In the United States, citizens have enjoyed significant liberties that would otherwise be nonexistent in the vast majority of nations across the world. In 1791, the Bill of Rights, authored by the American founding father James Madison was added to the United States constitution, outlining the first ten amendments which have become emblazoned in the historical American ethos. One of these amendments is the 4th amendment, which prevents unreasonable searches and seizures of property by government officials of any kind, at the federal, state or local level. In truth, it guarantees an individual the right to privacy in interactions with law enforcement until a search warrant is obtained after being approved by a judge.
While this amendment has been the subject of several supreme court cases throughout recent American history, it remains a point of contention in the present, and law enforcement officials across the nation must be careful when dealing with an individual’s private property, with or without a warrant. In one recent case, a 98 year old woman was the subject of an organized police raid in Marion County Kansas after an alleged internet search at her residence caught the attention of local law enforcement.
Joan Meyer shared a home with her son, Eric Meyer, the editor and publisher of a newspaper known as the Marion County Record. On August 11th, a local restaurant owner notified the police in relation to the newspaper, claiming the media outlet illegally obtained personal information about her. Following the allegation, the raid occurred, with the restaurant owners claim utilized as probable cause.
Tragically, the 98 year old Meyer died the day following the raid. Her son believes her death was the result of significant stress which occurred due to the unhappy circumstances. Joan was a well-respected journalist for the record, serving the area for over 60 years. Individuals who cherish their 1st and 4th amendment rights across the nation are rightfully outraged.