Prior to arrest of a suspect of a crime, “The officer is free to ask questions before an arrest, but must inform the suspect that the questioning is voluntary and that he or she is free to leave at any time.”
“After placing the suspect under arrest, the officer will say something similar to, ‘You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.'”
If a crime suspect need not say a word, having a right to remain silent, doesn’t a person allegedly in contact with a coronavirus-infected person, have the same right to remain silent? The person thought to be in contact is not a suspect in a crime, after all. Doesn’t freedom of speech include this right to remain silent?
“Officials in New York’s Rockland County announced on Wednesday that they had issued subpoenas to eight people allegedly infected by the coronavirus for refusing to speak with contact tracers voluntarily.
“‘The health of our county’ will not be ‘compromised because of ignorance, stupidity, or obstinance,’ Ed Day, the county executive, told reporters.
“‘Failure to comply will be costly: $2,000 per day,’ Patricia Rupert, the county’s health commissioner, added, referring to the subpoenas, according to the Hill.”
There are sound reasons to refuse to talk. One might be forced to be tested. The result might be a 2-week quarantine. A test might be a false positive. One might be snitching on other people and not want to live with such behavior. One might not want to submit to an unconstitutional search of one’s mind. One might not want to submit to a police state measure. Mr. Day is way off base in his remark about “ignorance, stupidity, or obstinance” being the cause of evading the contact tracers.
Who owns the contents of your mind? Do you own them, or does Rockland County and its contact tracers?
This news item is infuriating. Looting a person’s mind under threat of excessive fines for no crime, also violating the Fifth Amendment, is on a par with smashing a window and looting a pair of sneakers. It actually is worse. The notion of a thoughtcrime is worse, because it invades your being.9:54 pm on July 2, 2020 Email Michael S. Rozeff