The quick and dirty synopsis though is that an individual was shooting on the back of his property. A neighbor heard the shots and called the police. The officers responding over reacted, and proceeded to perform an illegal search of his house as well as locked containers within the house. After nothing was really found, they made up excuses for searching the premises and stretched for reasons for the arrest. They also confiscated his firearms. All the charges were dropped, however the sheriff’s office has returned all but 4 firearms. What is most interesting though is that those four firearms were mentioned by officers as wanting to keep for their own.
This officer had no clue of the situation or what going on. However before even arriving there he state he was going to be arresting someone for anything he could find. When nothing was immediately available they proceeded to perform an illegal search of the house. This was done under the guise of exigent circumstances. When they saw the safe, they extended the exigent circumstances to the interior of the safe. Then each officer proceeded to pick out which guns they like best after ripping the keys off of the victim to get into the safe.
The locked safe provides no basis for exigent circumstances. Securing the house I could somewhat believe, however all they were allowed to do during the exigent search was verify the house was empty. Upon finding the safe, if they wanted to search it a warrant must be obtained. There was no immediate threat to officers, and if probable cause existed that the safe contained evidence pertinent to the crime being investigated a warrant would be issued. Instead they conducted a search without consent and made up an excuse that a dying family member may have been contained in the safe. Never mind the fact that the safe was too small, or the fact there was no blood or any other evidence to support that fact.
This is obviously an abuse of this man’s civil rights. However this man who only was able to enlist the help of a public defender was railroaded by the system. The only hope is now that this is flying around the tubes someone will take the case and go after those officers for violating Title 18, U.S.C. Section 242. This is such a blatant and serious violation of civil rights and abuse of authority it is a mystery why those officers were not publicly dismissed. It is not surprising that this happened in Californistan, however this is still disturbing because it is completely unacceptable behavior.