Friday, May 3, 2013

We're From The Government, And We're Here to Help...

Stretch sends in a rather disturbing article.

Boston Manhunt ‘Missed the Boat’ as Police Skip Street
Sue Lund lives about five blocks from where police engaged in a wild shootout April 19 with the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects and about eight doors down from where the one who escaped alive was found 18 hours later.

Yet, during the all-day manhunt, she said police never searched her Franklin Street home or garden shed in Watertown, Massachusetts. Ten other neighbors had the same story and said they didn’t know of any homes that had been searched on Franklin, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was discovered by someone on the street about 30 minutes after an area lockdown was lifted.
As more information becomes available, it is positively shocking just how many failures there were on all levels. National security agencies ignored warnings about the Tsarnaev family from both inside and outside the US. Student visas based on educational status were not renewed in a timely manner. State agencies handed out assistance to the family despite their having made themselves ineligible. And now, as more information comes out after the manhunt, it appears as though the massive police presence may have in fact missed a critical area in their search, needlessly prolonging the time folks were spent hunkered down.

Now, I want to stop and address something. There's been a lot of debate between those that support the police and those that are afraid of fourth amendment violations. I fall far more into the second camp, but I want to make a distinction here. You can support the actions of the individual officers while opposing the general use of force, in my opinion. I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the individual officers on the street; I'm willing to bet that the majority of them were not looking to play with the cool toys and scare the civilians - I'll bet they wanted to catch the bastard that planted bombs in their city and ambushed one of their own.

With that said, though, it sure doesn't look like whoever planned the search covered themselves in glory. From possibly missing the street the suspect was on during the search to missing the suspect in the boat, it's important to figure out why critical points were overlooked. The cops doing the searching may or may not be in error; it's more likely that the word to search that area was never handed down, and everyone assumed that another group was covering that area.

Which, once again, brings us back to the one shining, overwhelming truth: When seconds count, the police are minutes away, searching the wrong area...

Had Splodey the Younger not been injured and in possession of a firearm or more bombs, this whole episode could have had a far more sinister turn. House after house, row after row, street after street; every single domicile he encountered was pretty likely to have not only occupants - hostages - but unarmed ones at that. This could have gone spectacularly worse - and had a much higher body count. Fortunately, he just went to ground and hid, so we had pretty much the best case scenario possible where he was caught before he hurt anyone else.

But I don't like relying on luck when dealing with terrorists - or garden variety criminals, for that matter.

That is all.


Glenn B said...

Early on in the reporting, I saw a big wig in the Boston PD state that the yard in which the suspect was found was actually outside of the perimeter that had been set up. Then, only later, did the police brag about the so called fact that they ensnared him within the perimeter. Truth is that it would have been fairly easy for a single individual to get outside of that perimeter, or almost any other one like it, as was apparent in that even this amateur terrorist and wounded youngster was able to elude capture for that long. It was lucky that the homeowner found him and that he was not killed by the terrorist.

Anonymous said...

Seems to. Me there were a lot of chiefs just standing around in the tv coverage I saw. Just how long can it take to search a residence for a known individual with the cooperation of the residents 5 min max. Times how many entry teams ??? Why wasn't the search completed in the first few hours. And as time went on wouldn't you want to expand the search? How confident were they that the perimeter was secure in time ?? Obviously it wasn't. Since he was outside the initial perimeter. They need to rethink the entire procedure. Not mention the whole question of " hot pursuit. Vs 4 th ammenemt searches.


velcro8ball said...

There is a picture of a police dept armored Hummv on a residential street during the search. The occupant of the turret is aiming an AR pattern rifle directly at the person taking the picture. When those that are paid to protectors feel that they are more important than the protected we have a problem. Picture at Jeffersonianblog.

Stretch said...

I'm still wondering why no K-9 tracking.

Ritchie said...

...minutes away, on Elm Street instead of Maple Court.