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  • AD MPs loaned to town for Traffic

    Army probes domestic use of troops in Alabama

    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Army_i...t_in_0318.html

    Local dispatch calls Rucker Desk, Desk Sgt calls PM (Provost Marshal) relays request for assist. PM approves. Now, as a result of someone raising a big flap, what was, in all likelyhood, an innocent and correct response to a civilian agency request for support, a young MP officer (the PM) may see the end of his career. Sad. Truly sad.

  • #2
    The desk bureaucrats will never quite understands what happens in the field... so 11 US citizens are dead and they are worried about a little traffic control off base? WTF

    Comment


    • #3
      Sorry, though it seems innocent this is a violation of posse commitatus. As neither Martial Law or a State emergency were declared by the Governor. The (young) PM surely knew this, and now it's time to cash in the chips. Hopefully, it will be a lesson learned and a slap on the wrist.
      The post above does not constitute legal advice, nor should be construed as such. These are the private opinions of a private citizen and do not represent the opinion nor official capacity of any law enforcement agency.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, I'm sorry, but I have to chip in here. First off, it is not a "young PM", it is a LTC who has many years in the military and is getting close to retirement age. Second, the MP's that were there were doing mostly traffic control, but there were some that were doing more perimeter security and refusing media into the area. I'm not saying they were doing the wrong thing, but I'm sure when the media were refused into the area by MP's, this whole thing got blown out of proportion. The MP's on the scene did a great job assisting as they were needed, however, this is more a leadership issue. The administration is well aware of what the MP's can and cannot do, and although it seemed innocent at the time, some of the administration allowed the overstepping of boundaries by allowing some MP's to do more than traffic control. I know this because I know the MP's and the administration here and know more details about the situation. I am very proud of our MP's and glad that they can work so closely with the local law enforcement agencies. There are some agencies that would have never asked for support from MP's, solely because of their biases towards them.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by CH47Doc
          whoever authorized these guys to do this surely stepped on his crank. if it was the PM he needs to be canned. im sure they covered these details in OCS somewhere...i cant believe the company commander and plt sgt went along with this.
          FOR WHAT?????

          They didn't do a freaking thing wrong!!!

          Do you guys realize that all over the US, MPs go out on patrol with the local Police/State Patrol/Sheriff all the time??? It's the same freaking thing!!

          The Sheriff called and asked for help. The PM along with some Troops showed up with light sets and then guarded the perimeter of some crime scenes and directed freaking traffic!! That's it!!!! Once they got more help there (about 5 hours later) they left.... They didn't arrest anyone, they didn't detain anyone.....

          So put your tin hats back on and read what the Posse Comitatus Act really says instead of listening to Art Bell or whoever took over for his crazy ***....

          Some of you prior military folks need to pull your heads out....

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bearcat357 View Post

            Do you guys realize that all over the US, MPs go out on patrol with the local Police/State Patrol/Sheriff all the time??? It's the same freaking thing!!

            ....

            not here they don't

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            • #7
              Originally posted by beachcop05 View Post
              not here they don't
              Where is that....?

              If it's a small post, it's not going to happen becuase there is no need.....

              Rest assured, MPs are out and about with Local LE/State Police all the itme....especially during pay day weekends and holiday weekends....

              I've seen it first hand not more than 4-5 months ago...

              Comment


              • #8
                Traffic CONTROL is law enforcement.

                It's one thing for MP's to accompany LE just to handle military personnel. They don't get involved until a suspect is id'd by civilian LE as military. It's another thing altogether for military personnel, even MP's, to CONTROL traffic off their jurisdiction.

                The violation of the Posse Comitatus law is blatantly obvious.

                Good thing there wasn't a serious traffic collision. The federal government (us) would have had to pay thru the nose.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Posse comitatus or sherriff's posse: is the common-law authority of the county sheriff to conscript any able-bodied male older than 18 to assist him in keeping the peace or to pursue and arrest a felon; compare hue and cry. It is the law enforcement equivalent of summoning the militia for military purposes.
                  amson

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I know for a fact from an MP buddy of mine, though be it he is NG and the NG is legally allowed to act as LE on US soil without going through extra hoops as far as I know, that he does ride-alongs with local LE sometimes when they need extra manpower. Especially during the hurricanes here in FL a few years back.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by milcop88 View Post
                      Posse comitatus or sherriff's posse: is the common-law authority of the county sheriff to conscript any able-bodied male older than 18 to assist him in keeping the peace or to pursue and arrest a felon; compare hue and cry. It is the law enforcement equivalent of summoning the militia for military purposes.

                      And the Posse Comitatus act is what forbids exactly this. This was due to the Military being used extensively in the old west for Law Enforcement purposes. Someone saw that this could lead to civil rights violations and the act was passed. This recent incident was a flagrant violation of Posse Comitatus. Controlling traffic, and guarding crime scenes are LE activities. It isn't the fact that such minor duties were assigned to the MP's. It sets a precedence for other (larger) violations in the future. Part of what caused the American Revolution was the use of Government troops by the British to detain, and search persons at will with no probable cause under the guise of "Martial law". The Provost Marshal in this case severely overstepped his bounds.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act

                      The Posse Comitatus Act is a United States federal law (18 U.S.C. § 1385) passed on June 16, 1878 after the end of Reconstruction, with the intention (in concert with the Insurrection Act of 1807) of substantially limiting the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement. The Act prohibits most members of the federal uniformed services (today the Army, Air Force, and State National Guard forces when such are called into federal service) from exercising nominally state law enforcement, police, or peace officer powers that maintain "law and order" on non-federal property (states and their counties and municipal divisions) within the United States.

                      The statute generally prohibits federal military personnel and units of the National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or Congress. The Coast Guard is exempt from the Act.
                      The post above does not constitute legal advice, nor should be construed as such. These are the private opinions of a private citizen and do not represent the opinion nor official capacity of any law enforcement agency.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by shastadude16 View Post
                        I know for a fact from an MP buddy of mine, though be it he is NG and the NG is legally allowed to act as LE on US soil without going through extra hoops as far as I know, that he does ride-alongs with local LE sometimes when they need extra manpower. Especially during the hurricanes here in FL a few years back.
                        Yes because he's in the State Militia. He wouldn't be able to do this if he were federalized UNLESS Martial Law or a national or State emergency; IE. Hurricanes. National Guard has more leeway as they are State Militia as well as federal troops. We have MP's here in Kentucky who do LE at the derby and WEBN fireworks. BUT they are acting as State Militia not Federal troops at the time. These MP's that were used in Alabama were Active Duty MP's not National Guardsmen.
                        The post above does not constitute legal advice, nor should be construed as such. These are the private opinions of a private citizen and do not represent the opinion nor official capacity of any law enforcement agency.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ops, CH47doc & SWATCybercop are legally and factually correct. This was a clear violation of the PCA. When I was an MP and later a supervisor, we sometimes accompanied local LEO's during special events and payday nights. But we had clear orders NOT to make any initial contacts, and only to act if the suspect was identified as a military member, or if our civilian LEO partner was in danger.

                          I agree that the violation of the PCA is clear in this case. So does my local JAG.
                          Politically Correct? No.

                          Truthful? Yes!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bearcat357 View Post
                            Where is that....?

                            If it's a small post, it's not going to happen becuase there is no need.....

                            Rest assured, MPs are out and about with Local LE/State Police all the itme....especially during pay day weekends and holiday weekends....

                            I've seen it first hand not more than 4-5 months ago...
                            I'm not resting assured because this is in a legal grey area if not illegal if they're actually performing Law Enforcement duties without Martial Law or State or national emergency declared. Big brother is plenty big already without throwing the U.S Military in the mix as well. I'd like to keep it that way.
                            Last edited by ops; 03-22-2009, 10:18 AM.
                            The post above does not constitute legal advice, nor should be construed as such. These are the private opinions of a private citizen and do not represent the opinion nor official capacity of any law enforcement agency.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ops View Post
                              ...The Provost Marshal in this case severely overstepped his bounds.
                              Originally posted by ops View Post
                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act

                              The Posse Comitatus Act is a United States federal law (18 U.S.C. § 1385) passed on June 16, 1878 after the end of Reconstruction, with the intention (in concert with the Insurrection Act of 1807) of substantially limiting the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement. The Act prohibits most members of the federal uniformed services (today the Army, Air Force, and State National Guard forces when such are called into federal service) from exercising nominally state law enforcement, police, or peace officer powers that maintain "law and order" on non-federal property (states and their counties and municipal divisions) within the United States.

                              The statute generally prohibits federal military personnel and units of the National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or Congress. The Coast Guard is exempt from the Act.
                              The only minor point I would make is that the federal law only applies to the Army and the Air Force, but it has been made applicable to the Navy and Marine Corps by Defense Department Directive. So any Navy or Marine Corps violation would be handled as a violation of DoD directive instead of a violation of a federal statute.

                              Civilian police officers of the military services are also covered by the PCA.
                              Politically Correct? No.

                              Truthful? Yes!

                              Comment

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