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Title: SWAT Team Blows Up Innocent Man’s Home in Search of Clothing Shoplifter—Deal With It, Says Court
Source: From The Trenches/FTP
URL Source: https://fromthetrenchesworldreport. ... deal-with-it-says-court/256614
Published: Oct 31, 2019
Author: Jack Burns
Post Date: 2019-10-31 15:23:51 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 383
Comments: 18

Greenwood Village, CO – A Federal Appeals court has granted police new powers for which they will not be held accountable. They can now completely destroy your home and they will not have to pay for it. That’s what happened to Leo Lech’s home in 2015 after a shoplifter — accused of stealing a shirt — illegally entered his home, forcing Greenwood Village SWAT to go room by room ransacking the place with explosives. 

Alternate text if image doesn't load

The 19-hour standoff ended with the suspect being taken into custody, but not before the home, as TFTP previously reported, was destroyed. The place looked like it was hit with a bulldozer. None of the windows were intact, and the doors were blown off their hinges. The Lech family’s possessions were completely destroyed, left in tatters after the SWAT team showed no concern for the home nor its belongings. According to the DailyMail:

Greenwood (police) fired gas munition and 40-millimeter rounds through the windows of his home in the June 2015 standoff with the shoplifter who had barricaded himself inside. Cops even went as far as driving an armored vehicle through the doors, tossed flash-bang grenades inside and detonated explosives in the walls of the property.

Initially, the Lech family was offered $5,000 in housing assistance and insurance deductible compensation, a far cry from what it would take to simply raze the home, let alone rebuild it. Leo Lech sued the city, but the court ruled what happened to the home did not amount to eminent domain and was simply a result of a police matter. Therefore, the city was under no obligation to condemn the home nor rebuild it. In other words, apart from the $5000, Lech was getting nothing else. Lech commented in 2015:

If you look at the photos of Osama Bin Laden’s compound, I would say his house looks better than mine does.

In 2017, after being offered the $5,000, Lech had this to say.

If you take private property for the public good, you have to pay the owner just compensation. $5,000 is not just compensation.

Lech appealed the decision to a higher court but on Wednesday was denied, yet again. He says he’s now going to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States and he has a lot more to say about how police upended his life and the lives of his other family members.

Leo Lech was renting the destroyed home to his son John, his girlfriend, and their son. Far from being a tenant in a rental home, when police destroyed all of John’s possessions along with his dwelling, he says he was forced to live with his parents, find another job, and force his son to attend another school. The chaos which ensued from the SWAT melee which included an estimated 50 officers, truly caused the family an enormous amount of discomfort the family says. And, rightfully so, they are upset, to say the least. On Tuesday, Lech told the Washington Post:

It just goes to show that they can blow up your house, throw you out on the streets and say, ‘See you later. Deal with it,’…What happened to us should never happen in this country, ever.

It’s true America. We don’t know whether to categorize it as the effects of a Police State or Judicial Tyranny, but one man’s quest to get his home rebuilt by the very police department which completely destroyed it with grenades, explosives, gas canisters, battering rams, and an armored personnel carrier (typically used by the military), ended in defeat.

In the land of the free, the cops can now destroy your home completely and you’ll be left to pick up the pieces. Hopefully, Lech and his lawyers will appeal to the SCOTUS and the dangerous precedent will be overturned.

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Begin Trace Mode for Comment # 4.

#2. To: Deckard (#0)

Under the police power, not eminent domain, Lech's house was damaged rendering it uninhabitable. Lech sued alleging a taking under the 5th Amendment takings clause, i.e., pursuant to eminent domain. Lech's claim was dismissed because he could not show a taking.

At the District Court of Colorado:

https://cases.justia.com/federal/district-courts/colorado/codce/1:2016cv01956/164875/131/0.pdf

Lech v Jackson, CODC 16-cv-1958 (19 May 2018)

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https://www.ca10.uscourts.gov/opinions/18/18-1051.pdf

At the 10th Circuit court:

Lech v Jackson, 18-1051 (10th Cir, 29 Oct 2019) not eminent domain taking

At 3-4:

On June 3, 2015, officers from the City’s police department responded to a burglar alarm at the Lechs’ home and learned that Robert Seacat, an armed criminal suspect who was attempting to evade capture by the Aurora Police Department, was inside. Although the nine-year-old son of John Lech’s girlfriend was present at the time of the break-in, he was able to exit the home safely.

To prevent Seacat from escaping, the officers positioned their vehicles in the driveway of the Lechs’ home. Seacat then fired a bullet from inside the garage and struck an officer’s car. At that point, the officers deemed the incident a high-risk, barricade situation.4 For approximately five hours, negotiators attempted to convince Seacat to surrender. After these efforts to negotiate proved unsuccessful, officers employed increasingly aggressive tactics: they fired several rounds of gas munition into the home, breached the home’s doors with a BearCat armored vehicle so they could send in a robot to deliver a “throw phone” to Seacat, and used explosives to create sight lines and points of entry to the home. App. vol. 2, 380. The officers also sent in a tactical team to apprehend Seacat. But Seacat fired at the officers while they were inside, requiring them to leave. When even these more aggressive tactics failed to draw Seacat out, officers used the BearCat to open multiple holes in the home and again deployed a tactical team to apprehend Seacat.

This time, the tactical team was successful: it managed to disarm Seacat and take him into custody. But as a result of this 19-hour standoff, the Lechs’ home was rendered uninhabitable.

Footnotes at 3-4:

2 Because we may affirm the district court’s order based solely on its conclusion that the defendants’ law-enforcement efforts fell within the scope of the police power (and therefore fell outside the scope of the Takings Clause), we need not and do not address whether the Lechs’ Takings Clause claims also fail under what the district court referred to as the “emergency exception” to the Takings Clause. App. vol. 2, 398.

3 The defendants filed a supplemental appendix that contains, among other things, documents from the fleeing suspect’s related criminal proceedings. Because we see no indication that the defendants submitted these documents to the district court, we decline to consider them. See John Hancock Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Weisman, 27 F.3d 500, 506 (10th Cir. 1994) (“This court has held that it cannot, in reviewing a ruling on summary judgment, consider evidence not before the district court.”).

4 According to the police department’s manual, a high-risk situation is one that involves “[t]he arrest or apprehension of an armed or potentially armed subject where the likelihood of armed resistance is high.” Supp. App. vol. 1, 27. A barricade situation involves a “standoff created by an armed or potentially armed suspect . . . who is refusing to comply with police demands for surrender.” Id.

At 7-8:

I. Takings, the Police Power, and the Power of Eminent Domain

On appeal, the Lechs first argue the district court erred in drawing a “hard line” between those actions the government performs pursuant to its power of eminent domain and those it performs pursuant to its police power. Aplt. Br. 16. The Lechs do not dispute that the Supreme Court has recognized such a distinction in the context of regulatory takings. See, e.g., Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 668–69 (1887) (distinguishing between “the state’s power of eminent domain”—under which “property may not be taken for public use without compensation”—and state’s “police powers”—which are not “burdened with the condition that the state must compensate [affected] individual owners for pecuniary losses they may sustain”). But the Lechs suggest this distinction is not dispositive in the context of physical takings. Compare Lingle v. Chevron U.S.A. Inc., 544 U.S. 528, 537 (2005) (describing physical takings as “direct government appropriation or physical invasion of private property”), with id. at 539 (describing regulatory takings as “regulatory actions that are functionally equivalent” to physical takings). Specifically, the Lechs maintain that any “physical appropriation of [private] property” by the government—whether committed pursuant to the power of eminent domain or the police power—“gives rise to a per se taking” and thus requires compensation under the Takings Clause. Aplt. Br. 9.

But contrary to the Lechs’ position, at least three of our sibling circuits and the Court of Federal Claims have expressly relied upon the distinction between the state’s police power and the power of eminent domain in cases involving the government’s direct physical interference with private property.

At 17:

Conclusion

Because (1) the defendants’ law-enforcement actions fell within the scope of the police power and (2) actions taken pursuant to the police power do not constitute takings, the defendants are entitled to summary judgment on the Lechs’ Takings Clause claims. We therefore affirm the district court’s ruling.

nolu chan  posted on  2019-10-31   19:28:20 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: nolu chan (#2)

Because (1) the defendants’ law-enforcement actions fell within the scope of the police power

Attaboy! This shit is wrong and you damn well know it.

Your worship of the black robed tyrants is reprehensible. I was wrong - you don't worship cops - you worship the entire judicial system.

How about if this happened to your house?

The city needs to own up to this cop clusterfuck and pay the man what his house is worth.

Leo Lech sued the city, but the court ruled what happened to the home did not amount to eminent domain and was simply a result of a police matter. Therefore, the city was under no obligation to condemn the home nor rebuild it. I

The fact that you defend this is no surprise.

Deckard  posted on  2019-10-31   21:48:30 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  


Replies to Comment # 4.

#6. To: Deckard, Vicomte13 (#4)

There is this unattributed quote.

Because (1) the defendants’ law-enforcement actions fell within the scope of the police power

That pull quote is from the United States Circuit Court for the 10th Circuit Opinion from the Court's Conclusion at page 17. I did not say that, the Court did. You wrenched it out of context.

Conclusion

Because (1) the defendants’ law-enforcement actions fell within the scope of the police power and (2) actions taken pursuant to the police power do not constitute takings, the defendants are entitled to summary judgment on the Lechs’ Takings Clause claims. We therefore affirm the district court’s ruling.

Now to proceed to your drivel.

Attaboy! This shit is wrong and you damn well know it.

Your worship of the black robed tyrants is reprehensible. I was wrong - you don't worship cops - you worship the entire judicial system.

How about if this happened to your house?

The city needs to own up to this cop clusterfuck and pay the man what his house is worth.

Leo Lech sued the city, but the court ruled what happened to the home did not amount to eminent domain and was simply a result of a police matter. Therefore, the city was under no obligation to condemn the home nor rebuild it. I

The fact that you defend this is no surprise.

The fact that you condemn the Court opinion without reading it is no surprise.

This lawsuit in Federal court was wrong and both the District and Circuit Courts knew it and stated why that was so.

Lech sued in FEDERAL court for an alleged violation of his CONSTITUTIONAL rights, namely an alleged unconstitutional TAKING of his house contrary to the FIFTH AMENDMENT, i.e. in the exercise of eminent domain.

Nobody TOOK Lech's house. It was damaged, but it was not taken. The police did not exercise eminent domain powers. The police did not violate the FIFTH AMENDMENT.

What FEDERAL offense was shown?

What violation of the FIFTH AMENDMENT was shown?

What does eminent domain have to do with the police action?

Do you seriously want the Court to rule that the police violated the Fifth Amendment by exercising eminent domain powers to wrongfully take Lech's house for public use???

Just to show I did not make that last question up, or pull it out of my butt, in support of a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights complaint, the FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT states, "82. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that private property cannot be taken for public use without just compensation." Yup, the 5th says that. But what private property was taken and for what public use?

Where plaintiff brings suit for an alleged violation of the Fifth Amendment takings clause, he must offer proof of a violation of the Fifth Amendment takings clause. Nobody exercised eminent domain takings powers and took Lech's house.

While Lech can show that police destroyed his house to the point where it was uninhabitable, what has that to do with the Fifth Amendment takings clause and the exercise of eminent domain powers?

Better yet, why was this case brought in FEDERAL court?

The Circuit Court stated at page 15-16:

We likewise reject the Lechs’ assertion that the police power does not encompass the state’s ability to seize property from an innocent owner. This argument is not without support. See, e.g., Wegner v. Milwaukee Mut. Ins. Co., 479 N.W.2d 38, 41–42 (Minn. 1991) (holding that where “innocent third party’s property [was] damaged by the police in the course of apprehending a suspect,” such damage was inflicted “for a public use”).

Nevertheless, despite “the considerable appeal of this position as a matter of policy,” we join the Federal Circuit in rejecting this argument as a matter of law. AmeriSource Corp., 525 F.3d at 1154–55 (“[S]o long as the government’s exercise of authority was pursuant to some power other than eminent domain, then the plaintiff has failed to state a claim for compensation under the Fifth Amendment. The innocence of the property owner does not factor into the determination.” (citation omitted) (citing Bennis, 516 U.S. at 453)).

Finally, contrary to the Lechs’ position, we see no indication that defining the police power broadly enough to encompass the defendants’ actions in this case will signal to police they may “act with impunity to destroy property” or deprive them of “reason to limit the destruction” they cause simply “because they will not bear the burden of the cost and will be absolved of any responsibility” for their actions. Aplt. Br. 31. This argument overlooks other limits placed on the police power. Indeed, even the Lechs concede that the police power is subject to the requirements of the Due Process Clause. See Lambert v. California, 355 U.S. 225, 228 (1957); AmeriSource, 525 F.3d at 1154 (“As expansive as the police power may be, it is not without limit. The limits, however, are largely imposed by the Due Process Clause.”); Lowther v. United States, 480 F.2d 1031, 1033–34 (10th Cir. 1973) (holding that where government “destroyed appellee’s property without having any authority in law to do it,” its actions were “contrary to the [D]ue [P]rocess [C]lause of the Fifth Amendment”). And as the defendants point out, police officers who willfully or wantonly destroy property may also be subject to tort liability. See, e.g., Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-10-118(2)(a).

Docket #115 and #116 of the Federal District Court provide some context about the case and the STATE court proceedings.

01/08/2018

#115

ORDER: Defendants' Motion and Brief in Support of Summary Judgment 47 is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment 48 is DENIED. Plaintiffs' fifth and sixth claims for relief are dismissed with prejudice. Plaintiffs' seventh claim for relief is dismissed with prejudice insofar as it states a claim under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Plaintiff's first, second, third, and fourth claims for relief are remanded to the District Court for Arapahoe County, Colorado, where the case was filed as case number 2016CV31378, for further proceedings. Plaintiff's seventh claim for relief is also remanded to the District Court for Arapahoe County, Colorado, insofar as it states a claim under Article II, § 25 of the Colorado Constitution. Defendants' request for attorney's fees is DENIED. Defendants' Motion to Preclude Plaintiff's Expert Dan Corsentino 44 , Plaintiffs' Motion to Exclude Expert Testimony 45 , Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike Expert Testimony 77 , and Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike Portion of Defendants' Reply or in the Alternative, Permit Sur-Reply by Plaintiffs 69 are DENIED AS MOOT. All other pending motions are DENIED AS MOOT. Within 14 days of the entry of this Order, defendants may have their costs by filing a Bill of Costs with the Clerk of the Court. This case is closed. The trial preparation conference set for January 12, 2018 and the jury trial set for January 29, 2018 are VACATED. By Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 1/8/18. (pabsec) (Entered: 01/08/2018)

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01/09/2018

#116

FINAL JUDGMENT pursuant to 115 Order. Entered by the Clerk of the Court on 1/9/2018. (cpear) (Entered: 01/10/2018)

Costs were awarded in favor of Defendants in the amount of $9,733.45. A requested stay of a bond requirement was denied.

nolu chan  posted on  2019-10-31 23:51:29 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  


End Trace Mode for Comment # 4.

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