When is your home your castle? Two far different events are giving us pause to consider the question.
The first, is the situation down in Lakeville, where cops found an open garage, an open door, and people on the ground when they walked in (Were they sleeping? Or had something tragic happened here?). The cops walked upstairs and woke up Troy Molde. He is now petitioning the city for a public hearing on Lakeville Police Department policies on when officers should enter a home without a search warrant, The Pioneer Press reported today.
"The police don't have a clue what our rights are," Mollde told the newspaper. "I'm working hard to try to protect people's rights. That is my core issue with all of his."
Meanwhile, in Winona, a 53-year old man has been cited after he ran back into his burning home to retrieve a computer. The man was upset about the fire and had been ordered several times to stand back. He then bolted into the burning home and retrieved the computer, the Associated Press reported.
Very interesting, the first story is propable cause - I assume the officers yelled something like "Hello is everyone OK" first with no response coming. The second, a little trickier.
In the local writeup I read, the Lakeville police were suspicious seeing everything open and bodies on the floor. I think the guy is over-reacting. In the other case, someone has to be in charge and it should be the fire fighter. Our own worst enemy at times.
The second is absurd, the first is questionable. You have to wonder how loud the police were in trying to get the residents' attention. The fact that the incident involved children makes me a bit unnerved... not that the doors were unlocked but that the police felt their actions were appropriate in front of them.
It would have been more acceptable if they'd entered the residence, attempted to wake the children, and shouted to see if everything was okay. The police being allowed to use random scare tactics sets a bad precedent.
In the second case what if it were a kid, rather than a computer?
"It would have been more acceptable if they'd entered the residence, attempted to wake the children, and shouted to see if everything was okay."
Why? What is suspicious about a garage door being open that prompts them to enter the garage & discover the interior door was ajar?
I don't have a problem with them trying to be proactive & remind homeowners that leaving doors open can be an invitation to crooks. The very fact that the department makes these special patrols indicates they're aware of people's propensity for absentmindedness. For them to take the next step and enter someone's home in the middle of the night because a door was left ajar is where they've stepped beyond proactive helpfulness. In my opinion.
In the 2nd case, what crime was the homeowner cited with? kxma didn't say.
I would have been cited too.
\\In the 2nd case, what crime was the homeowner cited with? kxma didn't say.
Cited with obstructing a fire scene and disorderly conduct.
In the first scenario, the Pioneer Press link doesn't work anymore and I'm very curious (and unable to form a final opinion)...was it actually night or day? Were the people on the floor sleeping or not? Did the officers try to wake them? (shaking, speaking, other?)
I can't be certain without more details but it sounds like genuine concern for the safety of the homeowner, given the circumstances as presented. In addition, the reality of incidents I often see in the news (when I actually watch/read) would seem to indicate "probable cause" to further expolore the situation..?? At times, we've all seen examples of law enforcement overstepping their boundaries and abusing their power but other times it also seems like they just can't win. What if they had just walked away and there had really been an issue? Or if they loudly entered and their was foul play in progress upstairs, thereby giving someone time to escape, hide, etc. If they truly suspected a potential problem I could see how they would enter quietly to secure the rest of the house before making their presence known.
In the second, I agree that someone more rational and experienced needs to make the call on when it is and isn't worth risking a life (aka the firefighters). The man may have thought his life is on that computer and feel very emotional about it, but is worth risking both his life and that of the firefighters? If he didn't make it back out, the firefighters would probably be forced to go in after him so the action affected more than just himself.
Try the PiPress link now.