Posts Tagged ‘warrant’

Cops jump on swine-flu power: Shots heard ’round the world

September 3, 2009
Posted: September 01, 2009
9:11 pm Eastern


By Chelsea Schilling
© 2009 WorldNetDaily


Pandemic bill allows health authorities to enter homes, detain without warrant

 A “pandemic response bill” currently making its way through the Massachusetts state legislature would allow authorities to forcefully quarantine citizens in the event of a health emergency, compel health providers to vaccinate citizens, authorize forceful entry into private dwellings and destruction of citizen property and impose fines on citizens for noncompliance.

If citizens refuse to comply with isolation or quarantine orders in the event of a health emergency, they may be imprisoned for up to 30 days and fined $1,000 per day that the violation continues.

Massachusetts’ pandemic response bill

“Pandemic Response Bill” 2028 was passed by the Massachusetts state Senate on April 28 and is now awaiting approval in the House.

As stated in the bill, upon declaration by the governor that an emergency exists that is considered detrimental to public health or upon declaration of a state of emergency, a local public health authority, with approval of the commissioner, may exercise the following authorities (emphasis added):

  • to require the owner or occupier of premises to permit entry into and investigation of the premises;
  • to close, direct, and compel the evacuation of, or to decontaminate or cause to be decontaminated any building or facility, and to allow the reopening of the building or facility when the danger has ended;
  • to decontaminate or cause to be decontaminated, or to destroy any material;
  • to restrict or prohibit assemblages of persons;
  • to require a health care facility to provide services or the use of its facility, or to transfer the management and supervision of the health care facility to the department or to a local public health authority;
  • to control ingress to and egress from any stricken or threatened public area, and the movement of persons and materials within the area;
  • to adopt and enforce measures to provide for the safe disposal of infectious waste and human remains, provided that religious, cultural, family, and individual beliefs of the deceased person shall be followed to the extent possible when disposing of human remains, whenever that may be done without endangering the public health;
  • to procure, take immediate possession from any source, store, or distribute any anti-toxins, serums, vaccines, immunizing agents, antibiotics, and other pharmaceutical agents or medical supplies located within the commonwealth as may be necessary to respond to the emergency;
  • to require in-state health care providers to assist in the performance of vaccination, treatment, examination, or testing of any individual as a condition of licensure, authorization, or the ability to continue to function as a health care provider in the commonwealth;
  • to waive the commonwealth’s licensing requirements for health care professionals with a valid license from another state in the United States or whose professional training would otherwise qualify them for an appropriate professional license in the commonwealth;
  • to allow for the dispensing of controlled substance by appropriate personnel consistent with federal statutes as necessary for the prevention or treatment of illness;
  • to authorize the chief medical examiner to appoint and prescribe the duties of such emergency assistant medical examiners as may be required for the proper performance of the duties of office;
  • to collect specimens and perform tests on any animal, living or deceased;
  • to exercise authority under sections 95 and 96 of chapter 111;
  • to care for any emerging mental health or crisis counseling needs that individuals may exhibit, with the consent of the individuals

State and local agencies responding to the public health emergency would be required to exercise their powers over transportation routes, communication devices, carriers, public utilities, fuels, food, clothing and shelter, according to the legislation.

Don’t let the fear get to you! Read “How To Overcome The Most Frightening Issues You Will Face This Century”

Local public health authorities will be required to keep records of reports containing the name and location of all people who have been reported, their disease, injury, or health condition and the name of the person reporting the case. In addition, citizens may be subject to “involuntary transportation.”

Line 341 of the bill states, “Law enforcement authorities, upon order of the commissioner or his agent or at the request of a local public health authority pursuant to such order, shall assist emergency medical technicians or other appropriate medical personnel in the involuntary transportation of such person to the tuberculosis treatment center. No law enforcement authority or medical personnel shall be held criminally or civilly liable as a result of an act or omission carried out in good faith in reliance on said order.”

Vaccinate or isolate

Whenever the commissioner or a public-health authority decides it is necessary to prevent a serious danger to the public health, they are authorized:

(1) to vaccinate or provide precautionary prophylaxis (preventative procedure) to individuals as protection against communicable disease and to prevent the spread of communicable or possible communicable disease, provided that any vaccine to be administered must not be such as is reasonably likely to lead to serious harm to the affected individual; and(2) to treat individuals exposed to or infected with disease, provided that treatment must not be such as is reasonably likely to lead to serious harm to the affected individual. An individual who is unable or unwilling to submit to vaccination or treatment shall not be required to submit to such procedures but may be isolated or quarantined … if his or her refusal poses a serious danger to public health or results in uncertainty whether he or she has been exposed to or is infected with a disease or condition that poses a serious danger to public health, as determined by the commissioner, or a local public health authority operating within its jurisdiction. (emphasis added)

Under such circumstances, authorities are also allowed to decontaminate individuals and perform physical examinations, tests and specimen collection to determine whether “an individual presents a risk to public health.” If a citizen refuses, he or she may be isolated, quarantined and/or detained “for as long as may be reasonably necessary,” the bill states.

Law enforcement authorities are authorized to “arrest without warrant any person whom the officer has probable cause to believe has violated an order for isolation or quarantine and shall use reasonable diligence to enforce such order. Any person who knowingly violates an order for isolation or quarantine shall be punished by imprisonment of not more than 30 days and may be subject to a civil fine of not more than $1,000 per day that the violation continues.” (emphasis added)

Other state quarantine orders


As WND reported, a blank document from the Iowa Department of Public Health has been discovered online, designed to be filled in with the name of an H1N1 virus victim who is required to relocate from his or her home to a quarantine facility.

The form, which began appearing Aug 31 in e-mails and on the Internet , has concerned a confused public already swimming in conflicting reports about the severity of the swine flu and intrusive government measures that many fear may be taken if the disease becomes a pandemic. 

The Iowa document, which WND confirmed with state officials is authentic, has done little to calm the public’s fears.

“The Iowa Department of Public Health has determined that you have had contact with a person with Novel Influenza A H1N1,” the form reads. “The Department has determined that it is necessary to quarantine your movement to a specific facility to prevent further spread of this disease.

“The Department has determined that quarantine in your home and other less restrictive alternatives are not acceptable,” the document continues, before listing mandatory provisions of compliance with relocation to a quarantine facility.

According to the CDC, the following states have implemented legal actions in response to the H1N1 virus:

Florida – the Florida surgeon general suspended distribution permit requirements Florida statutes to allow wholesale distribution of Tamiflu and Relenza. The state has also distributed a series of blank quarantine order forms, including a voluntary home quarantine agreement, a quarantine to residence order, a quarantine to residence order (non-compliance), a quarantine to facility order, quarantine detention order, quarantine of facility order, building quarantine closure order and area quarantine closure order.

Iowa – In addition to the facility quarantine order listed above, Iowa has also made available forms for voluntary home confinement, home quarantine and home isolation.

Massachusetts – Massachusetts lists its own procedures for isolation and quarantine.

North Carolina – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released a draft isolation order that would provide for imprisonment for up to two years and pretrial detention without bail for any citizen who fails to comply with an isolation order.

Washington – Washington grants authority to local health officers to issue emergency detention orders causing citizens to be immediately and involuntarily isolated or quarantined for up to 10 days.

In addition, governors and health commissioners in the following states have declared a state of emergency since April following concerns about the H1N1 virus: California, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Next step: Mandatory swine flu vaccines?

According to the White House, “Since the novel 2009-H1N1 flu virus emerged in the United States during the third week of April, the president has received regular briefings and asked his Cabinet to spare no effort in addressing this national security challenge.”

The White House also lists as a priority, “Preparing for a voluntary, but strongly recommended, H1N1 flu shot program to be available to all Americans that wish to participate over a period of time.”

Barbara Loe Fischer, president of the National Vaccine Information Center, referenced the controversial Massachusetts bill in her commentary, “Swine flu vaccine: Will we have a choice?

Fischer said, “Public health doctors have persuaded legislators to pass pandemic influenza legislation that will allow state officials to enter homes and businesses without the consent of occupants, to investigate and quarantine individuals without their consent, to require licensed health-care providers to give citizens vaccines and to ban the free assembly of citizens in the state.” She said World Health Organization doctors “immediately




Cop murder spotlights crisis of killer aliens

February 19, 2009

Posted: September 28, 2006
9:18 pm Eastern

© 2009

No government agency tracks crimes by illegals, not even attacks on police


Officer Rodney Johnson

WASHINGTON – Charged with molesting a 12-year-old girl, Juan Leonardo Qunitero had been deported back to Mexico in 1999 as an illegal alien. Nevertheless, last week, he was back in the U.S., living comfortably in a city that prohibited police from asking anyone about their immigration status.

Rodney Johnson was a 12-year veteran on the Houston police force. Married with five children, he was big, kind-hearted and unafraid of working the toughest gang beats or late-night shifts.

On Thursday, Sept. 21, around 5:30 p.m., he pulled over a white Ford pickup driving 50 mph in a 30 mph zone in what should have been a routine traffic stop. The driver, Quintero, had neither a driver’s license nor any other identification so, after a pat down, Johnson handcuffed him and placed him in the back of his patrol car. But Johnson missed the gun in Quintero’s waistband. The prisoner pulled it out and fired four times at Johnson at close range.

When Johnson was laid to rest this week after his execution-style murder he joined a growing list of law enforcers gunned down by foreign criminals. Meanwhile, in Florida, a sheriff’s deputy was killed and another shot in the leg yesterday after they pursued a motorist who ran away from a traffic stop.

Deputy Vernon Matthew “Matt” Williams and his K-9 unit were shot dead, officials said. Deputy Doug Speirs was shot in the leg but was expected to recover. Polk County sheriff’s deputies early today said they shot and killed a suspect, described as a black man with a Jamaican accent with dreadlocks.

Though no government agency in the U.S. – not the FBI nor Immigration and Customs Enforcement – tracks violent crimes by illegal aliens, even murders of police officers, a search by WND of news reports in the last three years shows law enforcement personnel are hardly immune to deadly carnage wrought by untracked, undocumented armed predators inside the country.

Less than a year ago, Nov. 12, 2005, Dallas police officer Brian Jackson met the same fate.

It seems Juan Lizcano, an illegal alien who worked as a gardener, had a few too many drinks that Saturday evening before heading to the home of Marta Cruz, according to a witness who accompanied him.

Again, police responded early Sunday morning to a domestic disturbance call at Cruz’s home and were told that Lizcano had threatened his ex-girlfriend and fired a handgun inside the house. He was gone by the time officers arrived.

About 45 minutes later, officers were notified that Lizcano had returned to the home. Officers pursued him on foot as the suspect jumped over fences and ran through yards.

Officer Jackson died of a wound to his right underarm, near his protective vest, suffered in a gunfight with Lizcano. He and his wife, JoAnn, a respiratory therapist, had been married less than four months.

In Denver, Raul Gomez-Garcia, another illegal alien charged with shooting two police officers at a crowded party where both the gunmen’s wife and 2-year-old daughter were seated, was convicted last week.

Gomez-Garcia, 21, faced trial in Denver District Court for second-degree murder of Denver police officer Donald “Donnie” Young and attempted first-degree murder of Detective Jack Bishop. The two officers were shot in the back May 8, 2005, as they worked security at an invitation-only baptismal party.

The officers had turned Gomez-Garcia away from the party. He returned later, intent on shooting the two officers.

Gomez-Garcia has almost no education, is illiterate and explained to investigators that he had carried a loaded gun since he was 13 years old. He came to the United States when he was 8 and lived in south central Los Angeles.

Perhaps one of the most dramatic stories of a police officer being shot by an illegal alien is the case of shooting Arizona sheriff’s deputy Sean Pearce, an 11-year veteran of the force who served a search warrant Dec. 16, 2004, at a Mesa trailer home.

Hiding behind a Christmas tree inside was Jorge Luis Guerra Vargas, a 22-year-old illegal alien who opened fire on Pearce.

Ironically, at the time of the shooting, Pearce’s father, Russell, an Arizona legislator, was in Washington giving a speech about illegal immigration at the Brookings Institution when he got the message to call home. His wife, he knew, “wouldn’t be calling if it wasn’t important. It had to do with the children.” Pearce excused himself from the podium and found a phone to hear the tragic news.

A WND investigation of local news reports found dozens more cases of police officers slain by illegal aliens. They include:

Deputy Brandon Winfield


  • Deputy Brandon “Brandy” Winfield, 29, of the Marion County, Ohio, sheriff’s department, was murdered Oct. 17, 2004. Winfield was on routine patrol when he stopped to assist what he thought was a stranded motorist. Winfield later was found shot in the head in his vehicle, which had hit a guard rail and flipped into a ravine. Both of those charges in the crime were illegal aliens. 
  • Detective Hugo Arango, 24, of the Doroville, Ga., police department, was murdered May 13, 2000. Arango was shot and killed after having been flagged down by a club patron who indicated that some men had been breaking into cars outside of a nightclub. Detective Arango located three suspects and detained them. As he searched for weapons, Bautista Ramirez, an illegal alien from Mexico, shot Arango four times. The first shot took off one of his fingers, the second went through his thigh. As Arango lay on the ground helpless, Ramirez intentionally fired one round through Arango’s badge, and then executed him with a shot to his head that severed his brain stem. 
  • National Park Service ranger Kristopher “Kriss” Eggle, 28, was murdered Aug. 9, 2002. Ranger Eggle was shot and killed in the line of duty at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument while pursuing members of a drug cartel hit squad which fled into the U.S. after committing a string of murders in Mexico.

    Deputy Saul Gallegos


  • Deputy Saul Gallegos, 35, of the Chelan County, Wash., sheriff’s department was murdered June 26, 2003. Gallegos was shot and killed after stopping a vehicle in a routine traffic stop. Jose Sanchez-Guillen, 22, who had been deported three times to Mexico, was found guilty of aggravated first-degree murder.

    Deputy Sheriff David March


  • Deputy Sheriff David March, 33, of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s department, was murdered April 29, 2002. March was on routine patrol when he made a traffic stop. The driver, Armando Garcia, shot March in the chest and the head – execution style. Garcia had been deported three times, had a long history of drug charges, violent crimes and weapons charges. The illegal alien from Mexico was already wanted for two attempted murders. 
  • Officer Tony Zeppetella, 27, of the Oceanside, Calif., police department, was murdered June 13, 2003. Zeppetella stopped Adrien George Camacho for a traffic violation. Camacho pulled out a gun and shot the officer. Camacho then pistol-whipped the injured officer before shooting him again, killing him with the officer’s own gun. Camacho is an illegal alien and gang member from Mexico with a criminal history that includes five previous felony convictions and several deportations. 
  • A Huntsville, Ala., police officer, Daniel Howard Golden, 27, was shot multiple times by Benito Albarran, 31, an illegal immigrant in August 2005.

While no government agencies specifically track crimes by illegal aliens, there have been some efforts to quantify the loss. Last December, Mac Johnson set out to investigate the number of homicides perpetrated by illegal aliens. Since the federal government would not provide any useful information, he contacted all 50 statehouses. Three months later, he had fewer than a dozen responses. Only one state, Vermont, provided any useful information.

He then set out to statistically estimate the number of murders by illegal aliens based on available crime data and conservative estimates of the actually number of illegal aliens in the country – which, of course, nobody really knows.

He found that between 1,806 and 2,510 people in the U.S. are murdered annually by illegal aliens. If he’s right, that would represent between 11 percent and 15 percent of all murders in the U.S.

In one study of a sample 55,000 illegal immigrants serving prison sentences in the U.S., it was discovered that they are responsible for over 400,000 arrests and over 700,000 felony crimes.

According to Heather McDonald of the Manhattan Institute, 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide (which total 1,200 to 1,500) target illegal aliens. Up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (17,000) are for illegal aliens.

Gun trial witness: Feds out for ‘vengeance’

February 1, 2009
Posted: January 31, 2009
10:55 pm Eastern


By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily


An expert who testified against the government in a disputed Wisconsin gun case involving what the defense has described as a “broken” gun says federal agents ever since have been retaliating and the government’s actions are costing his business hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“I am a witness in a still pending case, and I am being ‘leaned on,'” Len Savage, of Historic Arms LLC, told WND. “This is not the first time ATF has taken out vengeance during a court case.”

The dispute stems from Savage’s testimony during a Wisconsin gun dispute. There a man loaned out a gun, it fired several shots at one time at a gun range, and the federal government prosecuted him for transferring a “machine gun.”

Savage’s testimony contradicted government opinions that the gun was, in fact, a machine gun, because the type of rifle was known to have a problem with misfiring. The defendant, David Olofson, nonetheless, was convicted and his case is on appeal.

The agent whose opinion Savage had contradicted, Max Kingery, shortly after was assigned by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to review a gun part that Savage was proposing to build and sell as part of his business.

The government’s review involved Savage’s part, a conversion unit intended to allow a small number of owners of a specific type of legal machine gun to be able to shoot ammunition costing 1-2 cents per bullet rather than 25 cents.

But the agent added several pieces of metal, some chain, some wires and some duct tape to the conversion unit, allowing it to fire, and then classified the conversion unit itself as a machine gun.

“Max Kingery was assigned to evaluate the submitted product from my company. He is the one who contrived the test, and made the determination,” Savage told WND.

But he said he’s not going to let the decision go unchallenged, and he’ll contest the government’s opinion at a trial over its “arrest” of the gun part in question.

That case now has become formal, with the filing of documentation in federal court in the Northern District of Georgia and naming as a defendant “One Historic Arms Model 54RCCS ‘7.62x54R Caliber Conversion System’ machine gun, Serial No. VI.”

“Plaintiff requests that the court issue a warrant and summons for the arrest and seizure of the defendant property; that notice of this action be given to all persons known or thought to have an interest in or right against the defendant property; that the defendant property be forfeited and condemned to the United States of America…” the government’s civil filing claims.

Several WND messages left with two different offices of the federal agency over a period of two days requesting a comment were not returned.

“Don’t forget the guy who did the evaluation is the guy I testified against four months previously,” Savage said. “That’s impropriety.”

He said, in fact, if anyone made a “machine gun” in this case, it is the government, since its agents added the materials needed to make the conversion unit fire a bullet.

“I didn’t submit it with those parts,” he said.

He said he had proposed building about 350 of the units to sell to customers who already have been approved by the government to have and use the type of machine gun they would fit. But the government’s decision to add parts and define it as a machine gun stymies not only that plan, but apparently is costing him possession of the unit he submitted for examination.

Savage told WND the logic behind the addition of the parts and then the determination the conversion unit is a machine gun doesn’t follow.

“If you tie a string on both triggers of daddy’s double barreled [shotgun] then that would be a machine gun too,” he said, citing the government’s definition of anything that causes multiple shots with a single trigger action.

He said the government did, in fact, make just that determination, but eventually backed away partly.

In 1996, the Firearms Technology Branch of the federal agency determined that “a 14-inch long shoestring with a loop at each end” when attached to a rifle “caused the weapon to fire repeatedly until finger pressure was released from the string.”

“Because this item was designed and intended to convert a semiautomatic rifle into a machine gun, FTB determined that it was a machine gun…,” the agency confirmed in a 2004 letter.

However, in 2007, it followed, “Upon further review, we have determined that the string by itself is not a machine gun, whether or not there are loops tied on the ends. However, when the string is added to a semiautomatic firearm … the result is a firearm that fires automatically and consequently would be classified as a machine gun.”

Savage said such logic should apply in his case, because his conversion unit – without the addition of the extra materials added by the government – doesn’t fire.

He said the government is in the processing of “arresting” the conversion unit, and then a trial will be scheduled for a determination. The government wants ownership of the unit as well as its costs in the case.

Savage wants a determination that his unit is a repair part or conversion unit.

And he said if the government wins its argument, there will be further complications, since the agency has made conflicting determinations in the past.

Specifically, he said, the AFT has ruled that for MAC type machine guns, the upper portion “that contains the bolt, recoil system and barrel … to be a ‘gun part,’ not even a firearm.”

“All of these without exception would fail the ATF’s contrived test,” he said. “If I took the tape and zip tie route that ATF demonstrated in detail and put that on the stock unit, I have a zip gun, just as illegal.”

“This ‘test’ will turn any upper that has a feed device into not only a firearm, but a machine gun,” he said.

Savage’s testimony in the Olofson case, in Berlin, Wis., harshly criticized the government’s weapons testing procedures. In that case, the defendant was convicted and sentenced to 30 months in jail for loaning a rifle that misfired, letting off three bullets at one time.

The government then classified it a machine gun, and convicted Olofson of “transferring” such a weapon. He surrendered to federal authorities and is serving his term, prompting the Gun Owners of America to issue a warning about the owner’s liability should any semi-automatic weapon ever misfire.

“A gun that malfunctions is not a machine gun,” Larry Pratt, executive director of GOA, said at the time. “What the [federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] has done in the Olofson case has set a precedent that could make any of the millions of Americans that own semi-automatic firearms suddenly the owner [of] an unregistered machine gun at the moment the gun malfunctions.”

When U.S. District Judge Charles Clevert imposed the sentence, a commentary in Guns Magazine said, “It didn’t matter the rifle in question had not been intentionally modified for select fire, or that it did not have an M16 bolt carrier … that it did not show any signs of machining or drilling, or that that model had even been recalled a few years back,” said

“It didn’t matter the government had repeatedly failed to replicate automatic fire until they replaced the ammunition with a softer primer type. It didn’t even matter that the prosecution admitted it was not important to prove the gun would do it again if the test were conducted today,” the magazine said. “What mattered was the government’s position that none of the above was relevant because ‘[T]here’s no indication it makes any difference under the statute. If you pull the trigger once and it fires more than one round, no matter what the cause it’s a machine gun.’

“No matter what the cause.”

Savage had told the agency in an earlier letter the decision to install the additional parts on his conversion unit “in order to induce full auto fire [is] clear and reliable evidence that they were contrived to deny my constitutional rights.”

He said during an interview with Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership that Olofson had been instructing a man in the use of guns, and the student asked to borrow a rifle for some shooting practice.

“Mr. Olofson was nice enough to accommodate him,” Savage said. So the student, Robert Kiernicki, went to a range and fired about 120 rounds. “He went to put in another magazine and the rifle shot three times, then jammed.”

He said the rifle, which was subject to a manufacturer’s recall because of mechanical problems at one point, malfunctioned because of the way it was made.

Savage said once the government confiscated the gun, things got worse.

“They examined and test fired the rifle; then declared it to be ‘just a rifle,'” Savage said. But when agents demanded another test, a different ammunition was used and the result was a machine gun classification.

David Codrea, in the Gun Rights Examiner, wrote, “Given enough added parts that are not part of the submitted design, I know a lot of people who could turn a banana into machine gun.”

“Why are they doing this, especially since many other caliber conversion uppers exist that are not so classified? Will this area be revisited? Or is this payback for Savage testifying on behalf of David Olofson and in other cases?”

Court sides with police officers in search case

January 28, 2009

The Associated Press, Wednesday January 21, 2009

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police officers in Utah who searched a suspect’s home without a warrant cannot be sued for violating his constitutional rights.

In ruling unanimously for five officers attached to the Central Utah Narcotics Task Force, the court also abandoned a rigid, two-step test that it adopted in 2001 to guide judges in assessing alleged violations of constitutional rights.

Trial and appellate judges “should be permitted to exercise their sound discretion” in evaluating such claims, Justice Samuel Alito said in his opinion for the court.

Under the 2001 ruling, courts first had to determine whether an action amounts to a violation of a constitutional right and then decide whether the public official, often a police officer, should be immune from the civil lawsuit.

Officials can’t be held liable in situations where it is not clearly established that their actions violated someone’s constitutional rights.

The case grew out of a search of the home of Afton Callahan of Millard County, Utah, in 2002.

An informant contacted police to tell them he had arranged to purchase drugs from Callahan at Callahan’s trailer home.

Wearing a microphone provided by police, the informant entered the trailer and signaled police that a deal had been made. They entered the trailer without a warrant and arrested Callahan on charges of possession of methamphetamines.

Utah courts ruled that the evidence that was seized from Callahan’s home could not be used against him. Other courts have allowed prosecutions to go forward under similar circumstances.

Callahan later sued the officers for violating his constitutional rights. A federal judge ruled the officers could not be sued because there is disagreement in the courts over whether the search was illegal.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver said the lawsuit could proceed because the officers should have known that people have a right in their home to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

The high court said Wednesday that the officers are entitled to immunity from Callahan’s suit.

The case is Pearson v. Callahan, 07-751.


Dallas, NC Police Shoot, Kill Man Who tried to Grab Officer’s Gun

January 27, 2009

January 24, 2009 – 4:12 PM
Corey Friedman
DALLAS — Chris Brown heard the gunshots. Then, he saw his uncle lying facedown in the grass.

“By the time we got outside, he was on his belly,” Brown said. “There was a cop sitting on his back-Dallas Police. He was not moving. I automatically knew he was gone.”

Police shot and killed 44-year-old Terrance Kennedy around 12:30 a.m. Saturday in the front yard outside 518 E. Peachtree St. Kennedy allegedly tried to grab an officer’s gun, but relatives and neighbors say he had run from the police and was shot in the back.

“My understanding is he was attempting to take one of the officers’ sidearms,” said Police Chief Gary Buckner.

Officer R.R. Flick and Sgt. J.C. Propst were involved in the shooting. The chief said Kennedy reached for Flick’s gun, but he wouldn’t say which officer fired at Kennedy or whether both shot at him.

The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation is probing the incident and will determine if the shooting was justified. Buckner said the Dallas Police Department is conducting a parallel internal investigation.

“We’re definitely going to get to the bottom of it and find out what happened and exactly what took place,” Buckner said.

Kennedy’s sister, Sondra Brown-Thompson, said he was sitting on the porch of her home, 520 E. Peachtree St., when police arrived. Officers were trying to serve an arrest warrant on Kennedy.

Relatives said Kennedy ran from the officers and was shocked with a Taser stun gun and blasted with pepper spray. They say he didn’t reach for a gun and believe the shooting was unnecessary.

“They could have tased him once, maybe tased him twice and put handcuffs on him,” Brown-Thompson said. “They didn’t have to shoot him.”

Buckner said he couldn’t discuss whether the Taser and pepper spray were used due to the SBI and internal investigations.

Dallas Police said in a news release that Kennedy was shot once and died at Gaston Memorial Hospital.

Flick and Propst were placed on administrative leave, a customary procedure when police officers are involved in a shooting. Flick has worked for the department since February 2006 and Propst was hired in June 2006.

Kennedy, who was also known as Tiny Brown, grew up in a large family with four brothers and four sisters. One sister, Kenyada Kennedy, runs a neighborhood grocery store at 211 S. Davis St.

“Terrance was a good boy,” she said. “He loved his nieces and nephews. He helped the neighborhood. He was a great guy, he was a brother to us, he was a loved one.”

John Paul Kennedy said his brother, Terrance, worked for him at his remodeling business and had also worked for a roofing company.

Terrance Kennedy has an extensive criminal record and was sentenced to a combined 32 years in prison. Most recently, he was released in July 2007 after serving almost 12 years on convictions for possession and sale of a Schedule II controlled substance.

A deputy in the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office warrant repository said Kennedy had a Dec. 21 arrest warrant for a charge of assault on a female.

With a tear-streaked face, Brown-Thompson walked back and forth in her gravel driveway Saturday afternoon, shouting that Kennedy didn’t deserve to die.

You can reach Corey Friedman at 704-869-1828.

Terrance Kennedy, who was shot and killed early Saturday morning after allegedly reaching for a police officer’s gun, has an extensive criminal history and has served five prison sentences, according to the N.C. Department of Correction. His convictions and prison terms are listed below.

Sentence began: Aug. 31, 1995
Released: July 13, 2007
Convictions: Possession with intent to sell Schedule II controlled substance (three counts), sell Schedule II controlled substance (three counts)

Sentence began: Jan. 6, 1987
Released: Aug. 13, 1993
Convictions: Assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury (two counts), common-law robbery

Sentence began: Jan. 19, 1984
Released: Nov. 4, 1985
Convictions: Felony breaking and entering, common-law robbery, assault on a female

Sentence began: Feb. 2, 1982
Released: Dec. 13, 1982
Convictions: Breaking /entering and larceny, larceny – more more than $200

Sentence began: Dec. 9, 1980
Released: Feb. 22, 1982
Convictions: Misdemeanor breaking and entering (two counts), larceny – more more than $200 (two counts)

Pennsylvania Constables Have Significant Arrest Authority

December 11, 2008

By Brian K. Lutes of Uniontown, PA, December 11, 2008

This article delves into the authority of Pennsylvania Constables to affect warrantless arrests for crimes committed in their presence. In future articles we will explore the Constables activities in the areas of Process service, Court Security, Training, Vehicle Code Enforcement, and the display of emergency lighting on Constables vehicles as well as other topics.

Contrary to the beliefs of most citizens, law enforcement officers, and even many Constables themselves, Pennsylvania Constables have full authority to make warrantless arrests for crimes in the Commonwealth.

I stress “warrantless arrests” due to the common belief that the only function of Constables, due mostly to ignorance of the laws and court decisions pertaining to Constables, is serving arrest warrants and other documents issued by the courts.

Most often this belief is expressed by, how should I say, the miscreants of our society? Well, however you say it, the bad guys. Usually they express this belief when they are out & about engaging in their less than honorable pursuits and observe someone in a uniform with a badge. The miscreants will stop what they are doing and look closely at the uniform in an effort to determine if the officer may be able to arrest them. Almost without fail when they determine the officer is a Constable, they say to each other “It’s just a Constable” and they go back to their misdeeds without concern.

This perception of Constables must be corrected as sooner or later a Constable who is on his game is going come across a bad guy who honestly believes a Constable cannot arrest him without a warrant and will resist the Constable when told he is under arrest creating a very dangerous situation for the Constable & the suspect.

In addition, Constables can be a very positive factor in law enforcement’s ever increasingly difficult job of getting the bad guys off the street; if they know and understand the authority they can exercise.

The PA Supreme Court has noted in the case of In Re Act 147 of 1990, 528 PA 460,463 (1991) “Constables are Peace Officers charged with the conservation of the peace, and whose job it is to arrest those who have violated it; It is the Constables job to enforce the law and carry it out, just as the same is the job of District Attorneys, Sheriffs, and the police generally”.

The arrest authority of PA Constables is defined generally in PA law in Title 13 of  the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated, commonly referred to as Purdon’s Statutes (P.S.), 45 et seq. which states: “Constables of the Commonwealth, in addition to the powers already conferred upon them, shall and may, without warrant and upon view, arrest and commit for hearing any and all persons guilty of  a breach of the peace, vagrancy, riotous and disorderly conduct or drunkenness,or who may be engaged in the commission of an unlawful act tending to imperil the personal security or endanger the property of the citizens, or violating municipal ordinances, for the violation of which a fine or penalty is imposed. Any person arrested with or without a warrant, shall be entitled to trial.”

   In The case of Commonwealth v. Frombach, 420 Pa Super. 498 (1992) the PA Superior Court determined that the PA Legislature by 13 P.S. 45 et seq. (above), “Conferred on Constables the power to without warrant and upon view, arrest and commit for hearing any and all persons guilty of a breach of the peace.

A breach of the peace has been defined generally as any of “a great variety of conduct destroying or menacing public order and tranquility. It includes not only violent acts but acts and words likely to produce violence in others” (see 310 U.S. 296, 308) In its broadest sense the term refers to any criminal offense, or at least any indictable offense (see 207 U.S. 425). Breaches of the peace have been defined by state courts as “disturbances of the public peace violative of order and decency or decorum (see 147 N.W. 2d 886,892). And as “any violation of any law enacted to preserve peace and good order” and “signifies disorderly, dangerous conduct disruptive of public peace (see 261 A. 2d 731, 739).

In the case of Commonwealth v. Taylor, 450 Pa. Super. 583, 677 A. 2d 846 (1996)the Superior Court, citing the Constables authority to affect warrantless arrests for breaches of the peace, determined that Constables have the authority make arrests for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. (see also Commonwealth v. Corley, 507 Pa. 540,491 A.2d 829 (1985)) where the court held that a private citizen can affect an arrest when a felony has been committed and the citizen reasonably believes that the person he arrests has committed the felony.

In further exploration of the authority of PA Constables it must be noted that in the case of Commonwealth v. McGavin, 305 Pa. Super. 528, 534, 451 A. 2d 773 (1982)the Superior Court held that the statute authorizing  Constables to make warrantless arrests, 13 P.S. 45 et seq. (above),requires that the offense for which the warrantless arrest is made be an offense that (1) is committed within view of the Constable, and (2) constitutes a breach of the peace (described above).

In a real world scenario this seems to indicate that should a Constable observe 2 men fighting in the street, the Constable has authority to make arrests for disorderly conduct, etc., but should a Constable observe a man sitting on a sidewalk bleeding from his nose and upon investigation learns that the man was assaulted by an identified individual, the Constable should secure the scene & protect the victim from further harm and then would need to contact the law enforcement agency for the jurisdiction so that they could make the arrest on information received from the victim since the Constable did not witness the breach of the peace.

Also, in the bloody nosed victim example above, if the victim or a witness  were to point out the person(s) with whom the victim was fighting, it seems  the Constable would be authorized to detain,  not arrest, the individual(s) for investigative purposes. If the Constable decides to detain, not arrest, the accused individual(s), he would be justified in performing a pat down frisk of the individual(s) in an effort to be certain the individual(s) does  not possess dangerous weapons and he may even place the individual(s) in handcuffs while waiting for the arrival of the jurisdictions law enforcement agency (see Commonwealth v. Leet, 537 Pa. 89, 641 A. 2d 299 (1994); Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 26, 88 S. Ct. 1868 (1968); Ornelas v. United States, 517 U.S. 690, 116 S. Ct. 1657 (1996); United States v. Cortez, 449 U.S. 411, 101 S. Ct. 690 (1981).

In short, based on the court’s language in the McGavin case above, it seems that a Constable has authority to make arrests for crimes in progress that he sees taking place.

However, recall that in the Corley case the court held that “even a private citizen can effect an arrest when a felony has been committed and the citizen reasonably believes that the person he arrests has committed the felony”. Note that the court did not say that the citizen must actually observe the felony being committed. Rather, the court said the citizen can affect an arrest for a felony when the citizen reasonably believes that the person he arrests has committed the felony.

 In summation, Pennsylvania Constables are authorized to affect warrantless arrests for breaches of the peace committed in their presence and may detain for investigative purposes individuals they reasonably believe to be engaged in criminal activity.

In addition, Constables, the same as private citizens, may affect an arrest for a felony if he reasonably believes that a felony has been committed and that the person he has arrested committed the felony.