Public reaction to the decision has been negative from people of all political perspectives. Indiana State Police are investigating threatening e-mails and phone calls the Supreme Court says it received in the aftermath of its decision. According to a police spokesman, most of the threats have been directed at police.
UPDATE: An observant reader sends this story about a person gaining unlawful entry to your home by posing as a police officer:
Worcester police said two mask-wearing intruders burst into a house on Randall Street around 8:30 Friday morning.Lest we forget the recent arrest of an Indianapolis police officer for robbing illegal immigrants after pulling them over for alleged traffic violations. Illegal immigrants are particularly vulnerable to unlawful enty into their homes by police, real or fake, because they are less likely to report the crime.
“They heard loud knocking,” said Sgt. Kerry Hazelhurst of the Worcester Police Department. “Before they knew it, there were two people entering the kitchen. They were yelling that they were the police and to get on the ground. They ordered two occupants on the ground - one had a gun - and held the two on the ground at gunpoint while the other person ransacked the home. They were there for a few minutes and they both ended up fleeing the home without taking anything of value.”
Police said the intruders were not wearing uniforms or badges, however they said one of them did have on a reflective vest.
One woman, who didn't want to be identified, said she was inside the home during the invasion. She said it was a terrifying experience. Neighbors said they too were rattled by the experience. Police said they are concerned about their safety as well.
Police added that there were two similar home invasions in Worcester in November when the intruders claimed to be police.
Authorities said that is a disturbing trend.
“It increases the risk for our officers that conduct legitimate raids into homes. The people that are being raided might feel that this could be a fake raid and this could be robbing them instead and they might feel to retaliate,” said Hazelhurst.
Police said they are still investigating to determine a motive and whether the invasions are connected.
“That’s really very scary,” said Cecila Adu-Gyamfi, a neighbor. “Because it’s a very quiet neighborhood.”
“I’m shocked,” said Ted Treinor. “This is a fairly quiet neighborhood. A lot of older people live on this street. Like I said it’s fairly quiet.”
Or consider this story about sneak and peek searches being carried out increasingly by federal law enforcement officials:
A special type of government search warrant that allows authorities to search homes without informing the owner for months is becoming more common, Target 7 has learned.
Imagine someone walking through your neighborhood, coming into your home and rifling through your intimate belongings.
“(They) search through your home, your dresser drawers, your computer files,” Peter Simonson, with ACLU New Mexico, said.
These search warrants don’t involve knocking on doors or any type of warning at all. Delayed-notice search warrants, or "sneak-and-peek" warrants, allow federal agents to enter your home without telling you they’ve been there until months later.
The warrants have always been around, but their use has spiked since the revamped Patriot Act in 2005. The number of delayed-notice search warrants spiked nationally from nearly 700 in fiscal year 2007 to close to 2,000 in 2009.
Upwards of 200 approved during that same three-year stretch came out of the 10th Circuit Court, which covers a handful of states including New Mexico. The majority of those delayed search warrants aren’t even for terrorism-related cases. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s figures, the majority of the warrants are for drug cases.
“While billed as an anti-terror tool, (a sneak-and-peek warrant) had no requirements on it that it precluded it from being used in standard criminal investigations,” Simonson said.
The warrants are so secret that the New Mexico U.S. Attorney’s Office wouldn’t go on record with Target 7 about them.
The ACLU said it expects delayed-notice warrant numbers to keep growing each year as long as certain parts of the Patriot Act remain on the books.