Monday, July 8, 2013

Revenge of the Third Amendment

I've moved apartments in the last week, and have been insanely busy getting everything together (it's my first single apartment, so I needed to get furniture and essentials). To top it off, my Internet is not active, and Comcast is taking a week to come repair it (hel-LO pro rate!). Thus the dearth of blog posts.  I should try and make up for lost time by throwing in some buzz words: Tea Party, liberty, socialism, Obama=Stalin, Stalin Was Better Than Obama, gun rights, raw milk. Watch the traffic escalate!

Anyways, I feel terribly out of the loop. Yesterday, though, my girlfriend's mother alerted me to a fascinating Third Amendment violation, the first of its kind that I've heard of (Carrie's mom and I are of very similar political bents, a fortuitous aligning of kismet on par, I think, with DiMaggio's legendary hitting streak). Did you ever imagine Americans would need to call upon the Third Amendment to the Constitution? Now you can!
Remember that whole business in the Third Amendment about not having quarter soldiers in private homes without the owner’s consent or that stuff in the Fifth Amendment about takings of property or that other stuff in the Fourth Amendment on unreasonable searches and seizures. It does not appear to apply to police in Henderson Nevada. The City of Henderson is being sued with its police chief Police Chief Jutta Chambers (left) as well as the City of North Las Vegas and its Police Chief Joseph Chronister (right) for a bizarre takeover of a home for a stakeout. Anthony Mitchell says that he was told that police needed to occupy his home to get a “tactical advantage” on the occupant of a neighboring house. When Mitchell refused, the police ultimately, according to his complaint, busted through his door, hit him with pepper balls, and put him into custody. The lawsuit also names Officers Garret Poiner, Ronald Feola, Ramona Walls, Angela Walker, and Christopher Worley.

Mitchell says that the ordeal began with a call from Officer Worley demanding access to his home. He refused to allow the police to do so and the call ended...

Sure, the "call" ended, but not the charade; there was still plenty of "busting" and "hitting" with "pepper balls" to deal with.

If there's one thing an agent of the state doesn't like being told, it's "no." As Turley points out, the incident also touches on the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, which have been more robustly challenged (and defended) over the course of the Republic's history. But why on Earth would that matter to any of the police officers concerned? It's anyone's guess as to whether or not they've heard of the concept of city statutes, let alone constitutional restraint.

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