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Ain’t nobody got time for that 4th amendment

November 17, 2016

Paul B sends a link to this story – which is surprising, even by current standards.

The bad news is that Matthew Corrigan called the wrong suicide hotline. The D.C. police came to his house, he came out and ‘surrendered’ to them, then the cops broke into his house (without his permission) but found nothing. Five hours later, the police re-entered the house, tossed the place, and charged him with ten weapons and ammunition violations. All this without a warrant and without a compelling reason for either of the two searches.

The good news is that the police officers’ qualified immunity was stripped by the appeals court and Mr. Corrigan’s suit against them can proceed. Good for the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, I say.

But read the whole thing. (My emphasis below.)

Appeals Court To Cops: If You ‘Don’t Have Time’ For ‘Constitutional Bullshit,’ You Don’t Get Immunity

A disabled vet with PTSD accidentally called a suicide prevention hotline when intending to dial the Veterans Crisis Line. Within hours, he was dealing with DC Metro’s finest, dispatched to handle an attempted suicide. This brief quote from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals opinion [PDF] — part of veteran Matthew Corrigan’s first conversation with responding officers — sets the tone for the next several hours of Constitutional violations.

The officer who had asked for his key told him: “I don’t have time to play this constitutional bullshit. We’re going to break down your door. You’re going to have to pay for a new door.” Corrigan Dep. 94:15–18. Corrigan responded, “It looks like I’m paying for a new door, then. I’m not giving you consent to go into my place.” Id. 94:19–21.

This is as much respect as the responding officers had for Corrigan’s Constitutional rights. The rest of the opinion shows how they handled the supposed suicide case with the same level of care. […]

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