"I'm so happy they're doing their jobs"

via @copblock:

My favorite quote is in the post title, but I also enjoyed "Each time the SWAT team would rescue a family at the point of a gun" and "they would rush into a home in an armed line".


Last 5 posts by Clark


  1. JustMe says

    Indeed. It seems we are expected to be grateful for such "rescuing". Sadly, not one person was arrested for refusing to leave their home. How far we have fallen.

  2. aczarnowski says

    At least they didn't shoot up two ladies delivering papers or burn the boat down around the guy?

  3. says

    The book "Nation of Cowards" is all about gun control, not from either side, but an explanation of how the fear of the populace creates pressure to control guns, even when overwhelming evidence shows that it doesn't help.

    Fear is what this is all about, and the government wants to build on that fear, as it builds government power by growing the perception of the cowardly populace that the government will protect them. So, you see the fearful gladly giving up their liberties for falsely-perceived protection from harm.

  4. freedomfan says

    Wow! That was disheartening. It implies that typical Americans don't care about their liberty and are actually thankful for abuses of state power, as long as the state is willing to provide the rational justification: "Terrorism! Ooga, booga, booga!"

    Of course, there is at least a chance that some residents were rationally dubious about the government's actions here and that they expressed their doubt or anger on camera. We might not have seen that if the news crew decided those reactions didn't fit with the police-taking-every-measure-to-keep-you-safe template story they were running.

  5. Brett Middleton says

    I wonder if the cops happened to seize any guns they saw lying about in those homes. Just like Katrina, the situation seems like a good opportunity for some ad-hoc victim disarmament.

  6. MattS says


    "Sadly, not one person was arrested for refusing to leave their home."

    Is this because no one refused to leave or someone refused but wasn't arrested?

  7. zaq.hack says

    "Every single one of them apologized …"

    So, it's okay.

    Next time, they need to say, "Papers please," and Boston will be okay with it.

  8. Shane says

    @Matt I think that if someone refused to leave, arrest would have been the least of their worries.

  9. Matt says

    @Shane — yes, they had "warrants"…they drew them using pretty crayons, and they even colored inside the lines, too!

  10. Shane says

    @Matt u mad bra?

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized

    If they followed that ^ then they were legal.

  11. Tyler says

    There were no warrants, there was "consent" .. then again, who says no to 10 men dressed in SWAT gear with guns drawn while shouting at you to put your hands up and walk outside?

  12. MattS says


    "@Matt I think that if someone refused to leave, arrest would have been the least of their worries."

    I don't dispute that. But that sill leaves the question unanswered. Do we know for a fact that no one resisted? Is there any evidence for this other than the lack of arrests?

  13. GauntletWizard says

    I doubt it'd work, but I'd love to see these searches tried not just under the Fourth, but also the Third; I would argue that clearing out an area such that SWAT teams can raid them/establish a cordon counts as "Quartering Troops" for the purposes of the third, though I doubt the courts would see it my way.

  14. Lucy says

    I am not a cop hater by nature, but to borrow an analogy, these guys viewed scared citizens like a 13 year old boy views a tube sock.

  15. Shane says

    @JR hence the question on whether they had warrants? I am guessing not. Consent to search is a different ballgame and a very bad one for the person consenting.

    In the gun community there is often the question of what to do in the face of gun confiscation. The people that haven't thought about what that means usually use something centered around " … cold dead hands". This is a pointless way of dealing with this, because the operative word is "dead".

    If I were in this community in Boston at this time I would have simply asked for a warrant, and if one were not produced I would have simply said I don't consent to this search. Then I would have gotten up at gun point and left my home. Any other way would have left me shot and probably dead. And to be clear it would have appeared on the news something to the effect of " … a new terror suspect has been shot, he may have been involved with underground terror … blah blah blah" You get the point.

    Be smart when dealing with people with guns.

  16. Personanongrata says

    The East German Stasi and the Soviet NKVD couldn't hold a candle to US SWAT terrorists.

  17. JR says


    Sorry, I confused the comments of this post with those of the Temple, TX arrest. My own fault for trying to keep 12 tabs up and active at the same time.

  18. ShelbyC says

    If there were warrants, we would have heard about them by now. Any searches done without consent (and there surely were some, gived the 20-block search area) were illegal. But nothing can be done about them.

  19. eh says

    There were no warrants, there was "consent" .. then again, who says no to 10 men dressed in SWAT gear with guns drawn while shouting at you to put your hands up and walk outside?

    Good questions. Did anybody say, "no," in Boston/Waterwhateverville?

  20. Grifter says

    What is this I don't even….


    "There might be a criminal somewhere, so we're going to search everywhere!"

  21. says

    Any searches done without consent (and there surely were some, gived the 20-block search area) were illegal. But nothing can be done about them.

    I am not a lawyer (I'm a doctor), but my understanding is that the only "remedy" (legal term) for an illegal search is the suppression of the evidence in a trial against you. So, for example, a cop can illegally search you, find out all manner of embarrassing things, put those in a police report and in the police log…and despite the fact that your secrets have been disclosed and your life ruined, your only compensation is that you can't be prosecuted.

    …or, rather, you CAN be prosecuted, but that evidence can't be used against you.

    I'm not clear on whether the police can then use the insights gleaned from the illegal; I think the doctrine is that they can, they just have to lie about it.

  22. gramps says

    Thus far publicly unexplored: what of the Boston/Watertown residents, few as there may be, who had opportunity to arm themselves to protect against the actual terrorist should they lose the "pursuit lottery" and have him break into their home to hide. You end up with the SWAT team confronting an armed citizen. The citizen knows who the SWAT team is generally, but they do not know the citizen. It could get very messy.

  23. naught_for_naught says


    Do I have any thoughts? Well, let's hear what the people who were actually there and affected by this said.

    GUY WITH BABY: "It was a little stressful – seeing these guys pointing big guns, and you’re holding your daughter in your arms. Um, they’re doing the right thing. They’re trying to secure the neighborhood."

    GUY IN HAT: "They banged on the door. I looked up. I was shocked, and there was a gun, or two guns, or whatever pointing down at me — and the guys, and they said, ‘Get out! Get out!’ Said, 'OK' And I wanted to know do I get my shoes, and just 'Get out! Get out! – OK, alright.'"

    WOMAN WITH GLASSES: "It was terrifying, but every single one of them apologized for the inconvenience. It’s like I’m so happy they are doing their job. You have no idea."

    I'm going with lady in glasses. I’m so happy they are doing their job. You have no idea.

  24. We've lost the battle says

    @naught: You and the lady with the glasses are the ones who have no idea. It is NOT the job of the police to drag innocent people out of their own homes AT GUNPOINT.

  25. naught_for_naught says

    @We've lost the battle

    Reasonable people can disagree, but having just lived through this myself when Christopher Dorner came to make his last stand in my neighborhood, I'm pretty sure that I have an idea. So I'm going to have to be a little rough with you hear and say, Go fish.

  26. zaq.hack says

    After thinking about this most of the day, I have decided that I know what I would do. I would print copies of the 3rd, 4th, and 14th amendments and affix them to my door. I would then have a strategically placed camera filming them breaking said door when I refused to open it without warrant or probable cause.

    Similarly, a criminal trying to find safe harbor on my property might find it … prickly …

  27. MattS says


    "Similarly, a criminal trying to find safe harbor on my property might find it … prickly …"

    What, do you have trained security porcupines?

  28. Ancel De Lambert says

    @MattS he's got a launcher for it, too. Aimed at the door just like the cameras. He plans to win every AFHV for the next ten years. Get your wallet out Bergeron.

  29. says

    Back in February there was a gunfight (not an random shooter scenario, these guys all knew each other) in my county. Two men were airlifted to the nearest metro area hospital, two were arrested, and one was in the wind.

    The missing man turned up at the local hospital to drop off his girlfriend and vanished again. The local cops did a room-to-room search of the hospital (not unreasonable in my eyes) and swept the surrounding woods but he was gone again. Other than an admonition not to try and apprehend the man ourselves and to keep any outbuildings locked when we weren't using them the cops told us to go about our lives and call them if we saw him and eventually caught the guy a few days later.

    Of course, unlike in Massachusetts, there's probably a shotgun or deer rifle in 90% of the homes here and a good chunk of us have carry permits for our pistols and being a local he knew that. There really wasn't any place for him to go.

  30. Waldo says

    Not sure what is more depressing about that video. The cops busting down doors and pointing guns at citizens in their homes, the citizens who are so fearful and so conditioned to obey authority that they seem grateful, or the media glorifying unconstitutional violations of civil liberties by the police state.

  31. zaq.hack says

    MattS: It is not lawful to detain a porcupine against its will in my state, so, of course not. However, it still lawful to have a firearm, so that will have to suffice.

  32. En Passant says

    John David Galt wrote Apr 24, 2013 @7:44 pm:

    I want our constitutional form of government back.

    Sorry, but it resigned to pursue a new career as a pirate. See next thread above for details.

  33. MattS says


    It may be illegal to detain a procupine against it's will, but what about voluntarily employing one as a security guard?

    Firearms aren't prickly so that leaves your comment unexplained.

  34. Mike B says

    I have to be honest. Had I gotten a knock on my door, I don't know if I would have had the presence of mind to actually refuse. What I do know is that after I realized that I should have I would have been deeply ashamed that I didn't.

  35. naught_for_naught says

    @Mike B

    " What I do know is that after I realized that I should have I would have been deeply ashamed that I didn't."

    I don't think you would unless you let yourself be cowed by all of the pundits who were no where near the events.

    I listened to remarks of a similar color when Christopher Donner was hiding in my neighborhood. Let me tell you. It's very different when it's happening right here, right now, threatening the safety of your family, then when you are digesting the story from a distance and running it though your world-view filter discussing it online.

    Take a minute and think about what was actually happening and how much uncertainty there was.

    You have at least two guys that had demonstrated a high tactical skill set. Your are not sure if there are more players and what other tricks they have in their bag. You do know that they have no problem with committing mass murder at the drop of the hat. In addition to detonating two bombs at a public event, they have car-jacked one person and killed an MIT cop in cold blood. They are somewhere in Watertown, a very small 4.2 square mile area. You don't know if they have taken hostages. You don't know if they have an arsenal stashed somewhere. You just know that they're out there, and the longer they are the greater the chances that something else really bad is going to happen.

    It is the job of the police to find these guys and secure the towns persons and property. What do you do? The police believe they have exigent circumstances which gives them the legal right to enter any residence where they believe these guys might be.

    Why on earth would you want to frustrate their efforts when you know exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it? As you said, you wouldn't, and you shouldn't. This is not the time to make a Constitutional argument.

    Was it perfect? I'm sure it wasn't. Did they do there best to minimize the trauma? According to one interviewee, yes. Was it necessary? I think so. There is nothing shaming about cooperating with police officers in this kind of situation.

    Had the police not pursued these guys as hard as they did and someone gotten hurt as a result, there would have been a line of airstream trailers parked around the victim's block, each with a lawyer in it looking to represent the families and sue the cops and the city that sat back and did nothing. You know that's the truth.

    Like the woman said, I'm glad they did their job. If you weren't there you don't know, but as they say, there are no atheists in fox holes.

  36. princessartemis says

    @naught, I think, for myself, I wouldn't have had an issue with letting cops in to look around in those circumstances. Just, not at gunpoint. There is no possibility of consent at that point.

  37. princessartemis says

    To clarify, I don't see myself choosing to die on that hill, but the very fact that a gun is drawn and pointed at me removes consent from the equation.

    I hope they didn't do that to any veterans who might be triggered by seeing rifles pointed their way.

  38. a_random_guy says

    naught_for_naught write: "It is the job of the police to find these guys and secure the towns persons and property. What do you do? The police believe they have exigent circumstances which gives them the legal right to enter any residence where they believe these guys might be. Why on earth would you want to frustrate their efforts when you know exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it?"

    You are right, in a sense, but you are overlooking one thing: I know that these guys are not in my house, so why do I need a SWAT team to confirm this?

    Yes, it's hard to know how one would have reacted, since we weren't actually there. However, there are people with a lot of "presence of mind". I would have hoped that, in a town of 30,000 people, at least one person would have told the SWAT team: "not here, thanks, unless you have a warrant", gone along when told to leave anyway, filmed the interaction and put it up on YouTube. The fact that not one single person did this is a sad, sad commentary on our society.

  39. says

    @naught_for_naught – I would have probably consented but only for fear of getting shot, my family hassled and the like – but I'd be really scared they'd randomly gun down my dogs so I'd probably have a brain freeze – SWAT team guys LOVE shooting beloved family pets, especially small 12lb dogs that put their lives in danger (Even with Kevlar, guns, weighted gloves, tazers, a 12 lb Chihuhua or Daschund poses a life and death threat for a small-mid size swat team – at least that what they claim just about every freaking week when they kill someone's dog).

    Same scenario in every way but no swat team pointing guns, absolutely no way. And if by some quirk, the terrorists were really in my place i'd personally absolve them of any legal recourse. I'm not a cop hater and not out to impede them doing their jobs but SWAT teams and cops are two different beasts. Seriously, two guys against the city of Boston and everyone's acting like it's something to be terrified of. I could be wrong and can't prove it either way, but I'm sure enough I'd take my chances, that they're be much more interested in hiding, running away and trying to avoid getting caught then breaking into my house and taking me hostage or getting in one last infidel before they made the trip to the great beyond. I too had an incident not too long ago – my entire neighborhood was locked down – there were cops from tons of different jurisdictions (supposedly on a holiday 'let's see how many tourists we can extort money from on their way to vacation) with what was called Operation Rolling Thunder. The intitial story they floated to everyone was heavilly armed gang bangers shot and killed three cops, first the cop that pulled them over and then the next two that arrived for backup – then they fled through the field at Cryovac (which has barbed wire fences and armed guards). The truth turned out to be, a guy got pulled over, threw his gun out of the car as the cops were pulling up and ran for it and the cops didn't want to chase him through the lot. Multiple helicopters, more cop cars than I can count, blocked perimeter for a few miles – ridiculous. Then when we started insisting that we be let back in "You're taking your life into your own hands" – Ok , fine. Then it was "Well you're impeding law enforcement efforts" and the story kept changing until the news started covering people getting upset about it – after several scare attempts they conceded. Guy was caught later that night, in a stream about 1/4 of a mile away (smack dab inside their secure perimeter). The only threat I faced that night was getting bit by one of the countless police dogs that were going crazy, or one of the adrenaline junkies getting trigger happy – I'll take my chances with the psychos and terrorist and as I've said before, here's exhibit A that can be used against me if I ever 'need the cops' and something bad happens etc etc.

  40. says

    @MattS – I don't mean to be a mooch, but if you're recruiting porcupines, I'd like to hire a few as well, i'll even take the ones you reject and am willing to pay 30% of his/her yearly salary as a finder's fee (I think that's what recruiters charge for specialized labor of this sort).. Even the flunky ones, I'm interested – even if they can't fend off terrorists, I've been itching to settle a score with my mega-evil dachshund and a porcupine would be perfect

  41. says

    @Shane – actually, you just sold me on your approach here. I'd like to pretend I could act like a hard-a55 with a bunch of paramilitary guys pointing machine guns at me, but I'd probably get cold feet when I saw the little red dots all over my head and heart (I'm thinking I could sustain a liver shot since it couldn't do more damage than my undergrad career – then again, as big as it is , i'm guessing it'd be hard to miss, but I digress). Ask for warrant – refuse search and if that didn't work, I'd just have to put in a few more billable hours for a few weeks to cover the atty's fees. I can definitely live with that – and now I have a plan I can actually use. My man ;-)

  42. AlphaCentauri says

    I think it's easy to play Monday morning quarterback here. But what were their alternatives? If a homeowner said he didn't consent to the search, should they believe him? Maybe he's saying it because the guy's on the second floor listening to what he tells them and holding his kids hostage. Maybe the homeowner is wearing a suicide vest and the intruder is holding the detonator. Maybe he's praying to God that the SWAT team will reply that they are coming in anyway. He may have guns for self defense, but if the intruder surprised him during the night, he may not have been able to use one before there was a gun aimed at himself or one of his kids; now the intruder is re-armed. Or the guy who answers the door might be an associate of Tsarnaev and the residence may be a safe house. They have no way of knowing. If they had said, "No problem, we'll just leave and it turned out the terrorist was inside raping the 10 year old daughter, we'd be talking about how culpably stupid the SWAT team members were.

    This situation has occurred in several highly publicized situations, and at least in urban areas, it occurs in other situations like gang shootings and bank robberies on a regular basis. There should be established procedures for searching for armed fugitives in residential areas, and the public should know what they are in advance.

    As far as whether a homeowner should be allowed to opt out in advance, you're then setting up a situation where the government has a registry of all the people in the house, since there are legal concerns about whether he can refuse on the behalf of family members who may feel differently or be too young to understand their choices.

    I get that a lot of you don't trust the government, but it's a democracy and they is us. And Clark, I appreciate that by having a blog like this, where people who don't all think alike can really debate the issue, you're taking your responsibility as a citizen to keep the agents of the government responsible to their real employers.

  43. says

    I get that a lot of you don't trust the government, but it's a democracy and they is us

    Then what do we need a Bill of Rights for?

    Heck, what do we need judicial oversight of the police for?

    If the government is "us", then the government would never every do anything that harms us, right?

    And if the government ever does accidentally harm us, we don't
    need courts to find the government us wrong, we can just depend
    on the legislators to reign the government us in so that we no
    longer hurt ourselves, right?

    Government is just a word for things we all do together, like drone-murder 16 year old American citizens, or
    murder pastors who are going outreach to prostitutes.

  44. Chris F says

    I think in this case I would be fine letting them search my house but I would be very reluctant to leave it. I wouldn't object to the search because even though I know who they're looking for isn't in my house they can't be sure that he's not out of sight with a kid ready to shoot him/her if the SWAT team enters. However, being forced out of my house doesn't make sense.

  45. joe pullen says

    Well I guess my question of what would they do if I just didn't answer the door and didn't appear to be home was answered. They'd just break it down.

  46. Ranulfo says

    I'd be more afraid that the swat teams playing GI JOE would empty hundreds of rounds and many stray shots would hit my family, me, neighbors, any pets etc.. I think that happened in the Dorner horror show. They just settled with the two woman who cops blindly shot at 100+ times for over $4 million.

    I can't be too harsh on the folks here besides that woman at the end of the video there, she's a total sheep.

    Police-soldiers on American streets with "weapons of war" for one teen terrorist is not the proper reaction. Its the reaction of an incompetent leviathan state trying to scare people to make them slaves to the system and live in fear of anything deemed "scary". Welcome to the pussification of society.

  47. PLW says

    Does anyone have any evidence that rights were actually violated here? Did any house get searched over the protests of the residents? What about unoccupied property? Did anyone get arrested or shot for not letting the cops in?

  48. princessartemis says

    @PLW, Based on what one gentleman said in the video, guns were on him the moment he opened the door. There is no possible way to consent to a search in that situation. If he let them in without a warrant at that point, it's called submission, not consent.

    That guy might have otherwise consented to the search, but having guns trained on him removed that opportunity from him. If he didn't protest, it could just as easily been because he didn't want to die as it was he didn't mind the search.

  49. says

    I'm shocked, shocked i tell you that none of these people had dogs that went crazy (which would have pretty much been a death sentence for rover). I guess SWAT was being nice for fear of blowback – if these were housing project residents, they wouldn't be getting apologies and the cops would have probably arrested as many as they couild ex post facto. I guess I missed it at first being a little slow at times, but how in the hell can I consent to anything with machine guns pointed at me? That's like consenting to a stick up man (although I'd rather have a stick up man pointing a gun at me at my front door than a bunch of SWAT guys (and yes, i'm drawing a big distinction between run of the mill beat cop and some the stormtroopers)

  50. says

    @RavingRambler Wow that's cool – I feel like going out and getting a 12 guage just for an excuse to by some of those @Matt left me hanging with the porcupine referral so I'm going to have to resort to my own devices here

  51. ShelbyC says

    @Aaron, "Would this be considered an exigent circumstance? Is it one?"

    Well, exigent circumstances usually require evidence that something bad will happen before the cops have time to get a search warrant, right? This may be the case for some of the early searches, but the searches continued for several hours after the car chase, and I don't see how the cops wouldn't have had time to try to get a warrant to search their 20-block perimeter.

  52. PLW says

    @princessartemis I suppose the only way to tell your theory from mine is to ask people afterwards if they consented voluntarily or because they were afraid of getting shot.

  53. princessartemis says

    @PLW, Yeah, you could do that. I don't honestly think that there are many people out there for whom the threat of deadly force would not override their ability to rationally consent to anything. That's one reason why we, as a society, don't, or shouldn't, blame the victims of home invasions, armed robberies, and armed rapes. How can one consent to much of anything when the demand is made with a gun literally to your head? Any participatory action on the part of the victim can never be construed as willing, even if under other circumstances they would have been more than happy to have the perpetrator as a guest, give them property, or have sex with them. That's the whole thing about consent. You can't get it at gunpoint.

    Honest arguments can be made about how necessary this lockdown was, how necessary it was to violate people's rights in this way, how acceptable it is, if the situation warranted this reaction, or if perhaps a less strong reaction would have been better, but I don't think we can really argue that rights were violated. In some very narrow situations, the least worst thing needs to be the thing that is done. That doesn't make the thing done something other than least worst. It doesn't convince me that what happened in this exact situation really was the least worst, and it certainly doesn't convince me that "rescue a family at the point of a gun" is something that will ever make sense.

  54. AlphaCentauri says

    Then what do we need a Bill of Rights for?

    Heck, what do we need judicial oversight of the police for?

    If the government is "us", then the government would never every do anything that harms us, right?

    We need it because humans are very imperfect, and humans in groups do things they would never do as individuals. If you treat people as mere functionaries in the hive, they'll act the part. If you make a point of pulling them out of the group and treating them as individuals, their behavior will be much different.

    Very few people have the type of strong personality that makes them positive leaders or sociopaths regardless of what is going on in the group around them. If you're one of those people, you can change things for the better.

    I don't know if you're the kind of doctor that has to learn BLS, but one of the things they teach you is that if you are surrounded by a crowd and need help, you can't just say, "Someone call 911." You have to single out one person and ask him/her to do it. All of the people in the crowd might be willing to do it and even feel honored to do it, but they'll stand there staring at you expecting someone else to do it if you don't take charge by removing them from the crowd-think. That's just the way humans are, whether they're in government or any other group. You have to keep reminding them of their individuality, rather than helping erase it.

  55. Personanongrata says

    How eager we are to be slaves (paraphrasing Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus)

    The folks in Massachusetts that were caught up in the "lockdown" seem to be suffering from a form of Stockholm syndrome.

  56. Church says

    @AlphaCentauri, I think you're missing the point and falling too far down your own rabbit hole. The major discussion is that you can't consent to a search with a gun in your face. If the police walked up and asked if they could look around the property to secure it, that's different than ordering you out of your own home at gun point. I think a lot of people would choose to consent in those conditions. Being terrorized into consent is just not acceptable no matter the circumstances.

  57. Lisa Williams says

    That's my garage, guys. I live in Watertown and I own that house — and that garage. I'm glad you're having such a good time using me and my neighbors to score political points.

    To repeat what I said in the earlier thread you featured my house in:

    * My house is about 300 feet from the site of the shootout where the older brother was killed and the younger brother escaped.
    * My house is large, old, creaky, has a lot of trees and a three car garage.
    * A neighbor alerted me to the search and I called the police myself and gave them the entry code to the front door keypad (we have a keyless entry system).

    You're going to need something else to indulge in your business about a police state.