Imagine hearing pounding on your door at 1 a.m. The thoughts that might run through your head are probably frightening. Where are the children? Are they okay? You might reach across the bed to feel for your spouse. You may smell the air to see if anything is burning. When you reach the door, there are several FBI agents holding up a piece of paper and telling you that it gives them the okay to search your home.
As they rummage through your private information, your vacation souvenirs, your memories and the things you have shoved away in drawers that you don’t want other people to see, you may be thinking what are they looking for? Have I been accused of a criminal charge that I don’t know about? This is what happened to the mayor of Trenton, New Jersey, early Wednesday morning.
FBI agents woke him up at 1 a.m. His neighbors watched on as flashlight beams darted past the windows, equipment was hauled into the home and more agents arrived. After just over five hours after the first agents disappeared into the house, they walked out carrying several boxes and bags filled with items that were taken from the home.
According to news reports, the mayor has not been arrested or formally charged with any wrongdoing. He made a statement saying that he “has not violated the public trust in any way.”
Imagine yourself in his shoes? What would you do? His children were in the home when the agents arrived. What would your children think? Would they be frightened, anxious or worried for their parent? It may take a moment for the initial shock to wear off, but it is important that anyone faced with this situation understand that they have a right to call an attorney from the moment that the agent knocks.
Source: U.S. News, “FBI raids home of New Jersey capital’s mayor,” July 18, 2012