Once Again, The Media Openly Tours The Home of A Terrorist Killer
Even if only on television, each of us has seen the yellow tape proclaiming “CRIME SCENE” that indicates the scene is off-limits as law enforcement authorities, federal, state, local, or working in cooperation, search for evidence in the course of investigating a crime.
What is found on the scene – physical evidence, as well as cyber evidence gleaned from devices, is used to determine what, if any, charges can be filed against a defendant, locate co-conspirators, and even prevent another crime, as well as to prove the elements of the crime during a prosecution.
The rules for searches are derived from the Bill of Rights in this country, and they are strict – the entire prosecution can be jeopardized if an investigator violates them.
So, it would seem that law enforcement agencies would take great care to ensure the security of an investigation site associated with a crime, especially when that crime is the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, with the added factor of Islamic terrorism involved.
But, just as the FBI allowed reporters unfettered access to the home of the Muslim perpetrators of the San Bernardino killings, Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, reporters are again rummaging through the home of another terrorist before it has been thoroughly investigated.
Not only are there reports of unauthorized persons gaining entry to the home of Omar Mateen and his wife, Noor Salman, but cameramen shot video tours of the house less than 72 hours after Mateen committed the terror attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando.
His wife is said to be cooperating with local police and the FBI, but a grand jury has been empaneled to determine whether she will be charged with conspiracy.
Salman not only knew of her husband’s intent, but accompanied him as he purchased ammunition, a holster, and scouted locations for an attack.
Her failure to contact authorities with the information may constitute one federal felony count for each of the 104 victims.
Of more concern may be the FBI’s action in both terror cases of allowing the investigation scene to be contaminated by reporters before it is thoroughly “worked.”