Monday, July 23, 2007

Let's Beat A Dead Horse

Remember how the cops entered my home to do a wellness check without a warrant, permission, or probable cause on the uncorroborated word of an anonymous person AFTER there had been a confirmed sighting of my alive and well body by the village idiot who started the whole thing?

Last Wednesday a Chicago family called the cops to report that one of their relatives was missing. NOTE: The FAMILY called. Not some anonymous mope. The family KNEW she was missing. There were children who needed their mother. The last time she had been seen was at her stepfather's apartment.

For days the family begged the police to break in and see if she was there at his apartment. Her presence had been confirmed there. For days the cops refused. Bet they were insisting on a warrant, something that would make it legal for them to enter.  Finally, this weekend the family begged the cops one more time to please go in. By now everyone could smell decomposition seeping under the door jam. In my town that's as good as having a key. But the Chicago cops still refused to enter. Because they knew it was illegal? Gee, I wonder. So the family had to break into the apartment by themselves. They found her body in a closet.

It's not a nice example, but I'm glad the fourth amendment is still alive and well somewhere.

6 comments:

screaminremo303 said...

I've been faced with situations exactly like that one and since I couldn't articulate a valid reason (one that wouldn't get me sued) for entering the residence, I simply told the family members that if THEY wanted to break-in to check the welfare I couldn't stop them. It's been about 50/50 on finding a corpse inside.

My guess is the Chicago incident was hampered by a lack of overgrown ivy and dry-cleaning.

gaboatman said...

Mrs. L
That is so sad for that family.  How horrible it must have been for them to find her.  I agree, though, it is good to see the fourth amendment is repsected by at lease SOME police agencies.
Sam

ladeeoftheworld said...

I suppose it all matters in who you know.  I've had the police check on me at the request of my adult son after I've had one of my few and far between date nights.
Kids.

Last winter, the dead of winter I might add, I reported to the police a house in a less than desirable neighborhood where I noticed an A/C unit running full-on week after week in sub zero temps. The dispatcher told me there had been no complaints coming from or about that address so everything is fine, ma'am.

A body was found the following spring.  I suppose it all matters in who you know. Hmmm?

psychfun said...

Well I guess I'm in the middle here. Now why isn't there something in between. Phone calls made by the police. I mean heck, can't they call you & even if you don't answer & let the machine pick up you can call back & say you are A-OK! I just see both extremes being a problem. It is so sad you can lay rotting away until the next spring. I'd really sue them and I know this is where the cops get frustrated because they are doing their job as the law is written but that is the stupid thing...how laws can't take care of every possibility & this is why laws change. I remember being on a jury for a rape case and the law had change since he was charged & that was so frustrating!

Now if these were kids or pets in there they could go in but grow up & you are worthless!

Just get a lovely sign Mrs. L from some craft show that says, "Yes, I'm Alive! It is in your best interest to leave the Bitch alone!" HA! Or heck Halloween stuff is out in Michaels already (yes I was looking!) and they have "The Witch is In" signs some places so that is short & sweet! HA!

You can make a doorbell message like Ferris Bueller saying you will not answer for soliciters, relatives who want to beg for money, & nosey neighbors....six pack pizza guys enter in the back & bring the pizza...it is dessert! HA!

Ok, I have to I'm just losing it right now!

jevanslink said...

The cops contacted the landlord and the landlord said they couldn't go in. I guess he didn't want the door ruined. One of the provisions of the fourth amendment is that law enforcement has to get permission from an owner or resident to enter a home if they don't have a warrant. Even if the family is begging them.  

Mrs. L

suzypwr said...

I had a case like that once when I was a social worker - I managed to get a warrant to seek a dead body. It only took a few hours.

xoxo