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  • In light of recent cases where SWAT has entered people’s homes, the question is: Does such a practice violate the Third Amendment, which prohibits forced quartering of soldiers?
  • Constitutional lawyers tell TheBlaze it’s a hard case to prove, especially because local law enforcement are not considered “soldiers”
  • But at least one lawyer says it may actually show officers are violating the Fourth Amendment, which protects “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures”
  • “(If) law enforcement knocked on the door and asked for the homeowner’s permission to use his home to gain a ‘tactical advantage’ only to be rebuffed, and then forcibly entering and arresting the homeowner, I would argue that such conduct is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment and that any assertion of exigent circumstances by the state is dubious at best”
Florida homeowner Deborah Franz was outraged after she said a SWAT team used her home to gain a tactical advantage — without her permission and without notifying her — during a six-hour standoff with her neighbor this weekend.


It’s not a new phenomenon: In 2011, a SWAT team allegedly broke down Anthony Mitchell’s front door with a battering ram in Henderson, Nev., during a similar neighborhood-wide lockdown after Mitchell refused to allow his home be used for police purposes in a domestic violence response. Mitchell said the team violently entered his home, fired pepper spray pellets at him and his dog, then arrested him for obstruction of justice.
These situations have some confused Americans asking: Is this legal?
SWAT teams have entered homes without permission in the past. Does this violate your constitutional rights? (Photo credit: Shutterstock)



The Mitchell family filed suit against the city of Henderson, claiming their Third Amendment rights were violated. But after Franz’s ordeal, several legal experts say such a case might be a long shot.
“It certainly sounds like they would have a better argument with the Fourth Amendment,” John Malcolm, director of the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, told TheBlaze. “Without knowing the full facts, it seems the SWAT team definitely violated his due process rights with an unreasonable seizure of his person without a warrant.”


The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.



Read more: Does the Constitution Protect Your Home Against a SWAT Takeover? Here?s What Lawyers Told Us | TheBlaze.com


 

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Yes it does, but I don't think our opinion matters. In fact I doubt the Constitution matters any longer, from the looks of things. For Example take what occurred as the police searched for the Boston Bomber, or what occurred away from the cameras during Katrina. Private gun ownership is the last obstacle to complete Totalitarianism.

PONDER THIS
 

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I look at situations from an officers standpoint and from a citizens standpoint. Many times I will see people bashing the police when they did what they had to do to survive or to protect another innocent person because they have never been in a dangerous or similar situation. But when an agency thinks they can go door to door without a warrant and take over peoples homes for a tactical advantage without permission, the agency is crossing the line. The same with Katrina. That was very wrong to take guns from legal gun owners. I see to many people leaning far right or far left. We need to honor our constitution even if it means waiting to gather more evidence to take down the known crack house on the corner. These agencies are pressured from both sides. People complain that not enough was done to prevent the last shooting and when they make changes in their policies, they get complained on for violating rights. Regardless the agencies should not be taking over houses without a warrant or permission unless there is an exigent circumstance involved. I know people get upset when a swat team is used to enter a home for credit card fraud. What we see on the news is a little old lady scared to sleep at night. We don't see or hear about the other side of the equation. There is a slight possibility the police were given more information about the people in the house. Just because they don't have a record, does not mean they aren't dangerous pieces of trash. Every murderer has to have a first kill.
 

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Just because they don't have a record, does not mean they aren't dangerous pieces of trash. Every murderer has to have a first kill.
so shoot them before they do? let me ask a question. whats is worse, imprisoning an innocent man, or letting a guilty man go free? at the end of the day it is MY home to do as i see fit as a free man. it dose NOT belong to the state so they can do as they please.
 

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Regardless the agencies should not be taking over houses without a warrant or permission unless there is an exigent circumstance involved.
The definition of exigent circumstances seems to differ from person to person, a little clarity would go along way. Unless there is evident and imminent jeopardy to the dwellings occupants or in hot pursuit of a suspect that is seen entering the dwelling there is no legal authority to enter a private residence without a warrant or permission. Unfortunately, evident and imminent jeopardy is to often a philosophical one that is spun to suit the needs of the spinner. The fact of the matter is that without a warrant, permission, or evident and imminent jeopardy the SWAT team is committing a felony home invasion and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, as well as the CLO if it is a department policy to act outside the law.
 

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SWAT will warrant-less commandeer the wrong house one day and it won't be pretty for anyone. It will happen, just a matter of when.
 

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The legal opinions I've researched since P-Factor OP'd tend to support the argument for felony home invasion charges where no such exigent circumstances existed in either case. There has yet to be a successful legal challenge, there will inevitably be a brilliant lawyer who sets precedence followed by a SWAT team and LEA paying the price of incarceration and bankruptcy respectively. Once legal precedence has been established the tactic will become too costly to conduct, money really does effect policy especially when its budget related.
 
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I agree it's only a matter of time, a shame really.


SWAT will warrant-less commandeer the wrong house one day and it won't be pretty for anyone. It will happen, just a matter of when.
 
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so shoot them before they do? let me ask a question. whats is worse, imprisoning an innocent man, or letting a guilty man go free? at the end of the day it is MY home to do as i see fit as a free man. it dose NOT belong to the state so they can do as they please.
If you are a violent criminal expect to have your home raided. I don't have a problem with that. There are many violent people who don't get charged or convicted. I didn't say anything about shooting them first. Why shouldn't LE take precautions to protect themselves?
 

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Exactly!


I believe the discussion is about SWAT teams commandeering private residential dwellings to use as staging grounds for operations without permission of the home owner.
 

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I believe the discussion is about SWAT teams commandeering private residential dwellings to use as staging grounds for operations without permission of the home owner.
It was a response to a comment that was part of this discussion. If you read my first post, you will see that I agree with it being wrong for LE to take over someones home without a warrant or permission to use as a tactical advantage. I understand there will always be anti LE members on every forum that want to alter the meaning of a statement if the statement doesn't look down upon LE.
 

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The definition of exigent circumstances seems to differ from person to person, a little clarity would go along way. Unless there is evident and imminent jeopardy to the dwellings occupants or in hot pursuit of a suspect that is seen entering the dwelling there is no legal authority to enter a private residence without a warrant or permission. Unfortunately, evident and imminent jeopardy is to often a philosophical one that is spun to suit the needs of the spinner. The fact of the matter is that without a warrant, permission, or evident and imminent jeopardy the SWAT team is committing a felony home invasion and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, as well as the CLO if it is a department policy to act outside the law.

Exigent circumstances are defined by the fourth amendment.
 

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It seems of late there are more and more reports of really aggressive Police out there. Some individuals I would think don't belong in uniform, others are following what their chiefs and commanders tell them they must do. I don't want to demean the job. However I can see the day a warrant-less no knock search is performed over something so stupid (Like over due library books) that an entering SWAT team will get fired upon by a home owner who thinks they are being home invaded.
 

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I believe the discussion is about SWAT teams commandeering private residential dwellings to use as staging grounds for operations without permission of the home owner.
That exact scenario was played out in Boston when Governor Dopey Patrick shut the city down to conduct door to door searches looking for 1 person in the neighborhoods of Watertown, MA.

LE literally forced people from from their homes at gunpoint with hands up and made them run down the sidewalks while they tactfully cleared the house. (
See video at 1:30 min)

This LE take-down area wasn't even near where he was ultimately found by an alert civilian and not by the Elite SWAT teams.

To me all ll this action and drama looked more like a real time training exercise to monitor public reaction to Marshall Law and control.



Target.jpg
 

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I can see the day a warrant-less no knock search is performed over something so stupid (Like over due library books) that an entering SWAT team will get fired upon by a home owner who thinks they are being home invaded.

And when the entire SWAT team surrounds and kills the home owner who dared defy their writ, they'll pat each other on the back and high-five each other and they'll get medals for bravery and valor, and the DA won't have the stones to try and charge them.
 

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It was a response to a comment that was part of this discussion. If you read my first post, you will see that I agree with it being wrong for LE to take over someones home without a warrant or permission to use as a tactical advantage. I understand there will always be anti LE members on every forum that want to alter the meaning of a statement if the statement doesn't look down upon LE.
Just because I wanted to keep this thread on track does not mean that I am anti LE, when in fact, I am as PRO LE as they come. I believe the LAWS should be followed by everyone, includeing my brothers and sisters in LE.
Exigent circumstances are defined by the fourth amendment.
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


I do not believe it defines exigent circumstances for commandeering a private residential dwelling without a Court Order or permission. Commandeering is in essence a seizure not a search.





 

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The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


I do not believe it defines exigent circumstances for commandeering a private residential dwelling without a Court Order or permission. Commandeering is in essence a seizure not a search.




While suzuki seems to be a cop with a disdain for the rest of us, he is right about exigent circustances being defined by the 4th. THERE ARE NONE. No court order, no entry. It is in that SHALL NOT part. Same as the second.
 
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