It’s the same old story. Cops go on drug raid. Neighbor takes pictures of the cops during the drug raid. Cops bust into neighbor’s home without a warrant, seize the cameras and film and arrest them without anything approaching probable cause that they had actually broken any law whatsoever. Neighbors are exonerated and file civil suit against city. And it happened in Baytown, Texas. And the prosecutor on the original case says what the cops did isn’t criminal, it was just a violation of the constitution:
Former Harris County prosecutor Jennifer Cook, one of two assistant district attorneys who prosecuted the Ibarras six years ago, told jurors Thursday she did not refer the officers’ actions to the Harris County District Attorney’s police or public integrity bureaus for investigation after learning one of them had destroyed film that could potentially be used as evidence in her case.
But during repeated questioning by the Ibarras’ attorney, Lloyd Kelley, Cook agreed the deputies did not have “reasonable suspicion” to pursue Sean Ibarra that day or lawful authority to destroy film in his camera.
Still, she stopped short of calling the deputies’ actions criminal.
“This is more from the standpoint of a Fourth Amendment violation … It’s an unlawful seizure,” Cook said. “I wouldn’t call it a theft.”
Well there ya go, that makes all the difference. But since the suit is a civil suit and not a criminal case, so what? The officers are still civilly liable for their unconstitutional behavior. I hope they get nailed hard.