by Michael Gaddy, ©2016, blogging at The Rebel Madman

(Feb.26, 2016) — As I have written on numerous occasions, the true meaning of the Constitution is to be found in what the people in the various State Ratification Conventions were told it meant before they agreed to ratify it as the law of the land.

Also found in those ratification debates are wonderful and concise descriptions of what the Constitution would lead to if the proper safeguards and limitations were not placed on government. No finer example of both promises and predictions can be found than the discussion between Patrick Henry and John Marshall on the 7th of June 1888 in the Virginia State Ratification Convention.

Patrick Henry predicted what roles and actions “federal and state sheriffs” would take under the proposed constitution. John Marshall, a man who would become first Secretary of State under John Adams and then Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court until his death 34 years later, challenged Patrick Henry’s predictions and stated that if laws or government actions produced what Henry predicted, those laws and actions would be invalid, unconstitutional, and of no force. Unfortunately for the people of this country, Patrick Henry was totally correct and John Marshall was lying for effect, which history and Marshall’s own actions has proved he did on several occasions.

I bring up this point because of an event that occurred in Albuquerque, New Mexico last Saturday morning at 3:30 am.  A US Marshal Task Force was deployed to a trailer park in Albuquerque, armed with a search warrant with faulty information, to wit, the wrong address of a man wanted for murder. Evidently, they believed a 23 year old man who they found while approaching or searching the wrong address was the man they were looking for. Although there are conflicting statements given by the relatives of the man they approached and the officers themselves, what we do know is the man the Marshals encountered is now dead, shot multiple times; the family’s attorney claims at least once in the back. Again, let me repeat—this was not the man they were searching for; the officers were at the wrong home and it was 3:30 in the morning.

The New Mexico State Police were tasked with the investigation of this shooting/killing and have released information stating the man who is now dead pulled a gun on the Marshals which authorities now claim was stolen.  None of this came as a surprise. Members of the law enforcement community are known to corroborate each other’s accounts of events. No one wearing the badge wants to wind up like Frank Serpico and find themselves without backup somewhere down the road when their lives might be on the line.

Someone in a supervisory position for the Marshals publicly stated the Marshals do not wear body cams because of the “undercover nature of their work.” Folks, 10-12 heavily armed officers wearing body armor arriving at the wrong address at 3:30 in the morning is not an “undercover operation.”

In the interest of fair play it must also be noted, if this shooting was not justified and this man was summarily executed by Marshals not realizing they had the wrong man, a huge monetary settlement will be offered to this man’s family in the very near future. The relative is dead and chances exist someone is about to become very rich. But, whether or not a settlement is made, whether the dead man had a stolen gun or if he was a gangbanger is not the subject of my Rant.

My point is this: if these officers acted criminally, which I believe can be easily proved, will there be any punishment for those actions? Patrick Henry predicted “federal and state sheriffs” would act with impunity, while John Marshall scoffed at the idea.

The first question would be: What legal or moral ground do the officers occupy if they were searching the wrong house and attempting the arrest of the wrong person? If they were at the wrong address, do they have necessary probable cause to search, detain or question the residents of that house? If they do, by default, they have the right to search anyone’s house or car without probable cause. All they have to do is claim they had a warrant for the house down or across the street.

My second question is this: how thorough an investigation was done by these officers in pursuit of the constitutionally mandated “probable cause” if they didn’t really know what house the person they were seeking to apprehend lived in? Was this information obtained by “good old fashioned police work” or did they get a “tip” from a confidential informant they were allowing to skate on another charge?

Question 3: If a person is in their home or on their property and a law enforcement officer comes onto that property by mistake and begins to search or attempts to arrest or detain that person, does that person have the lawful right to resist? Every cop I have ever met or talked to says they don’t. If that is true, we do not have a Constitution and Bill of Rights and we are subject to the rule and domination of people no better than the Nazis or the Soviet Secret Police—and—again—Patrick Henry was right.

Actually, there have been several court cases in which the right to resist an unlawful arrest has been codified. One was in the Indiana Supreme Court in Plummer v State. In this case the court stated:  “Citizens may resist unlawful arrest to the point of taking an arresting officer’s life if necessary.” Also the US Supreme Court, citing Plummer in John Bad Elk v US, stated the following:

“Where the officer is killed in the course of the disorder which naturally accompanies an attempted arrest that is resisted, the law looks with very different eyes upon the transaction, when the officer had the right to make the arrest, from what it does if the officer had no right. What may be murder in the first case might be nothing more than manslaughter in the other, or the facts might show that no offense had been committed.”

Usually, the first argument heard when I cite the above cases is how old they both are, as if the age of a case somehow diminishes the rights of man. But, my usual answer to this response is, yes both of those cases are decades old, one of them over 100 years old—But—the Constitution and Bill of Rights are older.

Think about it: if a person who is on or in their own property and a member of the government comes to deprive them of their liberty or their life and they do not have the right to defend themselves, we are not a free people no matter how many times we sing the National Anthem or recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

So, if the man in Albuquerque the Marshals were attempting to arrest or detain, when they were on the wrong property and he was not the man they were looking to arrest, at some point attempts to defend his freedom and pulls a firearm (family says he didn’t, police say he did) to protect that freedom, do the police, at the wrong house, arresting the wrong person, have the right to shoot and kill that man?

Now, we all know none of the officers involved will be charged with any crime, after all, they work for the government and their fellow officers have stated the man pulled a gun on them. But, even if he did, do they have the legal or moral right to take his life if they created the situation that led him to defend himself? Even if this man had a stolen gun; even if he was a gangbanger, the officers entering the wrong house with a faulty warrant did not know that when they encountered this person.

Patrick Henry said: “The Federal Sheriff may commit what oppression, make what distresses he pleases, and ruin you with impunity: For how are you to tie his hands? Have you any sufficiently decided means of preventing him from sucking your blood by speculations, commissions and fees? Thus thousands of your people will be most shamefully robbed…”

While John Marshall said in response:

“[according to Patrick Henry] the officers of the government will be screened from merited punishment by the federal judiciary. The federal sheriff, say he, will go into a poor man’s house and beat him, or abuse his family, and the federal courts will protect him. Does any gentleman believe this? Will such great insults on the people…be allowable? Were a law made to authorize them, it would be void.

Does any gentleman believe this? I’m sure the Randy Weaver family was made to believe it just as were the folks at their church in Waco, Texas. The family of Jose Guerena, shot to death by a SWAT team who killed the wrong man in Tucson, Arizona would believe it. Amanda Greigo of Greely, Colorado would believe it as would John Adam’s widow Lorraine of Lebanon, Tennessee. Steve and Jennifer Tuppeny of Middletown Delaware believe it. As a matter of fact incidents like these happen so often there is a website dedicated to such criminal acts which many times  lead to death.

Many times defendants (government agencies) in lawsuits that result from such crimes pay out huge amounts of taxpayer money to the families of those killed or abused while the authorities admit to no wrong doing. No one pays anyone millions of dollars if they were innocent—-but it is easy to do if you are allowed to pay with other people’s money. Why are the people acting under the color of authority not responsible for their actions?

Bottom line is this: federal sheriffs arrived at the wrong house at 3:30 am, heavily armed, in large numbers. They encountered a man there they believed to be a man wanted for murder. Under circumstances known only to those who shot and killed the man, that man’s alleged possession of a stolen firearm and possible criminal history were not known to those who did the shooting—when they did the shooting. Having an alleged stolen gun is not a death sentence.

Supporting federal and state sheriffs when they are wrong is vital to the continued corruption of this country and the advancement of the police state. Those who love government (John Marshall supporters) have been presented with all the alleged facts they need to exonerate the officers in this case, facts they readily accept and will continue to do until similar officers commit similar acts on them or those they care for. Then it will be wrong in their minds and they will become Patrick Henry supporters—but—not until.

228 years ago, Patrick Henry predicted how federal and state sheriffs would interact with the people of this country. John Marshall said it would never happen, and if it did, any law authorizing authorities to act in such a manner would be void.  Who was right?


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