Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf spun his unidentified federal agents’ random detainment of nonviolent anti-police brutality protesters in Portland, Oregon as some kind of pre-crime measure on Tuesday night.
“Because we don’t have that local support, that local law enforcement support, we are having to go out and proactively arrest individuals,” Wolf said during an interview on Fox News. “And we need to do that because we need to hold them accountable.”
I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t allow for arresting someone before they commit a crime.
The government may not detain an individual even momentarily without reasonable and articulable suspicion, with a few exceptions. In Delaware v. Prouse (1979), the Court ruled an officer has made an illegal seizure when he stops an automobile and detains the driver in order to check his driver’s license and the registration of the automobile, unless the officer has articulable and reasonable suspicion that a motorist is unlicensed or that an automobile is not registered, or either the vehicle or an occupant is otherwise subject to seizure for violation of law.
Unless, of course, you’re bucking for fascism.