Police release reports connected to 3rd Amendment lawsuit - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Police release reports connected to 3rd Amendment lawsuit

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A Henderson family is suing the Henderson and North Las Vegas police departments, claiming they forced their way into their houses during a SWAT standoff at a neighbor's house in 2011.

The family claims police violated their Third Amendment rights, the Third Amendment forbidding the quartering of soldiers in private homes without the owner's consent.

However, FOX5 received incident reports from Henderson police which paint a different picture of the events of July 10, 2011.

Anthony, Linda and Michael Mitchell claimed offices treated them unfairly two years ago when they surrounded a home near Horizon Ridge and Gibson Road after a man allegedly barricaded himself inside with a baby.

The Mitchells claim that police wished to enter Anthony Mitchell's home in order to negotiate with the barricaded man. When Anthony Mitchell indicated he was not willing to allow police into his home, SWAT members smashed in his front door with a battering ram and shot him with pepper balls, according to attorney for the plaintiffs Benjamin Durham.

The family also claims police did the same thing to Anthony Mitchell's parents, Linda and Michael Mitchell, who live across the street from Anthony Mitchell.

Michael and Anthony Mitchell were arrested and charged with obstruction, but police later dropped all charges.

According to police reports obtained by FOX5 on Tuesday, both Michael and Anthony Mitchell had been in contact with the barricaded suspect on that day, alerting him to police activities.

The reports further indicate Anthony Mitchell refused orders from SWAT to vacate his house, instead putting on a ballistic vest and loading ammunition into a rifle magazine.

FOX5 legal analyst Bob Massi said Third Amendment cases are rare and the legal process could be a lengthy one.

"This is the type of case that probably ultimately, no matter where it starts, end up in the Supreme Court of the United States," he said.

"They're [police] going to [have to] show … there's certain thresholds of things that they did that do not fall within the Third Amendment that gave them the right to do this," Massi continued.

Massi also said it could be difficult to prove in court that the officers can be defined as soldiers. However, attorney for the plaintiffs Frank Cofer indicated otherwise.

"They use military weapons and equipment. Seems like this really falls under the ambit of what the Third Amendment was meant to protect against," Cofer said.

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