it seemed to be no possibility of escape. For the second suspect of the bombings, 19 year old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, he was on the loose. This difference was critical in the manner law enforcement dealt with both incidents.

In Herkimer the area cordoned off was miniscule, about a four block radius, as the stand-off was managed through the night into the early morning. In contrast, with a bombing suspect on the run, law enforcement began conducting door to door searches in the area of Watertown, Massachusetts in hopes of finding the teen. This raised eyebrows as to how future events will be handled.

What brought about the willingness to have militarized police remove people from their homes and conduct 4th Amendment-busting searches? It seems that the difference between an ordinary crime and an act of terror is how many people are allowed to be terrorized.

Whatever the reason it was not the massive lockdown nor the aggressive searching of homes that proved to be the crime stopper, but an average citizen excerscing his freedom and love for his boat.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm having trouble following this ... (0+ / 0-)

    There seem to be a LOT of independent variables here and I'm still not clear which one you have identified as being determinative, nor determinative of WHAT.

    Can you simplify for a simpleton?

    Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

    by Clem Yeobright on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:16:14 PM PDT

  •  Are you ok now with what you went through (0+ / 0-)

    'cause it sounds like Boston kicked this up again.  I like the wat you put this all out having gone thrugh it in Cambridge where these bomber boys came from.  I am better of when I read good stuff like you wrote and I respond as I am doeing.  
    As for the prevous writer, he should do what he is asking you to do and he will see it is not easy or maybe even possible to be "determinative".  We will have to deal with our confusion and all that entails until there is alot more written and looked at and time has passed.
    Please keep on writing if you have stuff to say, I bet more will emerge and be helpful for you and for others such as myself.

    •  Were there unreasonable warrantless (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      searches and seizures conducted in Watertown? Was the 4th amendment 'busted'?

      Was 'shelter in place' ordered or advised? Was anyone arrested for being on the street?

      Maybe if I had a better understanding, I could see the differences here ...

      Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

      by Clem Yeobright on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:04:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was not an order in the sense of a strict (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright

        curfew, people just followed Gov. Patrick's "shelter in place" which sounded like a request from your likeable uncle.  There were people on the street and cars but not many.  There were no unreasonable searches or seizures.  The mood was this is serious let's all pull together.  I could not go to work on the Fri. this came down.  No public transport and no taxis running and I am too old and it was too far to ride on a bike for me.  I heard of no arrests.  We were scared and wanted to help; although, I understand your concern about violations of the constitution and agree with you.  
        Again, I hope you can talk and write about this more, it will take us a long time to gain perspective.  I found myself going overboard with a friend about the alleged bombers and their families today.  I caught myself and have been thinking about this now.  

  •  You seem to be asserting (0+ / 0-)

    your own (or someone else's?) version of what happened (or not) in Boston.

    However I do agree it is fair to draw comparisons between the two terror events you describe --- among other things, bad guys with guns played central roles in each event.

  •  A clip of WaterTown resident after the arrest (0+ / 0-)

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