Photograph: maathiildee.com
Editors note: This was inspired by an anonymous submission.

On April 19th, 2013, Boston and its surrounding areas were loud with the roar of silence. In an unprecedented move, Governor Deval Patrick instilled a ”shelter in place” order in these areas. The reason for the lockdown? To allow the police to find and capture 19-year-old Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar (Jahar) Tsarnaev.

The lockdown was put in place around 7 AM that Friday morning, after Dzhokhar managed to escape the police after an alleged firefight in Watertown with police in which his older brother, Tamerlan, was killed. In Watertown, residents were placed in a strict lockdown, in which they were to stay inside with locked doors, not open their businesses, and no vehicles were allowed on the streets. In surrounding areas, residents were allowed to drive on the streets, but were also urged to stay inside and keep their businesses closed. 
During the lockdown, residents of Watertown were subject to searches of their houses by heavily armed police. Some of these residents were nothing but willing, but most of them were very scared. Not only was a suspected terrorist loose in their town and could be hiding anywhere, but police armed to the teeth were knocking on their door asking to search their home. Some residents even claim that they were not asked, rather told that their houses would be searched. Residents were told to leave their homes, some with needed medications that were left behind, some with small children, some with nowhere to go.
Photograph: helenair.com
After the searches of the homes in Watertown turned up nothing, Gov. Patrick lifted the lockdown and hortly after it was lifted, David Henneberry stepped out back of his home, when he noticed that the cover to his boat, being kept in his backyard, looked different. When he went to investigate, he noticed a strap was cut. Henneberry looked inside the boat to find “a body in a pool of blood". After he discovered this, he promptly contacted police and left his home. This eventually led to the now famous moment in which the police captured Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. 
Photograph: cbsnews.com

After the lockdown, many people were upset about what they call “Martial Law” being set in place in their town. The police were in charge of everything that day, and some critics will be quick to tell you that the residents’ and Tsarnaev’s constitutional rights were stomped on. While the police were trying to protect citizens from a young man who may have been heavily armed, they did not have warrants to search the homes of the residents, which would be a violation of the fourth amendment. However, many people did consent to the searches, which may have been an exception to the amendment.
Do you agree with the length and degree of the lockdown in the Boston suburbs? Do you believe the residents’ constitutional rights were violated, or was the situation so unusual that the 4th amendment need not apply? Do you think police did a proper job in capturing Tsarnaev?

6/29/2013 03:55:19 am

The lockdown was a safety measure. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was a wanted fugitive, suspected of murdering and injuring victims in Boston bomb, MIT murder, carjacking at gun point and shoot out and bomb throwing altercation with police. I think people fail to remember that the police were not aware that he was unarmed. The lockdown didn't solve anything but they didn't know that it wouldn't. They've not given any details as to how they tried to catch the brothers at the shoot out before the brothers started shooting and this shoot out was very dangerous for the residents as can be seen by the bullet holes on houses.
Somebody made a mistake at the boat and started firing, they don't know what caused them to start firing probably chaos or fearing he had bombs or a gun but there was definitely a problem at the boat.
A survey was done and it determined that the people of Boston were ok with the lockdown, so I'm not sure that they cared about their rights once nobody else got hurt.

6/29/2013 10:47:44 am

It was quite over the top. They knew the suspect was around Watertown so there was no point in locking down the whole of Boston. It was mostly a show of power over the masses by the authorities.

6/29/2013 12:53:32 pm

Most that think the bombing was a government false-flag point to this event as the reason why.

Apart from the search in Watertown it looked like a bunch of weekend warrior types looking for a donut convention.

6/29/2013 04:44:22 pm

The lockdown was WAY over the top. The police knew they were searching for a single person, the amount of law enforcement and locking down the public was ridiculous. I do not support fear mongering as a way of enforcing law.

6/29/2013 07:09:01 pm

Preach! They wanted to control people through fear; to show that the government is still powerful. The law enforcement officers as well as the armed forces they brought were very abrupt and sometimes violent with the residents when they raided their houses.

7/1/2013 03:56:05 pm


7/3/2013 12:02:27 pm

When I heard that they were shutting down Boston, Cambridge and Watertown, I said to my friend that this was a terrible idea. Once they do something so drastic, they Have to find the guy guilty. My friend said 'well, maybe he isn't guilty'. I said 'no, you don't get it. They have to find him guilty whether he's guilty or not. You can't shut down 3 cities, lose millions of dollars, and go so over the top and find the guy innocent. If the ballistics don't match, they will have to make them match now just to save face.' And I do believe I was right.


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