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Selkirk Mountain Real Estate

SWAT: Overkill and Out Of Control

Are these cases direct violations of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment?

SWAT: Overkill and Out Of Control
(photo: KRQE, video screenshot)

SWAT: Overkill and Out Of Control


by Shari Dovale

Being a supporter of our Law Enforcement community does not mean that we give license to destroy a person’s home without consequence.

Special Weapons and Tactics Teams (SWAT) have increasingly gone beyond the pale to destroy homes and buildings with little to no reason for that level of destruction.

When it happens, we expect that Law Enforcement Department to take responsibility for their over-zealousness, as we expect the average Joe to take responsibility for his behavior and actions.

However, recent cases show that the situations are getting worse, not better. And the courts are backing up the fanatical destruction of these SWAT teams.

Earlier this year, an elderly New Mexico woman found herself homeless after SWAT came to visit. Reported by KRQE:

State Police were called to a home in Hurley, near Silver City, after reports of neighbors fighting. Police say Timmy Vick fired a shot at officers and went inside a home, owned by his mother.

By the end of the 10 and a half-hour standoff, the woman’s home was left in shambles, looking as though a tornado ripped through it,


(photo: KRQE, video screenshot)

The woman was left to live in her car, with the department offering $1,500 to make repairs.

In Colorado, the Denver Post tells us:

During a 19-hour SWAT operation in 2015, police tore out nearly every window of Leo Lech’s Greenwood Village home and reduced much of the interior to rubble.

In some spots, the damage was so severe the wooden frame of the house was exposed. But the city won’t have to pay for any of the damage its officers caused, even though Lech had no connection to the shoplifting suspect who chose his home as a hideaway from pursuing police, according to a Tuesday ruling by a federal appeals court.

Wearing a protective mask, a member of law enforcement walks past the front door of Leo Lech’s house in this June 2015 photo. (Kathryn Scott, The Denver Post)

Taking Clause Law and Legal Definition

The Takings Clause refers to the last clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that limits the power of eminent domain. The taking clause requires the entity to pay just compensation on taking private property for public use. The purpose of the takings clause is to ensure that the financial burdens of public policy are shared by the entire public and not unfairly placed on individual property owners.

It would seem that these cases are direct violation of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The homeowners sued the departments under this provision, but the court ruled against them. In an appeal to the 10th circuit, the appellate judges sided with the District Court, ruling that if the takings are done under Police Powers instead of Eminent Domain then it is okay and there should be no compensation.

It is our hope that this case goes to the US Supreme Court, and the homeowners receive justice, as this could be a win for all the citizens in the country.


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13 Comments on SWAT: Overkill and Out Of Control

  1. Lived near Silver City, 2011 Feds came in and trashed my home and business, border area absolutely the best at lawlessness by cops. Thankfully out of that area, even the few good cops are intimidated. New Messco, The Land of Entrapment…

  2. You certainly triggered some nuts with this one Shari, but you did a good job of covering the issue.

    I believe the (Un)Patriot Act is at the root of most of this. This continues to be an overwhelmingly bipartisan action that has turned our once more or less free nation into a stazi state, militarized the police, created secret courts, authorized spying on citizens on a massive scale, created a “Homeland” (in)security department, and generally just run amok.

    If President Trump did just one thing, even if it wasn’t to control the border, if he abolished the Homeland Security dept and vetoed the Patriot Act the next time it comes up for authorization it would go a long way towards restoring our republic.

    Public faith in our “intelligence” services, “justice” system, and “government” in general are at all time lows, and for good reason. Corruption and lying has never been higher. Accountability has never been lower. It is truly a recipe for disaster on a massive scale.

    I see far more danger from our institutions to our own citizens that I do from any threat from a foreign entity. If we just controlled our borders and built a strong military that we used for true devastating war then we could all rest easy.

    The hard part is stuffing the genie back into the Constitutional bottle.

    PS the takings clause DOES apply. Just because the gang of 9 is stupid doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t have common sense.

  3. I’m not a ‘supporter’ in any way, shape, or form, because it gives my consent to a Police State; armed, dangerous, unaccountable, and out of control.

    This IS NOT somne sort of isolated incident. Shooting people through windows IN THEIR HOME, climbing fences to shoot dogs, out of control, pathetic, scared bullies TRYING to shoot a dog – and hitting a kid, a kid getting off a bus and ‘illegally’ crossing a street, being screamed at by a cop, saying f-off to the cop – and getting shot dead….

    1,164 killed in 2018 by cops, AND ONLY 23 DAYS IN 2018 WHERE COPS DID NOT KILL SOMEONE!

    ‘Support’? Do I look that stupid – like most Amerikkans?

    Enjoy your Police State

  4. Up in Canada the RCMP destroyed a home by hooking up fire hoses and spraying the whole house for 9 hrs to get a suspect out whom was just a visitor and decided to have a standoff with the police. After destroying the house they found out that the guy had escaped at the beginning of the standoff and was caught later that day 10 miles away in another house down the way. Guess what, the home owners were not compensated!

  5. Part of the problem is that the attitudes of police officers (and commanders) is changing. They used to see themselves as defenders of the public and the rule of law. They now seem to view themselves as under siege against a hostile citizenry. And maybe, to an extent, they are. This is what happens when the goofy Millennials move from college to careers…many to careers in LE. They bring their indoctrination with them to “the job.” Rather than defend your Constitutional Rights…they search for ways to “legally” circumvent them. Obeying confiscation orders associated with so-called “Red Flag Laws” is a great example.

  6. Just to be clear, it has been “conservatives” blind unflinching “support” of all military and LE actions for the last 70+ years that got all of us here.

    This isnt Obamas fault, its yours. You were cowering in fear of CIA manufactured al kayda boogeymen 5000 miles away in robes not the largest, most well funded, trained, equipped and pervasive violent gang in America, the Blue Line Gang.

    Now suddenly your plastic suburban world isnt so safe. The undesirables you rightly left behind in the city are coming for you and the heros in LE are coming for you to murder you in your home, to abduct and castrate your son on a judge or paperclip legacy Doktors order , loot and destroy your homes and worst of all shoot your dogs.

    Enjoy reaping what you have spent your entire life sowing.

  7. To some, losing their home can push them over the mental stability line to “I have nothing to lose” and do a Terminator ramming maneuver with the family SUV at the local police department.

  8. Takings Clause does not apply, however, the legislatures need to step in and determine what is permissable, and not permissable, and the courts need to really get smart and uphold the regulations.

    • The judges opinion emanates from the corruption of the US judicial system. It is politicized and is meant to preserve Government power against the ordinary people of the US.

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