Saturday, January 20, 2007

Oshkosh, Civil Liberties, and the Cops

The Oshkosh child-imprisonment case is slowly morphing into a situation which could be even more frightening than it is; one can literally hear the Nannies in Madistan writing legislation.

The proximate cause:

According to a police report obtained by the Journal Sentinel this week, Lynn Engstrom called 911 on Dec. 20 when Beth Redmann, the girl's paternal grandmother, tried to visit the girl and deliver presents. Redmann, who left before police arrived, later was ticketed for disorderly conduct after Engstrom claimed Redmann forced her way into the family's home.

When Redmann talked to one of the police officers, Joseph Nichols, about making a child abuse report, he told her he had seen all four children - the stepdaughter and Engstrom's three children from a previous marriage - in the home and they were fine....Nichols and the other officer who responded to the 911 call in December, Mark Lehman, saw the 13-year-old come downstairs to the bathroom while they were in the Engstroms' house on Minnesota St., according to their report. She then went back upstairs. Redmann already had left, and the officers had no reason to suspect child abuse at that point, Sagmeister said.

(Text slightly edited by FreedomEden, HT.)

One may argue that the police were insufficiently inquisitive. One may ALSO argue that the grandma was insufficiently explicit in her description of "abuse."

But what one should not argue is that the police have a right or duty to conduct a "find-the-evidence" search. There is such a thing as the Fourth Amendment which I, personally, would like to preserve.

After all, anyone can call a cop-shop and claim that there is some sort of criminal activity going on at a certain location. It may or may not be true. It may or may not warrant dispatch of officers, or Social Services agents.

But it does not necessarily warrant free-roaming walkabout "searches" of one's home.

For that, "probable cause" is required.

Keep that in mind as the inevitable occurs in Madistan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Of course. The Nannies(ninnies) can't resist. After all, it's for the children...