I understand that in many cases searching a computer is completely reasonable.
In this case it seems not so reasonable. In fact, searching the guys house seems like a waste of time and resources.
They raided/searched his home because they were looking for him. At the time of the article in your OP they knew who he was, but I'm not sure they knew where he was. They may have removed the computer and documents to seek info to help find him--they already knew he was high when operating the equipment, and the accident killed 6 people. An arrest warrant was issued after the raid because they didn't find him.
If I drove drunk and killed some people would they need to search my house? I just don't understand what they could possibly hope to find in my house or on my computer that would be related to my crime.
Alcohol is a legal substance. This man had an illegal drug in his system, as well as past criminal convictions for drug trafficking.
So they might have taken the computer and documents from the home to look for evidence related to any purchase/sale of illegal drugs.
Also, they removed the computer and documents, but it's not clear whether they searched them. They might have just taken them from the home to keep them from being destroyed as future potential evidence in other aspects of this case. For instance, the computer and documents might contain communications with his employer, the people who hired him, and what they knew about him before they hired him, because they may be criminally or civally liable in this situation.
Mayor Michael Nutter, in a statement Saturday night, called for harsh charges and punishment for Benschop.
"It is my hope that the harshest level of charges are brought against Sean Benschop and he is punished accordingly," Nutter said. "We must also seek answers from property owners Richard Basciano and Griffin T. Campbell who hired Benschop to do the significant job of operating heavy equipment. These three individuals bear the ultimate and sole responsibility for this tragedy
I'm just guessing with all of the above. I'm with Setanta, we just don't have all of the info.
The investigation into the matter of the building collapse is widening--it goes beyond this one man. It even goes beyond the two people who hired him. It's going to look into city agencies and policies.
Philadelphia Building Collapse: City Council Probes Incident As Sean Benschop Faces Charges
By JOANN LOVIGLIO
PHILADELPHIA — The city's top prosecutor announced Monday he would convene an investigating grand jury to look into a building collapse that killed six people and injured 13 others last week.
District Attorney Seth Williams said the "scope and depth" of the grand jury process will help prosecutors, the city and others to "completely and appropriately investigate" what happened when a downtown building under demolition collapsed onto a neighboring Salvation Army Thrift Store, killing two employees and four customers.