The conspiracy website Infowars.com reported today on what it called "shocking footage" (video below) of Boston residents being ordered out of their homes by a SWAT team, which was searching for Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
The website dramatically claimed "this is what martial law in the US looks like," as SWAT teams were trying to apprehend Tsarnaev and save the lives of potential victims.
"The scenes look like something out of a disaster movie, with the backdrop of suburban America juxtaposed with what is essentially martial law playing out in full daylight," complained Infowars.com.
However, it was not martial law or even a lockdown, but rather a request by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick for residents to "shelter" themselves in their homes, reports TheAtlanticWire.com.
Infowars.com also falsely claimed: "At this point, as military helicopters buzzed over neighborhoods, the Fourth Amendment had ceased to exist in Boston, which quickly resembled a war zone."
Under the Fourth Amendment, homeowners have the right to refuse a request for a search if the police don't have a warrant. But that rule has an exception. If there are exigent circumstances, like the threat of imminent danger, a warrant isn't necessarily needed, but the police must still have probable cause.
An "exigent circumstance" allows law enforcement to enter without a search warrant, or if they have a "knock and announce" warrant, in a situation where people are in imminent danger, evidence faces destruction, or a suspect will escape.
Infowars.com also stated: "This activity, once again, sets a shocking precedent. Police and military are training in these circumstances every single day of the year."
Actually, the searches are not without precedent. According to the Associated Press, there was a door-to-door search by law enforcement for accused murderer Christopher Dorner in Big Bear, California back in February of this year.