Quelle horreur! The FBI (and Newton police) are aghast that the Newton Free Library wouldn't hand over a computer possibly used to send a hoax threat to Brandeis just because they didn't actually have something, um, what do you call it again? Oh, yeah, a warrant..
Borderline calls on both sides to grow up, but especially the FBI and the police:
The Newton cops and feds overreacted on this one. As did the mayor and city librarians.
However, the librarians are right -- A warrant is required to conduct this type of search, and by not getting one, the feds and cops would have risked the evidence getting thrown out in court, when the case eventually goes to trial. Law enforcement officials are supposed to live by the rule of law, not break the law. A warrant is required unless someone's life is in danger. That's clearly not the case at the library -- the threat was a hoax, and the hoaxer is obviously not hanging around the library, waiting for the cops to show up. ...