Thursday, July 04, 2013

Sweet land of liberty

Not every day you see a claim for Third Amendment violations in a police misconduct suit. Well deserved in this case against the City of Henderson, Nevada's finest. You have to read it all to appreciate the full scope of this intentional breach of civil rights but here's some highlights:
The complaint continues: "Defendant Officer David Cawthorn outlined the defendants' plan in his official report: 'It was determined to move to 367 Evening Side and attempt to contact Mitchell. If Mitchell answered the door he would be asked to leave. If he refused to leave he would be arrested for Obstructing a Police Officer. If Mitchell refused to answer the door, force entry would be made and Mitchell would be arrested.'"

At a few minutes before noon, at least five defendant officers "arrayed themselves in front of plaintiff Anthony Mitchell's house and prepared to execute their plan," the complaint states. [...]

"Seconds later, officers, including Officer Rockwell, smashed open plaintiff Anthony Mitchell's front door with a metal ram as plaintiff stood in his living room.

As plaintiff Anthony Mitchell stood in shock, the officers aimed their weapons at Anthony Mitchell and shouted obscenities at him and ordered him to lie down on the floor.
This happened because the Mitchell refused their "request" to use his home a lookout point in response to a domestic violence report about his next door neighbor. These local cops then proceeded to subject Mitchell's elderly parents, who also live nearby to much the same abuse. They also shot his terrified dog, who was cowering in a corner, with pepperballs. Eventually the whole family was arrested on several trumped up charges. And the punch line:
None of the officers were ever subjected to official discipline or even inquiry, the complaint states.
Thanks to the militarization of local law enforcement, this sort of police misconduct is becoming all too common in our country. Good to see people daring to fight back. Wishing the Mitchells every success in their lawsuit. [photo via]

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