Careful What You Shop For

The Washington Post recently ran a story about a middle class family whose shopping trip to the garden supply store and penchant for drinking tea landed them in a world of trouble with the police. As a result of a possibly overzealous police department, the couple wound up paying thousands in legal fees and lost precious time and suffered national embarrassment.

The story involved a Kansas resident who after going to the garden supply store became part of a marijuana growing investigation by local police. Reportedly, the man was purchasing equipment to grow legal plants inside his home, but the police suspected him of buying them to grow marijuana indoors. The police went to his house, searched his garbage, and found discarded tea leaves there. They took the tea leaves to the lab where they returned a false positive for drugs. It was at this point that the police went to a judge to get a search warrant.

SWAT Team Raids Suburban Home

After looking at the facts presented by the police, a judge authorized a warrant to search the family’s home. The false positive test for drugs was likely the reason why the judge authorized the warrant. Next, the SWAT team showed up to the man’s house, cuffed him, and began searching the home for evidence of a drug growing operation. Of course nothing turned up, but the shocking result was how the police department and prosecutors defended their decisions.

This case raises questions that have been bubbling at the surface of American cities across the country. Are there enough limits on police in how they conduct their business? The only thing this couple did to deserve having their home turned upside down by police was shop at a gardening store and enjoy tea. That, combined with a false drug test, was enough to totally disrupt their lives.

Couple Fights Police Action in Court

The family involved in this situation were lucky. They are both retired CIA employees and had the resources to hire an attorney to find out what exactly happened and hold the police department responsible for its actions. How many incidents like this happens across the country where the victims of police overreach are not so lucky?

Each of us can and should recognize the important role that police officers play on our society. We own a debt of gratitude to each officer who puts his and her life on the line to protect us, but we must also recognize that we have rights that should be respected and protected. That is where the role of attorneys, legislators, and voters comes into play to ensure our rights are protected, and that policies are instituted which continue to keep us safe and protect our privacy.

Panama City Area Accident and Injury Attorney

One of your most important rights is the right to expect reasonably safe conduct from your fellow citizens. When a person acts unreasonably, causes you to be hurt, and you suffer as a result, you should hold that person responsible. This the essence of accident and injury law - as a personal injury law firm, The Pittman Firm helps victims of negligence recover for the injuries, pain, and suffering they endure. If you have been the victim of an accident or injury, contact us.

See related blog posts: Plumber Sues Auto Dealership; Fatal Dog Attack Brings Charges.

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