Panic Stains Tsarnaev’s Apprehension
I cannot think of a time in American history, or indeed in world history, in which an entire city has been shut down to apprehend a single criminal. On Friday, the city of Boston and its neighboring cities of Cambridge and Watertown were all but completely closed for business by law enforcement so that two (admittedly dangerous) men could be arrested.
On a related note, indications are that after one of those men was apprehended, he was questioned by law enforcement and intelligence gathering officials before he was Mirandized. So now we must consider that the Constitution may have been violated in official zeal to apprehend the man, potentially endangering his ultimate prosecution and conviction.
These two facts about Friday’s dramatic events in Boston are tightly related — because people let labels do their thinking for them, reacting to something inexactly labeled “terrorism.” Using that label contributed to the triumph of panic, which stains the apparent resolution of the threat to public safety represented by Monday’s awful events in Boston.