The Uproar

I must admit that I’m surprised by the vitriol arising from Joshua’s recent post about State Police action in Pennsylvania. Our staff has received death threats. Can you believe it? Death threats because we expressed an opinion contrary to theirs and in support of the Constitution. While we defend their right to free speech, and allow their negative posts to appear on our privately owned blog, their favorite epitaph for our firm seems to be “scumbags.” While most news references have been positive or neutral, those who criticize would be the first in line to cry out publicly if they were denied press access to the very same dwellings. Nonetheless, we would also support their mantra for “freedom of the press.”

It’s pretty obvious that most of the objections come from those who do not frequent our blog, and apparently don’t care about any constitutional rights. In fact, most don’t even live in Pennsylvania. What I don’t understand is where they would draw the line. In the past year, we have seen our Government abandon our brave defenders and lie about their actions to protect their political careers. The IRS has singled out a group with political views contrary to those of the current administration for delays and audits. In fact, we recently endured an unheard of audit; could that have resulted from Joshua’s political positions? When the IRS was confronted about their actions, they attempted to destroy evidence. We the people have suffered an unending barrage of attacks on our constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms, mostly by those waving a banner of unsupported facts and assumptions.

Of course, facts mean little to the liberals on attack, while assumptions that support their cause rein supreme. The murder Corporal Bryon K. Dickson is a tragedy and without question, the perpetrator must be brought to justice! While many are willing to lay down their rights to secure his capture and death, when did Mr. Fein give up his presumption of innocence? Why does everyone assume that Mr. Fein is indeed the perpetrator? Only one reason; because the State Police and press told us so. They’ve led us to believe he’s a crazed murderer wrecking havoc in neighboring communities, justifying their actions. In fact, it’s recently been revealed that the actual target may have been Trooper Alex T. Douglass, and Corporal Dickson was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Why is this important? Well it appears that Trooper Douglass might have been having an affair with Mr. Frein’s wife. If true, that absolutely does not justify Mr. Frein’s actions if he is indeed the perpetrator. It makes it no less tragic. What it does raise is the question of whether the actions by the State Police are justifiable, truthful, and well measured. If true, then Mr. Frein is not an apparent threat to the local citizens, as the State Police have already acknowledged in their original statements. He is not even an offensive threat to the authorities, although I fear some may be injured in his pursuit.

Just yesterday, Lt. Col. Bivens of the Pennsylvania State Police stated: “Lethal force is authorized upon positive identification if he is not actively surrendering,” (http://abc13.com/news/accused-cop-killer-repeatedly-appears-then-eludes-manhunt/322722/). What happen to his right to trial? When did we give the State Police the right to be judge and jury? Or are they really trying to keep him quiet to protect the reputation of the troop? Maybe revenge for his actions? These thoughts are no more absurd than the image of Mr. Frein presented by the State Police and the assumptions they have made. Where’s Attorney General Holder and Mr. Sharpton?

Lastly, a word to those who believe we are “police haters” or just out to make a fee. You obviously don’t know us although, like Lt. Col. Bivens, you’re jumping to conclusions without any of the facts. Joshua frequently presents seminars for local police forces on gun law, without compensation. Most recently, Joshua defended the Sheriff of Perry County when sued by the local auditors, without compensation. We are staunch supporters of law enforcement, but that will not dissuade us from putting citizens first when they are wrong. The actions of Troop N of the Pennsylvania State Police are simply wrong. When the police authorities are wrong, we have only two choices, revolt,

Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. […] the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible. – Hubert Humphrey

or a law suit. Each individual victim of Troop N’s actions will find it difficult to seek redress as their individual loss, while present, may not exceed the costs of suit. There are not many attorneys truly qualified or willing to bring such a suit, but Joshua wanted the citizens to know that if their rights were violated, we would not turn them away. This is a far better solution than revolution. We do NOT want anyone to raise a gun in defense of their home. We want them to know there are alternatives.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

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27 Comments

Filed under Constitutional Law

27 responses to “The Uproar

  1. Darek

    Amen. I support the police and I want this suspect apprehended, tried and punished if found guilty.

    I do not support a Boston style police state, martial law without the declaration of martial law nor a Christopher Dorner style execution.

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    • Joe

      Can’t wait to hear your comments after the beast,Eric Frein is found in an innocent family’s home with bodies all around him. When will you people support the men and women who risk their lives every single day to protect us? So what if the officer was having an affair with his wife! Be an adult and deal with it the legal way. Police are welcome in my home any day of the week if they feel my family is in danger!!!!!

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      • joes afool

        you be an adult. police are only welcome in our home with invite or warrant i don’t care if they feel I’m safe or not it’s my responsibility to protect my property not theirs. property laws must be obeyed. It has nothing to do with support it has to do with law. If you excuse the laws or give up your rights you’ll never get those rights back. it will become president then when your rights are infringed it’s to late because you wouldn’t stand up for your fellow citizens rights

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  2. Anton

    I agree with you, Our Liberty and Freedom can not be sacrificed for the hunt of a person not yet guilty of a crime. As a retired Leo my heart goes out to the family of my brothers in arms but my brothers in blue are there to service and uphold justice not take matters into their our hands.

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  3. no name please

    I also am a retired law enforcement officer. We need to uphold ALL CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS FOR ALL PEOPLE. If we fail to do so we lose our Democracy and become an anarchist state where no one will have any protective rights.

    An to remind everyone;of an important legal element in all cases;
    “Innocent Until Proven Guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.”

    I agree that in the last several years there have been blatant cases of the dissemination of misinformation from numerous governmental entities including .the media being complicit in not upholding right from wrong and truth from untruth..

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  4. cjcullom@comcast.net

    I do not personally know you, but I agree with what you have presented in this email forum. I live in Montgomery Co. and would be happy to “step up” in case of trouble. My cell is 215-872-4488 and its best to text me if needed for a faster response. My wife and I are pro law enforcement, military and community and am glad to see someone speak the hell up!

    Sincerely Patriotic, CJ Cullom

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  5. Scott B.

    I, too, agree with you and Joshua. A murder was committed. The killer needs to be caught and face the justice system, but pursuing the killer is still governed by the Constitution and other laws. The authorities cannot put aside basic rights in order to expedite capture. The more we let this happen, the more “accepted” it becomes. Freedom should not be taken lightly, and it should be strongly protected. Keep up the good work!

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  6. Wes

    First you are posting rumours about a love affair gone wrong that haven’t been substantiated. Not to mention you are posting incorrect information about this rumour. The CORRECT rumour is that the affair was between Frein’s brother’s wife and Alex Douglass, Eric Frein is NOT married. If your going to drum up business based on a rumour get the rumour right.

    Honestly never saw an attorney drum up business by way of rumours but then again you are who you are. I am more conservative than liberal but you Alex Jone’s fanboys have drank to much of his survival kool-aide.

    I don’t think you’re cop haters I think people like you & your brother in law have feed off of peoples fears by twisting facts & spreading rumours that are aimed at the simple minded who believe the venom you spew.

    Why don’t you wait for the facts or better yet why not have some respect for the families directly affected or does human empathy make you less patriotic.

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    • Wes, a rumor is a rumor, and the rumor you heard may be a different rumor than I heard. I clearly indicated that I didn’t know if it was true or not. Nonetheless, if I had the wrong rumor, i apologize. Furthermore, when you ask “why don’t you wait for the facts” I couldn’t agree with you more. That’s the gist of my post. We don’t know if Mr. Frein is guilty or not, and we shouldn’t abandon our constitutional rights based on a rumor. My statements do not disrespect Col. Dickson or the contribution he made to the community and this Commonwealth in any way. I only want the pursuit of his murderer to be conducted constitutionally. Why is that objectionable?

      BTW, what does my brother-in-law have to do with this discussion?

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  7. SWIFT

    “This is a far better solution than revolution.” Oh?

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  8. Reblogged this on Welcome to Daniel Ray Richardson's Home on the Web and commented:
    Amazing! Oh, the lengths that people will go to in order to defend “the boys in blue”, regardless of what they do!

    Like

  9. Mitch Samuels

    If the affair is true, how do we know the brother didn’t commit the murder & then frame his brother by planting the Jeep & guns in the woods, since Eric would be the perfect patsy for this crime? I am not saying this is what happened, I am just saying that Eric Frein deserves a fair trial where all the evidence & facts can be evaluated by his peers, because all the evidence so far seems to be entirely circumstantial.

    America needs more Attorneys like the one who authors this blog.

    Like

  10. Anna Cat

    The facts in this case need to come out the media is not doing it’s due diligence. The 911 call says the State Police took fire for 35 minutes HERE IS THE AUDIO: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2014/09/pike_county_shootings_pa_state.html Listen to the 911 call and read the time line in the 911 call story (from mainstream media) then read the police affidavit THEY DO NOT MATCH!!!! Here is the “Official” report that omits much of what is contained in the 911 call: http://wilk.radiotown.com/pdf/Trooper.pdf The Police claim that ONLY 4 SHOTS WERE FIRED IN ABOUT 90 SECONDS. Erroneous police reports point to a cover up. This radio show plays the 911 call and takes a caller that discusses the whole matter starting at about 1:59: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAePtJbg3bM

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  11. anonymous

    There are lots of questions here. At first I was a little skeptical about the manhunt, its necessity, and the rumors that the suspect had a plan to kill other officers. I never believed those rumors, because nothing credible was even reported that could cause me to believe that. As days went by, I became even more skeptical that they were even searching for the right person. Then came the shoot to kill order that I found appalling, because the suspect has not been deposed. As more days went on, I actually began to believe that the manhunt , as it was being conducted , was offensive and unconstitutional. As it stands today, it has been more than two weeks, and the only thing they have is soiled diapers, with a report that they saw him, but he was too far away to apprehend. How did they see him then? With 400 or more cops, FBI, and others, I actually find this ridiculous. Now we have speculation about a motive related to a love triangle, and the possibility the the “armed and extremely dangerous” theory is really just a big fat hoax. Quite honestly, I think the PSP has some serious explaining to do, because the glaring reality is that they have lied, and created a false environment of fear to justify their personal rage, and over the top response. A 15 year old girl was murdered in philly last week, and not one road was closed.

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  12. JD

    You people really are sick. Now you are spreading rumors of an affair. Just mentioning it puts that thought in the minds of the people. I know of no professional legal office that would permit themselves to be rumor mongers and live off the sensationalism of a nationwide news event. Clearly your firm is the only one trying to benefit and your firm is grossly negligent in engaging in rumor at all. Frein or another will eventually be caught, dead or alive and if alive he or she will receive a fair trial, I have seen nobody here deny that; your blog however gives none of that equal respect to the police you claim to work with. You assume the police have violated rights and you accuse them of being wrong but they too have not had their day in court. You have no idea what they are working on but you have already formed your opinions of wrongdoing. You deny it, but it most certainly is to benefit financially against this law enforcement agency. You won’t allow my comments to be posted because you know I am right. Take my advice, you cannot take a stance for or against the police until you know all details. After this incident is over, I would suspect that any police officer or agency who has any kind of relationship with you, professional or in a volunteer model should immediately discontinue their association with you as you are trying to profit from the blood of an innocent lawman.

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    • DJ

      Police kill innocent people on a regular basis yet I have not heard you pine for them. They do not have an entire police force ready to revenge them in a very “extremely prejudicial way”. I have seen people beaten to death in videos, shot for no other reason than misunderstanding what the officer was yelling and every time they are exonerated, not by law but some policy of a department. Since when did a dammed policy trump law of a person’s life; the answer is never. The authorities have simply spoken it and it is so.

      There is no elite status mentioned in the Constitution. I know this because I have spent so 30 years in its study and that of the supporting historical documents. John Bad Elk V United States; the case involved a man who was resisting an unlawful arrest. He killed an officer but the Court said he was justified because the officer had become merely a man committing assault and battery. The Court went on to conclude that resisting excessive force was cause to resist with force as well. The courts have seen fit to restrict this right through the use of statutes and judicial decisions but that does not change the nature of the act and it does not change the fact that we are entitled to protect our lives and persons for unlawful attacks. It is a fundamental right that exists outside of the legislative ability to change, it is one of the rights secured by mention in the Ninth Amendment; we didn’t give it to you in the Constitution and you have no right to assume it.

      No Threat Implied but I would not bee surprised to see more of the people simply getting tired of abuses of authority passed off as acceptable under policy. It is obvious and it is merely a fore seeing of things to come. It is what happens when you attempt to subjugate a people and reduce them to mere chattels.

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  13. Nick

    It’s interesting that you impugn “liberals” gratuitously, presumably in an effort to establish your “conservative” credentials in the eyes of your audience. I am a “liberal,” I suppose (I’m a card-carrying member of the ACLU, and like many of my fellows I am a committed civil libertarian. As, I believe, are you and your son. So setting aside political characterizations, I think we can agree that the way the manhunt for Frein is being conducted represents police overreach, and risks violating the civil liberties of innocent bystanders as well as those of the accused (candidly, I’m a bit less concerned about the latter because he has some control over the situation–he could and should surrender in the interest of maintaining the rule of law).

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  14. As I read the Facebook posting from the law firm seeking clients who have “had your rights violated by PSP, either by unlawfully evicting you from your home or searching your vehicle without a warrant,” I was flooded with varying emotions – from anger to indifference. Rather than focus on my emotions, I chose to look at the constitutionality of the Fourth Amendment and how it has been applied in ‘road-block cases’ throughout court history, since emotion is contraindicated in making an informed and applicable decision that is based on truth. The following are my findings:

    Firstly, let me say that interpretation of the Fourth Amendment is not exactly a model of intellectual consistency {See Akhil Reed Amar, Fourth Amendment First Principles, 107 Harv. L. Rev. 757, 757-61 (1994)}. As I look at case after case regarding roadblock and Fourth Amendment ‘violations,’ one thing stands out above all else: ALL of the cases create a multitude of ‘cubbyholes’ or ‘loopholes.’

    Many attorneys want to take as a fundamental doctrine that “criminal investigations require person-specific cause, and that we conform all Fourth Amendment law to it.” With that being their stand, I suppose that one could go in a different direction and treat auto searches or housing inspections as the paradigm to their doctrine. BUT it’s our job as Criminal Justice students (and future police officers) to NOT pick favorite passages from the hundreds of Fourth Amendment opinions the Supreme Court has issued over the years; it is our job to apply the principles devised (and the precedent set) for the most closely related cases.

    As I read the many sections of the Fourth Amendment, it became explicitly clear that there is nothing in the text of the Fourth Amendment to prevent dragnet searches (read literally, the text requires only that searches and seizures be “reasonable” and confines the requirement of “probable cause” to searches or seizures made pursuant to warrant). The Supreme Court has insisted that “to be reasonable under the Fourth Amendment, a search ordinarily must be based on individualized suspicion of wrongdoing,” save in cases of “special need” based on “concerns other than crime detection.” Chandler v. Miller, 520 U.S. 305, 313-14 (1997); see also Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton, 515 U.S. 646, 653 (1995); United States v. MartinezFuerte, supra, 428 U.S. at 560-61; Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 27 (1968).

    The qualification of “special needs” as stated by The Supreme Court must not be overlooked. When the police establish a roadblock on a route that they know (or strongly suspect) is being used by a dangerous criminal to escape, the probability is high not only of apprehending the criminal but also of preventing him/her from engaging in further criminal activity incidental to his escape. {See, e.g., United States v. Harper, 617 F.2d 35, 40-41 (4th Cir. 1980)}. THIS BEING THE CASE, the roadblock is allowed even though it is likely to “seize” some individuals who are not suspected of wrongdoing.

    Consider what Brown v. Texas, 443 U.S. 47, 51 (1979), had to say: “the Fourth Amendment requires that a seizure must be based on specific, objective facts indicating that society’s legitimate interests require the seizure of the particular individual, or that the seizure must be carried out pursuant to a plan embodying explicit, neutral limitations on the conduct of individual officers.”

    In my research (which is by no means exhaustive), I have identified three exceptions to the principle that “a search or seizure is forbidden by the Fourth Amendment unless there is a basis for believing that a particular search or seizure, as distinct from a program of universal or randomized searches or seizures, will yield evidence or fruits or instrumentalities of crime.”

    The first exception is illustrated by a roadblock set up to catch a fleeing criminal. This happens when there is a suspect t—he Police have identified, and have yet to catch him/her as they attempt to flee by any means necessary. In this instance, it is completely infeasible to avoid an indiscriminate search or seizure of other persons, persons not suspected of crime, as well.

    The second exception is where no specific person is under suspicion, but the circumstances make it impossible to prevent a crime without an indiscriminate search (i.e. terrorist attack being imminent, or bomb threats etc…).

    The last exception is the prevention of illegal importation, whether of persons (a power limited to the federal government, Saenz v. Roe, 119 S. Ct. 1518 (1999)) or of goods.

    It seems that no matter the amount of research done, and the precedent that has been set forth by courts of higher jurisdictional authority, we continue to head down the ‘slippery-slope’ of debating the rights of the individual vs. the safety of our citizens as a whole. Many courts have established the fact that the roadblocks set up in PA in an effort to catch the suspected murderer Frein, Eric are constitutional and are being done in the best interest of the safety of the American citizens living in the effected area.

    In summation, I would simply like to state my personal opinion regarding this debate at hand: I believe whole heartedly that what the PSP Troopers (along with many other state agencies) are doing is ALL in an effort to keep us safe, and in an effort to bring the suspect in to face the Criminal Justice system that he so violently protests. If the American citizens cannot get behind this effort and support in EVERY way possible, then WE are the ones doing an injustice to our men and women of law enforcement AND to our neighborhood. Who knows where he may strike next, and if it be at your domicile, I am betting that (at that point) you would have allowed PSP to ‘inconvenience you’ and search your home. If you have nothing to hide, then why the vehement protesting of the Constitutional search? And the Prince Law Firm attempting to ‘capitalize’ on a horrible tragedy and line their pockets with MORE despicably-earned finances is a PRIME example of the lawyers that give EVERY lawyer a bad name. I’m making the suggestion you change your name to “Prince Ambulance Chaser & Exploitation for Money Law Firm.”

    This is just the humble opinion of a U.S. Marine Corps Combat Veteran.

    Adam D.
    United States Marine Corps
    22nd M.E.U. 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines
    PA-DOH EMT-Paramedic

    Like

    • Tom

      I believe Eric Frien is innocent until proven guilty before a jury of his peers. That said Adam, where do you stand on Kelly Thomas? Jose Guerenno? Thanks for posting your legal positions, I won’t even attempt to debate them because reverting to ROL at this point is quite a stretch. We passed that over a decade ago.

      I have supported law enforcement my entire adult life. I am appalled at what our country and it’s police force has become. I have always maintained that there are good cops out there and still do. However at this point they are heavily outnumbered. That is a sad fact my friend but hey your mileage may vary.

      Like

    • Shawn McEwen

      So did you read the Fourth Amendment? Also since when is it the Supreme Court’s duty to interpret the Fourth? I thought they were merely mandated to enforce it. I can read it for myself, and am intelligent enough to know what it means.

      In reply to your last question, if I were suddenly forced to react to the reality of the suspect entering my domicile unbidden, then 911 is not an option, and Glock 20 is, pure and simple. To suggest that somehow we would all lament earlier protestations of infringed Constitutional rights, for the sake of protection from those thought to be infringing, is a statement made in foolishness. You should probably know better. Apparently you don’t. Might I suggest further study?

      Good day sir.

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    • dan

      If what you say is what you believe and where taught and fought for, then I would like to remind you that….INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS ARE WHAT THE CONSTITUTION PROTECTS….not the collective…….Semper Fi 1963

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    • Adam was never a Marine and never was in combat. I knew him when he was in the Navy and he lived with me after. Sorry makes me mad he even put that as his info.

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  15. Abby

    Just another money hungry attorney. You completely don’t understand the heartfelt support of these men in harms way. If we needed help, we would seek it. Don’t assume you know what’s going on, because you don’t! I truly feel sorry for you and I will pray you to some day find compassion. People like you are the problem of today!!

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  16. dan

    INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS ARE WHAT THE CONSTITUTION PROTECTS….not the collective….imho

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  17. As a former police officer, I am appalled by the apparent “shoot on sight” order. It’s pretty clear from that statement that they’ve already sentenced him to a summary execution, pending only their getting an opportunity.
    That is disgraceful and if he gets summarially executed like Chris Dorner, the officers involved and their entire chain of command should be immediately charged with 1st degree murder with aggravating circumstances (conspiracy to murder him) and be subject to the death penalty.
    If PA had an Attorney General worth a pinch of dog poop, an opinion to that effect and notice of intent to bring charges if they carry out such an execution would be published and sent to all involved immediately.
    At this point, lacking a trial and all the other “niceties” that PASP seems willing to skip over, an execution is premature and is, in fact murder for revenge (or maybe to silence a patsy).
    He should be captured and tried before a jury of his peers, not shot like a dog simply because his alleged victim was a cop. If he murdered the cop, convict him legally and I’d be willing to be the executioner, but summary executions in the field because they think they can get away with it under color of law is pure tyranny.

    Like

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