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Posse Comitatus violation in Alabama?

The horrific killing spree in Samson, Alabama overwhelmed the local five-man police force, and prompted calls for help to surrounding departments. But police were not the only group to respond. The provost marshal, and 22 MPs from Ft. Rucker aided the town in crime scene control and traffic direction.

Unfortunately, the introduction of federal troops into civilian policing operations is expressly prohibited by law. The Army is investigating the situation, according to

The dangers of having military troops involved in policing activities is clear; it is something the American Republic has resisted since its foundation out of fears of what a standing army could do when used against its own civilian population. However, the use of 22 MPs to help a town struggling to meet the exigent demands of a mass murder, seems like the right thing to do. It would be unfortunate if doing the right thing ended someone’s military career, or worse, resulted in prosecution.
Update: AP moved a story on this, and it is appended below in comments section.
Update 2: A second AP story can be read below (or by clicking here). This updated story includes quotes from Gov. Riley’s spokesman.

15 thoughts on “Posse Comitatus violation in Alabama?”

  1. I’m originally from Samson, I knew one of the victims, and I’m distantly related to Bruce Maloy, the guy who died trying to stop the killer. So I was following the story pretty closely. When I saw the pictures of troops from Ft. Rucker, I thought that was a completely understandable step, but one that wasn’t good, constitution-wise.

  2. When I saw the picture, I first thought National Guard. It is no doubt a bad precedent; however, in times of emergency, I’m reminded of what Cicero said, “Silent enim leges inter arma.” In time of war the law falls silent, or perhaps we could amend it to say, in a time of emergency.

  3. Michael in Portugal

    No disrespect to any of the victims of this tragedy or their families, but I believe that this is just another step toward the removal of our liberties. The 2nd amendment is being eroded daily. Chip away at other similar laws like posse comitatus and when we wake up, we have no recourse at all against a tyrannical government.

  4. Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    Isee your point cap. But there are much worse and even more obvious ways that this country is headed. Our Goverment is headed straight into socialism. I really believe (as you) that these guys being deployed was for the right reasons.

    I know Ill catch flak, but if Obama gets a second term, along with the congress,goodbye democracy, hello socialism.

  5. There specific conditions for US Military to be used. In general they are not trained to respond to civil law enforcement situations. State Police and mutual aide from neighboring departments and national guard would be a better alternitives. The use of the military has too much potential for abuse

  6. The use of troops in this situation was wrong. Soldiers don’t make good police. The end up being used to intimidate and harass people that’s it.

    That police chief needs to be arrested for what he did. It is that serious. You can’t just call up and use the Army. He should have had a reserve or auxiliary deputy or police officers force.

  7. OMNIPRESENT aka 36 - 0

    BI you and I could always keep paying our tax dollars to fund bonuses for the Upper Folks of these GREAT UNITED STATES!
    hmmm SOCIALISM DONT LOOK TO BAD on that note.

  8. Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    What gets me is the posturing these politicians are doing to the “evil’ AIG execs. They dont even realize that we think they are even more crooked than those they are trying to persecute. Its like the fox watching the henhouse.

    Next time I go to the polls, I will vote out EVERY incumbant. Its time to clean house. We all need to vote in the primaries respectively as well.

  9. The most amusing comment was from “Jim Dunnaway”. He likes it – but no ! Just like a career suck ass. I’m going to state that the military must not be used in this manner. The erosion of our liberties and rights have been on a greased slope since 9-11 and if things continue to get bad – civil unrest is going to explode and there is going to be pressure (all the usual suspects) to use the military to keep ALL of us in line.

  10. Bruce Wilson Maloy is a direct descendant of the veteran of the American Revolution and the veteran of the Confederacy of the Civil War. Bee Dub (for B. W.) is a hero.

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