Nevada Family Says Police Occupation of Homes Violated the Third Amendment

You don't often hear about lawsuits based on the Third Amendment, the one that says "no soldier shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war but in a manner to be prescribed by law." That usually overlooked provision is cited in a federal lawsuit recently filed by Anthony Mitchell and his parents, Michael and Linda Mitchell—an oddity for which we can thank the Henderson, Nevada, police department. The Mitchells, who live in separate houses near each other in the Las Vegas suburb, were forcibly evicted from their homes on July 10, 2011, by police officers responding to a domestic violence report involving one of their neighbors. Here is how it all started, according to the complaint:

At 10:45 a.m. defendant Officer Christopher Worley (HPD) contacted plaintiff Anthony Mitchell via his telephone. Worley told plaintiff that police needed to occupy his home in order to gain a "tactical advantage" against the occupant of the neighboring house. Anthony Mitchell told the officer that he did not want to become involved and that he did not want police to enter his residence. Although Worley continued to insist that plaintiff should leave his residence, plaintiff clearly explained that he did not intend to leave his home or to allow police to occupy his home. Worley then ended the phone call.

The cops did not take no for an answer:

[Henderson police officers] banged forcefully on the door and loudly commanded Anthony Mitchell to open the door to his residence. Surprised and perturbed, plaintiff Anthony Mitchell immediately called his mother (plaintiff Linda Mitchell) on the phone, exclaiming to her that the police were beating on his front door.

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. Fearing for his life, plaintiff Anthony Mitchell dropped his phone and prostrated himself onto the floor of his living room, covering his face and hands.

Addressing plaintiff as "asshole," officers, including Officer Snyder, shouted conflicting orders at Anthony Mitchell, commanding him to both shut off his phone, which was on the floor in front of his head, and simultaneously commanding him to 'crawl' toward the officers. Confused and terrified, plaintiff Anthony Mitchell remained curled on the floor of his living room, with his hands over his face, and made no movement.

Although plaintiff Anthony Mitchell was lying motionless on the ground and posed no threat, officers, including Officer David Cawthorn, then fired multiple "pepperball" rounds at plaintiff as he lay defenseless on the floor of his living room. Anthony Mitchell was struck at least three times by shots fired from close range, injuring him and causing him severe pain.

The cops pepperballed Mitchell's dog for good measure, even though she was "cowering in the corner when officers smashed through the front door." They charged Mitchell with...wait for it..."obstructing an officer." His father, Michael, faced the same charge after he tried to leave a police command center to which he was lured under false pretenses while the police took over his house as well. The two men were jailed for nine hours before making bail, and the charges ultimately were dismissed with prejudice. The lawsuit argues that police filed the unjustified charges "to provide cover for defendants' wrongful actions, to frustrate and impede plaintiffs' ability to seek relief for those actions, and to further intimidate and retaliate against plaintiffs." In addition to Third and Fourth Amendment violations tied to the warrantless occupation of their homes, the Mitchells say the police are guilty of assault and battery, conspiracy, defamation, abuse of process, malicious prosecution, negligence, and infliction of emotional distress.

[Thanks to Johnny Cook for the tip.]

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  • robc||

    IIRC, there has been exactly one federal 3rd amendment case. And it didnt make it to the Supremes.

    Sad that Jacob failed to include the obligatory link:

    http://www.theonion.com/articl.....r-su,2296/

    I guess they have some work to do in 2013.

  • Troy To You||

    You are aware that The Onion is a humor site, correct?

    I don't think I'd cite any articles there for veracity of anything real.

    Don't feel bad though, China has cited them twice in the past few years, thinking that The Onion is a real news source too...

  • mistythomas221||

    my buddy's sister makes $78 hourly on the internet. She has been without work for 5 months but last month her payment was $12747 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site.... www.ℂnn13.ℂℴm

  • ||

    Not true. I know your buddy's sister. She paid the 1500 they wanted to start and had to resort to prostitution to make ends meet.

  • ||

    like Johnny implied I'm blown away that a single mom able to get paid $4012 in four weeks on the internet. did you see this webpage... www.Blue48.com

  • ||

    pretty pathetic when you can't even lie convincingly on the internet.

  • Free Society||

    if you feed the bots, they will reproduce.

  • SFC MAC||

    Except that this particular story is real.

  • ||

    This happened two years ago. So in two years, no one stepped up and dealt with such an obvious violation of individual rights, regardless of the Constitution. NO ONE.

    As much as one (including myself) might want to defer to "the process" to let this type of BS be handled appropriately, the constantly repeated stories of policy abuses followed by administrative excuses followed by jack shit is what leads to a general skepticism of any police related abuse issues to be handled appropriately.

  • John||

    In most states, you have to file a claim before you can go to court. So, you can't sue until you ask the city for money and they tell you no. This allows state and local governments to fuck around and soft peddle people in hopes they will give up and go away.

  • mediamole||

    Who knows what happened here?

    Exactly 100% of this event's "facts" came from the one supposed victim, two years after the fact.

    The blogosphere is freaking, but apparently no one has verified one single part of this story, nor called the city or cops to see if there's a response.

    Perhaps outrageous police. Perhaps a yoo-hoo making things up. Definitely crappy reporting.

  • ||

    Lol, what? Newspapers routinely cite statements from police as fact without verifying the claims. But when it's turned around on the police we're just supposed to accept that they wouldn't do such a thing? Please.

  • Robert||

    The article said this was all about an investig'n of domestic violence next door. Why didn't they just batter their way into that house?

  • SIV||

    The cops pepperballed Mitchell's dog for good measure

    In the heat of combat an officer mistakenly used non-lethal force.

  • ||

    That dog is lucky to be alive. Threateningly cowering like that...

  • InlineSkate||

    Dog shootings are starting to become a running gag with these incidents.

  • ||

    We're going to have to change the expression from "Dog bites man" story to "Cop shoots dog" story.

  • ||

    Perhaps replacing Man Bites Dog with Dog Shoots Cop?

  • Jgalt1975||

    I'm going to be very surprised if the Third Amendment claim survives given that I don't think there's any case law applying it to municipal police forces. I think a court would say that claims under the Fourth Amendment(search and seizure) and Fifth Amendment (taking of private property) would be the appropriate means of addressing this kind of action.

  • ||

    I think, if nothing else, if could allow for some great oral arguments pointing out the militarization of today's police force. Given that militarization, treating them as soldiers of the city/county (which is a term I'm sure they would regularly embrace!) is fair. IT won't hold water- but it might raise awareness?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    That would be a good argument for illustrative purposes, but the real legal winner (if there is one), is that there was no concept of a separate, full-time "police force" in America until 1833. Until then a hodge-podge of different groups would perform duties now performed by the police In many places, local soldiers were the police.

    This story has legs. How far it can run is depending on how closely judges are willing to apply historical context.

  • Spartacus||

  • Daily Beatings||

    I got 15 out of 21. The only way I could determine the difference was the lack of ordinance or the slight differences in LE issue weapons/gear versus military issue.

  • jjr153||

    I got 15 out of 21. I looked at the background or the headgear to make most of my guesses.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Yeah but the 3rd Amendment claim is a good way to get publicity.

  • ||

    It's also a totally valid claim, whether or not the retarded authorities choose to accept its legitimacy.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Municipal police are literally armed government force for enforcing the will of the crown, which was exactly what the "quartering" British troops were.

  • Fluffy||

    Right.

    You have to remember, for centuries there was no such thing as police in Britain.

    If you were carrying a weapon and were paid by the state, you were a soldier. Period.

    The introduction of police forces in GB was actually widely decried as the imposition of continental-style tyranny.

    If the cops here manage to skate on some meaningless "We're not 'troops'!" administrative distinction, it will mean the 3rd Amendment is dead, too. Because it would mean that the state can quarter its personnel anywhere it wants by employing the simple expedient of declaring them police and not soldiers.

  • ||

    +100. Exactly. I hope this doesn't hurt Dunphy's feelings.

  • Invisible Finger||

    You also have to remember there was no such thing a POLICE in the USA when the 3rd Amendment was written.

    Seems pretty clear-cut to me that police are government troops. I would think it would also apply to government contractors like the Pinkertons.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Seems pretty clear-cut to me that police are government troops. I would think it would also apply to government contractors like the Pinkertons.

    I know (for 3rd Amendment purposes) Nation Guard are.

  • Agammamon||

    Even if there were, I think the 4th and 5th amendments are more applicable here.

    These guys didn't 'quarter', which at least assumes sharing the home with the owners. They seized it temporarily, depriving the owners of property without due process along with an illegal search.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Quarters can't be temporary?

  • tarran||

    Quartering means that the homeowner not only has to provide a soldier a place to stay, but also food and water.

    Basically, it's a way of forcing the local population to become an army's supply system.

    What the police did doesn't really fit the bill of quartering so much as a temporary taking, so I think the claim will be a 4th amendment claim. But it's a close call. Certainly it violates the spirit of the third amendment.

  • sgs||

    "Quartering means..."

    According to what caselaw?

  • sgs||

    So nothing? I was certain you'd have SOMETHING after that post.

  • Agammamon||

    According to the dictionary.

    I'm not saying its impossible to make the case, just that it reaaaally hinges on technicalities and on how you define police forces. Posse Comittatus has already drawn a legal line between soldiers and police.

    Just from a layman's understanding of the case, 4th and 5th amendment violations fit much better than 3rd.

  • tarran||

    So nothing? I was certain you'd have SOMETHING after that post.

    Since when do we need case history for the definition of words?

    Do you ask people to find you the case law for the definition of "jet" "amphibious assault" and "flanking movement" too?

  • Gray Ghost||

    It's in the Quartering Act of 1765, FWIW. Clause V:

    ...That the officers and soldiers so quartered and billeted as aforesaid (except such as shall be quartered in the barracks, and hired uninhabited houses, or other buildings as aforesaid) shall be received and furnished with diet, and small beer, cyder, or rum mixed with water, by the owners of the inns, livery stables, alehouses, victuallinghouses, and other houses in which they are allowed to be quartered and billeted by this act; paying and allowing for the same the several rates herein after mentioned to be payable, out of the subsistence money, for diet and small beer, cyder, or rum mixed with water.

    (Emphasis added)

    Mentioned in the concurring opinion to Engblom v. Carey, which is the only reason I know about it.

  • CE||

    "Victuallinghouse" -- I wonder why that term never caught on.

  • ||

    We call them restaurants now.

  • desertswo||

    Ah, but see, this is where those who claim the Constitution is "elastic" are hoist on their own petard, for the 3rd Amendment has been used, via so called "penumbras and emanations" to imply a "right to privacy" that is not otherwise specifically mentioned in the Amendment. More to the point, it was the Warren Court that specifically cited the 3rd Amendment as "implying a belief that an individual's home should be free from agents of the state." Seems to me that this would apply to the situation documented above, whether or not the police were in their jammies and settling in for the night.

  • ||

    Bets on whether the troops occupying the plaintiff's house offered to pay for the utility bills for the time they were quartered there?

    Bets on whether they ate food in the refrigerator while they were there?

  • ||

    The thing is, if the lack of case law made a case impossible to try, then no case ever could be tried, since case law is generated by trying cases.

  • Almanian!||

    What jgalt1975 said - "HAHA! We're not SOLDIERS! Except when we wanna be. PWND!"

    Fucking police...

  • John||

    I think Jgalt is right too. But it is still a fun claim. But it would serve them right to lose the claim. assholes.

  • AlmightyJB||

    They are for all intent and purposes government "troops". I think 3rd amendment applies. If this shit is somehow justified in the courts, I will have a problem with that.

  • ||

    The mindless jackals of the HPD violated the Third, Fourth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments with prejudice. The man would have completely justified in using deadly force to dispatch the fuckers for their attack.

    Instead of the lengthy and arduous prison sentences that they so richly deserve, I bet these fuckers receive paid vacations. What a fucking joke of a system.

    Fuck Henderson. It's just one more city to add to my Shitholes Never to Visit list.

  • John||

    The Henderson tax payers will be writing a huge check to cover for what these assholes did. Meanwhile, none of them will face so much as a nasty note of reprimand for terrorizing these people and costing the taxpayers millions to make them whole.

    It is not a joke. It is a nightmare.

  • ||

    "The Henderson tax payers will be writing a huge check to cover for what these assholes did."

    Tax payers deserve to be on the hook for this shit. Don't wanna keep your own police force in check? Fine. Enjoy the lawsuits.

  • John||

    Sure. But shouldn't the people who did it also be on the hook? These assholes cost their employers millions and won't even lose their jobs much less do the prison time they so richly deserve.

  • creech||

    I doubt these officers are in a witness protection program, so maybe, if there is any justice, one of them will come out of a restaurant some night, say three or four years from now, and find paint has been sprayed all over his personal vehicle.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I doubt these officers are in a witness protection program, so maybe, if there is any justice, one of them will come out of a restaurant some night, say three or four years from now, and find paint has been sprayed all over his personal vehicle themselves shot by a high powered rifle from long distance.

    FIFY

    These cops are nothing more than armed intruders who terrorized people in their own homes. They deserve no sympathy, and a much harsher punishment than they will get.

  • gimmeasammich||

    I know that I am late to the party, but couldn't these officers be sued under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act of 1871?

  • ||

    Yes. Yes, they should. But so long as the rules governing how cops are held liable place the burden on the taxpayers, the taxpayers should be liable. They're the ones voting (not showing up to vote against) these rules.

  • sgs||

    Jesus you're fucking stupid.

  • ||

    Sweet argument, dipshit. Voter apathy is 50% of the problem here.

  • dinkster||

    Uh voter apathy is also voluntary non compliance in the system. The police don't get a pass.

  • ||

    That's cool. Who's saying the police shouldn't get a pass?

  • DenverJay||

    Right, and the best part? The plaintiffs/victims are also citizens of Henderson! So they get to pay taxes to pay off their own lawsuit, while their assailants continue to receive paychecks and benefits that the victims are also paying for!
    LE: Great work if you can get it!

  • ||

    This is precisely why personal criminal liability absolutely must apply to any and all law enforcement personnel, at all levels of governance.

    If armed cops forcefully enter a private property, violently assault its owner, damage and confiscate his belongings, and detain and arrest him unlawfully upon patently false grounds and pretenses, each and every one of them should be subject to prosecution and imprisonment for trespassing, aggravated assault and battery, armed robbery, vandalism, and, depending on the severity of their attack, attempted murder.

    Until that day, I will maintain a rigid, uncompromising distrust of all law enforcement. All.

  • John||

    Yes. I would get rid of the exclusionary rule. All it does is protect the guilty. And since the cops don't give a shit what happens in court, it doesn't protect the innocent either.

    Traditionally, the remedy for an unlawful search was a trespass and tort claim against the cop. If the cop didn't have the legal right to be there, he lost his sovereign immunity and is just a trespasser.

    Whenever a cop conducts an illegal search, the person who is the victim of that search ought to have a personal right of action against that cop. Make cops carry professional liability insurance just like doctors and lawyers do. That way bad cops would be eliminated from the profession because no one would insure them.

    It would go a very long way to solving this entire problem.

  • ||

    These enforcers are so firmly protected from responsibility for their misdeeds that they can literally roll up to your house, and, without so much as a knock, open fire through the doorway they just forcibly cleared and shoot you dead -- with precisely no consequences.

    Fuck the police. Seriously.

  • John||

    I find it terrifying to deal with cops. Basically they have the power to beat the shit out of me and throw me in jail for a night or more depending on how long it takes for someone to notice I am there and get me before a judge for any reason they want. The fact that no DA would ever bring a case for whatever charges they make up makes no difference. I can beat the rap but I can't beat the ride.

    Really they can do anything they want to me provided they don't kill me or leave any real marks. And even leaving marks just means some extra paper work and maybe a paid vacation while my claim is investigated. If you don't find being around someone with that kind of totally unaccountable power unnerving, there is something wrong with you.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Really they can do anything they want to me provided they don't kill me or leave any real marks.

    Tell that to the old guy in Tampa who the police held captive for 2 days IN A POLICE STATION, tied him to a chair, and literally pepper sprayed him to death.

  • mad libertarian guy||

  • John||

    They can do it but it will be a pain in the ass. And I can hope they would avoid that. But they can beat the shit out of me and throw me in jail and not even have it be a pain in the ass.

  • Zeb||

    I could perhaps support ending the exclusionary rule if the war on drugs were completely ended. It seems like it provides some deterrent to police conducting illegal searches. As it is now, the rule protects a lot of innocent (in reality, not under current law) people who get illegally searched for drugs.

  • John||

    But if cops were personally liable, they would be even more hesitant to conduct illegal searches. And as an added bonus, innocent people could get real compensation rather than benefits in a criminal trial that will never happen.

  • Zeb||

    I can certainly see the argument for that.

    Another thing that seems like a good idea to me is a law making it a criminal offense for any government employee to violate anyone's constitutional rights.

  • ||

    "Another thing that seems like a good idea to me is a law making it a criminal offense for any government employee to violate anyone's constitutional rights."

    There already is such a law. Title 18, Chapter 13, Section 241 of the US Code makes what the officers did to Mr Mitchell a felony -- for every officer involved.

    If convicted, each and every one of them would face ten years in federal prison or a $10,000 fine (paid by them personally, not the taxpayers) or both.

    The problem is, it's highly unlikely for a prosecutor to charge them, a judge to not throw out the case unheard or for a jury of their peers not to acquit them, despite their actions perfectly matching the sorts of deeds prohibited by the statute.

    What good are laws against corruption and misconduct if they are never enforced?

  • Agammamon||

    The exclusionary rule is one of the strongest protections you have against illegal searches.

    Without it there is little incentive to keep cops from conducting illegal searches whenever they please.

    And don't bother talking about personal liability protecting you - only in our perfect libertarian world is that shit going to happen.

  • Agammamon||

    I mean do you really want to live in a country with routine "criminality" checkpoints?

  • Robert||

    I don't understand what that incentive is. They can search innocent people (people they know are innocent) all they want, and all they lose is the evidence of crime that didn't exist anyway. If you didn't do the crime, you have nothing to gain and they have nothing to lose.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Make cops carry professional liability insurance just like doctors and lawyers do. That way bad cops would be eliminated from the profession because no one would insure them.

    Maybe. I see the first thing happening would be municipalities pick up the cost of premiums. Next would be setting up insurance schemes for their officers because "market failure" "unique circumstances" "need to retain experienced officers" "can't afford revolving door of new hires" etc etc.

  • John||

    They could pick up the costs, that is true. But they couldn't make insurance companies insure them. A cop with more than one judgement on his record, would be unmeasurable at any cost.

    The only way to get around it would be to set up insurance companies that were nothing but fronts for the cops' unions and would insure anyone at outrageous rates and then get the employers to pick up the tab.

    That is possible. But it would be hard.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    They would simply move to a self-insured model.

  • John||

    They would simply move to a self-insured model.

    And risk facing judgements they would spend the rest of their lives paying? Doubtful. Once they had to pay, they would want insurance.

  • robc||

    No, the city would "self-insure" them.

    What puts us right back where we are now.

  • John||

    Rob.

    The city can't do that. The city can't agree to pay for the illegal acts of its cops. That would be an illegal obligation of funds. The only reason cities get sued now is that they are the ones with money and sovereign immunity allows the cops to claim they didn't violate the law.

    My system would end sovereign immunity and thus make it illegal for cities to pay for cops' judgements.

  • DenverJay||

    No, the exclusionary rule should be left alone. What about some dick about to retire? Should he be allowed to conduct illegal searches? Every cop would just have a geezer on speed dial for his dirty work. What needs to end is sovereign immunity, with maybe some sort of good faith defense. Liability insurance is a good idea, but wouldn't work because it would just be issued by the union, who would just cover all LEOs at the same rate and pass the cost to taxpayers via the same contracts that give civil "servants" such great perks now.

  • Agammamon||

    Don't worry, Henderson will just raise property taxes and then the homeowner who won the suit will just end up paying the city back more than he got.

    Its really a win-win for Henderson.

    Either increased police powers or an excuse to raise taxes and blame someone else.

  • Brendan||

    Henderson PD and the other police agencies in Clark County are pushing for another increase in the sales tax to "fund more police" (it will mostly go to giving raises to current cops.

    Clark County's sales tax would go from 8.1% to 8.25%.

    I need to find a way to have my expensive purchases shipped to Oregon and held until I can pick them up. Even if the cost breaks even, it's better than feeding this monster.

  • ||

    *would have been.

    Also, Fifth, as J points out above.

  • John||

    In fairness, the political class seems to be taking the 5th Amendment pretty seriously these days.

  • ||

    Cops do an honest job and deserve to get home safely.. even if it's yours.

  • John||

    +1

  • DenverJay||

    +1 more

  • AlmightyJB||

    They're all heroes. None of them ever wanted to be cops. They just joined the force out of their superior sense of community and selflessness. Queue "Proud to be an 'murican". *barf*

  • ||

    "Kiff, stand behind me and hold this flag. And wave it a little, for god sakes"

  • Leo||

    The problems I see with the 3rd Amendment claim:

    1) Are police "soldiers"? Anyone here would say "yes", but would a judge agree? (I'd say "maybe".. definitely not guaranteed but it's possible.)

    2) The 3rd has not been "incorporated" against the states, as they say. The Second Circuit court did rule that way (Engblom v Carey, also known as "the one 3rd Amendment ruling"), but not the Supreme Court, so it wouldn't legally apply here. (This would be an extremely entertaining defense for the police department to pursue, and not one I can see getting them anywhere.)

    3) Does occupying a house for a brief time count as "quartering"? No idea where this one would shake out. As others have said, it would probably be easier to just call it a "taking" and invoke the 4th instead. Not that they can't do both.

    Whether or not they actually win their 3rd Amendment claim, we may get a ruling of some sort out of it.

  • CE||

    I thought the 14th incorporated the entire Bill of Rights, including A3.

  • CaptJax||

    No. They have to be incorporated individually. The third and parts of the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth have not been incorporated.

  • DenverJay||

    the takings clause is part of the 5th, not 4th :)

  • ||

    #2 doesn't particularly matter, since the Nevada state constitution also has a bit about quartering of troops.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    When you routinely describe the victims of your authoritarian abuses as "civilians" it lends weight to the Third Amendment argument.

  • Rasilio||

    I was just thinking the same thing. 20 years ago if you called local police "military forces" and tried to argue they were in violation of the 3rd amendment people would have laughed at you.

    However in a world where they forcibly occupy "civilians" houses in order to gain "tactical advantage" against a 2 bit wife beater makes it a whole lot more reasonable of a claim.

  • AlmightyJB||

    It's the kind of overreaction and excessive force that is SOP nowdays.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The pigs in this case (everyone involved in the "investigation", not just the named defendants) should be executed by firing squad.

  • Fluffy||

    BTW, I hope we're all aware that the average Slate commenter sees this story and says, "Oh, come on. It was an emergency. These people got exactly what they deserved for refusing to help."

  • ||

    Fluffy,

    you needn't point out that the average IQ is 100, so half of people fall below that. Apparently, though, the all comment at Slate.

  • Brendan||

    They would also make bizarre comparisons like "Oh come on, how many times have they had a cable repairman in their house, or a bug killer? You let them in, they do their thing and then they leave."

    I'm happy to say that I haven't clicked a slate.com link in months. Sometimes it's hard as the headline seems interesting but I see 'slate.com' as the server and I pass.

  • Fluffy||

    That's definitely what MNG would say, for example.

    It's an emergency, so they can not only take your house, they can force you to be slave labor to dig trenches, build barricades, whatever.

    Human life is at stake.

  • John||

    Like I said in the morning links, whatever is done in an emergency will fairly quickly be SOP. Everything is an emergency to someone.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Why is this an emergency? Domestic violence is a crime, but not a threat to the polity.

    First, we were told that a couple guys with homemade bombs driving around Boston posed an emergency justifying shutting down business in an entire city (except donut shops). Now we're told that some asshole beating on his gf or whatever is en emergency. Really?

  • John||

    That is where it goes. Once you give them the right, they will use it every time they feel like it. "Emergency" becomes "whenever doing this makes our job easier".

  • DenverJay||

    okay, this is where everybody jumped on me last time, but I still hold the Boston bombings were an act of war, and thus a threat to the polity, as you so eloquently put it. The last time I made that argument, I was trying to think how to explain the difference between the state trying one citizen accused of violating the rights of another, versus a threat to the entire body of citizens. "A threat to the polity" is a very nice summation.

  • robc||

    He would also make some bullshit utilitarian argument.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    "If occupying the house was the only way to prevent 100 million people from being killed, would you stop them from doing it?" /MNG

  • The Late P Brooks||

    It is inconceivable to the average Slate commenter that this could eventually happen to HER.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The temperature was over 100 degrees. You cannot expect policemen to conduct surveillance without air conditioning!

  • ||

    From the wayback machine: 72 Killed Resisting Gun Confiscation in Boston!

    oston – National Guard units seeking to confiscate a cache of recently banned assault weapons were ambushed by elements of a Para-military extremist faction. Military and law enforcement sources estimate that 72 were killed and more than 200 injured before government forces were compelled to withdraw.

    Speaking after the clash, Massachusetts Governor Thomas Gage declared that the extremist faction, which was made up of local citizens, has links to the radical right-wing tax protest movement.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    That was good stuff.

  • Zeb||

    Holy shit. I think that this may be, excluding outright murders and rapes, the worst thing I have ever heard of police doing in this country.

  • Ramjet||

    Yes, it is. Reading this story made me physically ill.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's standard procedure.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Couldn't the cops just ask the neighbor on the other side of the house they were wanted to surveil?

    Hell hath no fury like a police scorned.

  • MasterDarque||

    I am sure the police had a good reason for this so I am not worried.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Given that the police have been steadily more militarized since at least the 1980s, they now constitute the "standing army" that the founders warned us about. So it makes sense to have the 3rd Amendment apply to them, too. I wonder whether the courts will see things that way. Or perhaps they will look back to the AUMF and conclude that these are not "times of peace."

  • John||

    Yes. They are the standing army the founders were worried about. The actual Army is prohibited from doing police work in the US. The shadow army in contrast.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    maybe, if there is any justice, one of them will come out of a restaurant some night, say three or four years from now, and find paint has been sprayed all over his personal vehicle.

    WAR ON KOPZ!!!!11

  • sarcasmic||

    Did you hear that the cops who shot that dude's dog in the latest video have been taken off duty thanks to multiple death threats?

    Let's hope someone offs one of those fuckers. Maybe it will teach cops everywhere else to show a little respect.

  • sticks||

    That would just give the cops more excuses to bash skulls

  • sgs||

    I'm fine with that, it's the only way the public will ever see them for what they are.

  • Ice Nine||

    Where'd you see that, Sarc? I've searched and can't find it and would like to.

  • sarcasmic||

    Where else do you go for news of America? The UK!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....reats.html

  • DenverJay||

    The same country whose media had the balls to report on Snowden! Their food may suck, their womenz may be a tad hideous, but the Brits have two things in abundance: balls and musical talent.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Maybe it will teach cops everywhere else to show a little respect.

    Unfortunately, they will just retreat further into paranoia and isolation, and treat the citizen population as an implacable enemy guerrilla army. They will say they need up-armored patrol cars and heavy weapons.

  • sarcasmic||

    The sooner the general population sees the police as an occupying force rather than public servants, the sooner we can force change.

  • Brendan||

    Pretty much. They can either act right, or they can get even more aggressive and give even more people reason to oppose them.

  • Robert||

    How bad would things have to get before a major jurisdiction abolished their police, saying they're just too dangerous to keep around?

  • DenverJay||

    Yeah, 'cause they aren't already acting like an occupying army and using military: weapons, munitions, armor, helicopters, tactics, armored personnel carriers, snipers, command structure, training, drones...

  • trig||

    Wow... just wow.

  • Chris Knox||

    I think it's a legitimate 3rd, 4th, and 5th case. The 3rd because "quartering" would constitute occupying. And it definitely applies to local cops, just as the 1st applies to a local government that attempts to restrict speech.

    I remember a case back in the 1990s when the ATF conducted one of their more abusive raids on a family gun dealer. They entered the family home and during the incident directed their attention to the refrigerator, raiding it for a quick lunch for the team. It was never applied as a 3rd Amendment case, but I think it would fit.

  • Agammamon||

    Could fit, but 5th amendment fits better.

  • PRX||

    domestic abuse investigation. considering that the victim's word is all that's needed for an arrest, what was the real reason? some cop banging the suspect's wife?

  • CE||

    Aren't tanks, dogs, automatic weapons, shotguns, body armor and helicopters already a "tactical advantage"?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Which amendment should I use for my "takings of alt-text" case?

  • Fluffy||

    Welcome Drudge fans!

  • JYLD||

    These police officers should have been fired, charged with both state and federal crimes. Assault, battery, kidnapping, conspiracy to violate the civil rights of the plaintiffs, etc etc. I would want to see a follow-up story on these officers, if they are still working as police officers anywhere after demonstrating such a dramatic lack of knowledge of and respect for the constitution and state and federal laws of the land, etc.

  • mediamole||

    Evidently, "reports" coming 100% from a plaintiff's lawsuit 2 years after the fact are now substitutes for journalism.

    None of us knows any of the facts here, except for the allegations.

  • Mike Connor||

    I'm not super surprised about this. Henderson cops do everything with overwhelming force or they don't do it. They seem to have near total immunity as well. Nearly every time I've seen a Henderson cop with someone pulled over on the side of the road, they have the kind of backup making you think they're dealing with a drug cartel. But nope, it's just some normal looking person. Will a single cop worry about people blatantly speeding through school zones (such as the elementary school in Seven Hills)? Nah. Doesn't have his backup; he might get hurt.

  • Leland||

    SHOULD THIS BE TRUE... the officers should be terminated from their positions, and prosecuted. They are a disgrace to their profession. I am a retired police officer.

  • ubwart||

    I wonder what would have happened if the homeowner had been armed and blasted those cops? I think he would have probably got off. Anyone breaks in my front door is going to be greeted by about 60 rounds of 5.56 and then some 9 mm , 10mm or .45. Cops or no and how would I know if I am not opening the door? I have no requirement to give up my home except as the constitution dictates; surely not so they can spy on my neighbor from my property without my consent.

  • squarooticus||

    He'd be dead. This is the problem with a revolution of one: it just gets you dead, and the public dances on your grave ("what was he doing shooting at the police??").

  • myaskyler9||

    until I saw the draft four $7371, I did not believe ...that...my mother in law could actually bringing home money part time on their laptop.. there moms best frend has been doing this for under twentey months and a short time ago cleared the debts on their place and got a brand new Renault 5. go to, Go to site and open Home for details
    http://WWW.JOBS31.COM

  • MG K||

    The city attorney for Henderson, NV is Harry Reid's son.

  • buybuydandavis||

    In addition to Third and Fourth Amendment violations tied to the warrantless occupation of their homes, the Mitchells say the police are guilty of assault and battery, conspiracy, defamation, abuse of process, malicious prosecution, negligence, and infliction of emotional distress.

    And they are correct.

    When police act contrary to the law, they should face at least the same penalties we would face for taking the same actions.

  • GroundTruth||

    This is a (bad) joke, right?

  • Porter Browning||

    Every pig involved in this and their commanders deserve to be hanged as traitors to the constitution.

  • MoreFreedom||

    Our country has become a two class country: those who work for government and who violate the law with impunity and tread all over us, and then the rest of us.

    We need to cut government down to size, and that means by about 80% to get it back to the size necessary to protect our rights, rather than what it has become: a group of thugs who are above the law.

  • Marketfog||

    This appears to be a clear case for the ACLU to get involved.

  • FAWKTHEPIGSSS||

    CALL THESE PIGS AND TELL EM ABOUT IT

    Patrick E. Moers
    Police Chief

    Patrick E. Moers

    Contact:
    Office Telephone: (702) 267-4501
    Office Fax: (702) 267-5001
    E-Mail: COHPoliceChief@cityofhenderson.com

  • Ed12||

    Having the city or state pay these people with taxpayer money isn't sufficient, those involved need prison time. That's the only way the other police can be convinced to do their job rather than continuing to grab more power.

    In a just world, they'd've been shot dead in the home invasion.

  • oscarwhitehead01||

    up to I saw the check 4 $4313, I did not believe that my neighbour realie bringing in money part-time at there labtop.. there moms best frend has done this 4 only about twenty two months and a short time ago took care of the dept on there cottage and bought themselves a BMW. I went here.... WWW.CNN13.COM

  • JWnTX||

    Just following the example of thuggery we've seen from this White House for the last 5 years. Obama even explicitly stated his intention to militarize the police in 2008--"a civilian force every bit as powerful and effective as our military" is how he stated it, IIRC. But hey--libs are all for it as long as it's those who believe in freedom and the Constitution are the ones suffering. Those stupid libertarians/conservatives are, after all, the real impediment to "hope and change."

  • Dante||

    The Constitution and the Bill of Rights do not apply to the states. It only limits the federal government. This is not a violation of the Third Amendment.

  • Alphonse||

    Yes they do. Incorporation.

  • Dante||

    No, they don't. But let me see if I understand your position: the federal government, the creation of the States, has acted beyond its Constitutional limits and has ruled for itself that rather than its being subservient to the States, the States are subservient to it? How convenient. Regardless, the Constitution and Bill of Rights do not apply to the States.

  • Dan||

    Yes states are bound by the constitution and the bill of rights. They don't only apply to the federal government.

    States are free to make their own laws regarding anything NOT explicitly covered by the constitution and the bill of rights, but they cannot ingore them or make their own laws that contradict them. A state cannot decide they're going to make slavery legal again.

  • Dante||

    "states are bound by the constitution and the bill of rights. They don't only apply to the federal government."

    You are incorrect.

  • Dan||

    Are you really this stupid or just putting on an act?

  • ||

    "The Constitution and the Bill of Rights do not apply to the states. It only limits the federal government. This is not a violation of the Third Amendment."

    Perhaps. Under the 14th amendment, quite a few things that didn't previously apply to the states started to apply to them. But even if the 3rd amendment does not apply to the State of Nevada, Article 1, Section 12 of the Nevada State Constitution absolutely DOES apply to the State of Nevada.

    Article 1, Section 12 of the Nevada state constitution is almost a word for word reproduction of the 3rd Amendment to the US constitution.

  • chris goodwin||

    I can spare the court the waste of time involved in listening to this case.
    Clearly the police were investigating a terrorist threat, so they had the Patriot Act behind them: and anyway, they were doing what they thought the POTUS wanted: and since if the President does it is not illegal, then if his nerds or narks do it, it must similarly be justified in law. Their complaint is an obvious attempt to hamper the enforcement of law and order, thus aiding and abetting terrorists ( the fact that said neighbour terrorist escaped conviction doubtless being due to delays on police investigation that enabled said terrorist neighbours to destroy incriminating evidence, thus evading justice) - these assholes are clearly guilty of obstructions of justice and in contempt of Court, and should therefore be banged up forever.
    Next case.

  • Dan||

    The 3rd amendment complaint is clearly nonsense. That is talking about quartering soldiers. That would mean they literally took up residence for some length of time, not just that they briefly came onto your property when you didn't want them to.

    What they did was clearly blatantly illegal and unconstitutional, they're just getting a little out over their skis with the 3rd amendment claim.

  • emmawatson695||

    my best friend's mother-in-law makes $74 every hour on the internet. She has been fired from work for five months but last month her pay check was $18367 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site........Buzz55.com

  • HDNKR||

    Its time to stop the Police abuse! Law enforcement no longer receives or deserves the respect it once had!

  • BLEEDINELL||

    I wonder what the story would be if the homeowner had shot the thugs breaking into his house.

  • Robert||

    Isn't there a requirement in law to mitigate damages? Judge Wapner explained this one. All they wanted to do was see whether there was domestic violence going on next door. How does the certainty of domestic violence in the houses they battered their way into balance against the mere possibility of violence next door? It's like steering to knock down a pedestrian instead of a dog in the road.

  • sbm||

    Welcome to Shanghai SBM.

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