In 2013 due to a 911 call, The Pima County Sheriff’s Department ordered my wife and I out of our home at gun point, we were handcuffed and marched into the street, detained and questioned. Our house was searched without a warrant. Then when the 911 caller was finally contacted, the caller stated that if it wasn’t our house, then it must be our neighbor’s house, so the Pima County Sheriff’s Department proceeded to raid their house as well. When the raids were completed and no evidence of domestic violence was found, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department realized that the caller had mental issues and was making all of this up, 12 deputies were involved in these raids.
There are a lot of Why’s in this case, but the Why’s are not what this story is about.
We filed a law suit in Federal Court against the Pima County Sheriff’s Department for illegal search and seizure which is a Fourth Amendment violation and guess what “WE WON” . The jury awarded damages in our case, but at this time the Pima County Sheriff’s Department is appealing the ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
What I really want to tell everyone is Why we won our case.
It all started with being ordered out of our house at gun point, when I came to the door in my underwear, I found that we had three deputies all aiming their firearms at us, 2 of them had assault rifles and 1 had his service pistol. I knew that I had done nothing wrong, but because of these deputies’ attitude, we were in fear that our lives would be taken if we had made any kind of wrong move. We obeyed every order we were given, we did not argue or complain about what was happening in fear that this would set the deputies off and they would start shooting. Yes we were in shock of what was happening to us and still suffer from it today. BUT. Because we had done nothing wrong and because we did not give the deputies any reason to start shooting, we were able to survive this experience and take the Pima County Sheriff’s Department to court to protest the actions against us.
If you feel like your rights are being violated by members of any law enforcement organization (LEO), don’t argue, don’t fight, don’t run and don’t make it difficult for LEO to do what they perceive to be their job. Your first job is to survive the encounter and you can do this by following the instructions above.
When it is all over, then you can gather the facts and file a complaint.
It took 3 years for our case to get to court and now it may be another year before the Appeals Court hears our case and if for some reason we lose the appeal, we are prepared to take it the Supreme Court.
If you do everything right and survive your encounter, you will get your day in court to prove that you were wronged.
I hope that the Pima County Sheriff Department will change their policies and procedures to align with the Constitutional protections that we were given.
If you want to protest an action or a law, do it the right way “Take them to court”, don’t block traffic or make a nuisance out of yourself.
Law Enforcement Organizations has a very tough job and we give LEO the responsibility to enforce our laws up to and including taking a life to ensure the protection of us as citizens.
However, when LEO violates our rights, they need to held accountable to the highest standards of the law because of the rights and abilities they are given.
We as tax paying citizens invest a lot of money in our Law Enforcement Officers to insure that they have the proper training and equipment to protect us and themselves. Because of this investment and the responsibilities that we give these officers, anyone who harms these officers also need to held accountable to the highest standards of the law.
The United States of America is nation that was founded on Rule of Law and these laws can be found in the Constitution of the United States of America. Everyone should be subjected to follow these laws.
Our Judicial system was set up to handle cases like ours and many others, so don’t feel like you need to take the law into your hands. Let the courts decide. It worked for me and should work for everyone.
I fought the law (The right way) and I won!