Glad to know the DC gun ban has made things safer
DC will seal off high-crime areas, set up vehicle checkpoints. Drivers who fail to show ID will be arrested for failure to obey an officer. (?)
Reading carefully -- actually, they're going to set up a checkpoint only on one street in the area. Pedestrians will not be stopped (and in DC, you get around on foot or via Metro whenever you can -- traffic goes slowly and usually there's no parking). So it must come under the "This will show we are doing something" exception to the 4th Amendment. (DC figures the 2nd Amendment is subject to that exception, hardly astonishing they think the 4th has it, too).
Interesting that the proposal is opposed both by the FOP and by the ACLU.
Now I wonder if that only applies to US citizens or will that charge also apply to illegals without an ID. We do have two sets of laws operating in our country now.
Posted by: Jim at June 5, 2008 10:09 AM
"The checkpoint will stop vehicles approaching the 1400 block of Montello Avenue NE, a section of the Trinidad neighborhood that has been plagued with homicides and other violence. Police will search cars if they suspect the presence of guns or drugs, and will arrest people who do not cooperate, under a charge of failure to obey a police officer, officials said."
Man, that is scary.
So if you refuse a search, you can be arrested for failure to obey a police officer. And then, of course, they can search your car because they'll be impounding it. That's the way it sounds, anyway.
I think police do have a legal ability to stop cars and ask driver's for a driver's license or other questions (the latter of which they can answer or not), as by driving on public roads you've generally agreed to that. But what happened to the right to remain silent? Search warrants based on probable cause? I guess if "probable cause" can be not wanting to be searched ... what was the point of the 4th amendment again?
" "I knew eventually we'd be a police state," said Wilhelmina Lawson, who has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years. "They don't talk to us, they're not community minded." "
Posted by: Steve Wright at June 5, 2008 10:19 AM
"...and at the airport in Milwaukee,
they refused to let us board the plane at all.
The said we looked suspicious,
but I believe they like to pick on me and Paul."
Posted by: Letalis Maximus, Esq. at June 5, 2008 10:41 AM
"it's not fascism when we do it."
this is just going to provoke an attack on the checkpoint, which may kill police. stupid.
Posted by: jon at June 5, 2008 10:53 AM
Read this in the WaPo this AM. It is astounding that the DC government doesn't even try to follow the spirit of the COTUS, never mind the letter.
I suppose if you object to this sort of thing they will arrest you for your own protection.
Posted by: Robin at June 5, 2008 11:01 AM
So what do you all suggest be done (if anything) to reduce violence in those troubled neighborhoods?
What would have the desired effect yet still pass constitutional muster?
I don't like these checkpoints, random searches, gun bans, etc. either, but seems that all we hear are complaints toward any new initiative.
Posted by: Carl in Chicago at June 5, 2008 11:48 AM
Pay me the big bucks and I'll give you the answers !
There may be only so much the government can do to reduce the violence in these enclaves since government should be limited in the tactics they are allowed to use. I am CERTAIN that I don't want to give the government carte blanche to do whatever they want (not that they think they need my permission). But here goes:
1) increase police presence (in a meaningful way).
2) surveil the area and arrest any criminals observed breaking the law.
3) keep the criminals in jail for an extended period.
I realize that in carrying out item 2) they would have to allow free passage of congress critters going to and from sessions of the Congress no matter what they see :-)
Posted by: robin at June 5, 2008 12:53 PM
A federal appeals court UPHELD the legality of the New York effort, saying in a 1996 ruling that it "served an important public concern" [applying the B. S. "rational basis" test of constitutionality] and was "reasonably viewed as an effective mechanism to deter crime in the barricaded area."
Don't federal judges, America's aristocrats, watch old, bad WWII movies?
Posted by: 30yearProf at June 5, 2008 01:46 PM
What to do?
How's about outlawing cars, since they figure in so many of these crimes. On the plus side there is no con right to possess a car.
Most of the crims are known offenders and on probation (why is that) and can be stopped and searched as a requisite of their probation. If they are carrying drugs or weapons then trial in fed court and incarceration in Kansas.
The folks most invested in the neighborHOOD are the law abiding who live there. Arm them with cell phones cameras and guns and train them to spot crime photgraph it and notify law enforcement who will make arrests based on the community evidence.
30 year sentence for everyone intimidating a witness death penalty for everyone murdering a witness. No exceptions.
Posted by: tom gunn at June 5, 2008 02:03 PM
30YEARPROF said: A federal appeals court UPHELD the legality of the New York effort, saying in a 1996 ruling that it "served an important public concern" [applying the B. S. "rational basis" test of constitutionality] and was "reasonably viewed as an effective mechanism to deter crime in the barricaded area."
This would be a 4A issue, isn't that correct? The 4A is incorporated against the states, and I would assume that all of the incorporated elements of the BOR are considered "fundamental rights"...such as in this case, the limitation upon governement's power to "unreasonably search and seize."
Now, if the 4A is incorporated and considered a fundamental right, wouldn't what is considered a "reasonable" infringement of that right have to pass stricter scrutiny than mere rational basis review? If so, "reasonably viewed as effective" just would not cut the mustard. Yet somehow it did...
Maybe I am just relying on too many rules of thumb to make sense of this.
Posted by: Anonymous at June 5, 2008 02:14 PM
Damn. Hate it when I forget to fill in my name. Clicking "remember me" now...
Posted by: Carl in Chicago at June 5, 2008 02:18 PM
25+ years ago Providence was having some issues like this. The PD put an officer practically on every street corner for a while. The officers were courteous, attentive and most of all, visible.
In the short time they were there, they got to know many of the residents, young and old.
I realize 25 years was a long time ago, but it improved things back then quite a bit.
Posted by: Jim at June 5, 2008 04:42 PM
It's none of the State's business why I'm driving or walking down a particular public roadway as long as I'm not violating a statute or ordinance.
I worked a high crime beat in east Dallas in the '70s. I found that if I stayed on my beat, parked my patrol car and actually walked the beat, met and got to know the people I was there to protect and the criminal element I was supposed to keep an eye on, the crime rate decreased considerably.
I didn't have to resort to (I hate to use the word) "gestapo" tactics to reduce crimes on my beat. Just being there, and knowing the folks who lived, worked and were involved in various criminal activities seemed to do the trick.
Posted by: W. W Woodward at June 5, 2008 06:35 PM
The word you are looking for is Ausweis. Papers are just paper but your Ausweis is NOT simply paper. Well maybe they would ask for your Führerschein, but definitely not Papiere (the correct plural form).
Posted by: Deavis at June 5, 2008 08:22 PM
W.W. WOODWARD, you are right. Good old fashioned police work still works.
Posted by: Flash Gordon at June 5, 2008 08:53 PM
"How's about outlawing cars, since they figure in so many of these crimes. On the plus side there is no con right to possess a car."
9th amdt. There is no governmental authority to OUTLAW the owning of a car as those powers were not granted to the feds.
""We have to try to take away the things that are facilitating the ability to commit crime," Lanier said."
Like gun bans that leave residents safety in the hands of a useless police force there and subject to the criminals...nope, those evil guns and cars. sigh.
"Some residents expressed support for the plan yesterday, saying they are willing to submit to the checks if it makes the neighborhood safer. "We can't endure any more homicides," said neighborhood activist India Henderson."
"The only way Governments can induce citizens to surrender their rights is convincing them that by doing so, they will gain a measure of safety in exchange" -Thomas Jefferson
If all that Americans want is security, they can go to prison. They’ll have enough to eat, a bed and a roof over their heads. But if an American wants to preserve his dignity and his equality as a human being, he must not bow his neck to any dictatorial government. --Dwight D Eisenhower
And this is the same government we're expecting a decent ruling on the Heller case from....
Posted by: Tom at June 6, 2008 12:20 AM
Solving the violent crime problem in DC requires top-to-bottom changes in DC government. DC can't even adequately discipline police misconduct, much less bring complete criminal cases before the courts to get offenders locked away. Remember the BATF study of guns confiscated in DC a few years back that showed a sizable proportion were being sold out of the evidence room by crooked cops?
Posted by: James at June 6, 2008 08:19 AM