Jacksonville, FL homeowner Debroah Franz returned to her home Sunday night to find it ransacked.  She thought she had been robbed, until she took inventory of her belongings and realized nothing was missing.  Earlier that day there were police in the area of her home, suspecting they had occupied her private residence, Franz called the area police department.  Officials confirmed that her home was used by SWAT team members to gain a tactical advantage in a six-hour standoff.  Franz was furious that they were able to occupy the residence without a warrant, warning of doing so, or permission from her.


SWAT invasions on the homes of innocent Americans is becoming more of a commonality.  Often with the intent to secure the general area by lockdown and protect the surrounding homeowners, it’s purpose seems forfeited once forcible entry is made.  This was the case in 2011 for Anthony Mitchell of Henderson, NV.  Mitchell refused to let his home be used for police purposes, which resulted in the team violently entering, firing pepper spray, then arresting Mitchell for obstruction of justice.  The cases of Mitchell, Franz, and countless others, brings about concern for the constitutional rights on the homeowner.  There are two specific amendments within our constitution that seem to be in violation by this domineering police action.  The Third Amendment prohibits forced quartering of soldiers, and the Fourth allows the right to Americans to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Arguably all local police personnel, including SWAT, are not considered to be “soldiers”, making it a hard case to prove to be in violation of the Third Amendment, according to several constitutional attorneys.  What makes a better case, would be the infringement of the fourth amendment, especially in Mitchell’s case.  John Malcolm, director of the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, says:

“Without knowing the full facts, it seems the SWAT team definitely violated his due process rights with an unreasonable seizure of his person without a warrant.”

Strict constitutionalists claim that there is a hierarchy within what is protected  by the fourth amendment, based on the order in which they are listed: person, houses, papers and effects.  Therefore, one’s home is held in high regard by a court with respect to one’s reasonable expectation of privacy, and there should be an great threshold of burden the state must meet before violating the sanctity of the home without first obtaining a warrant.  With subsequent items of protection, there is less of an expectation of privacy, depending on the individual judge interpreting the case.  It could also be contended that if the seizure or entry was not “in time of peace”, it was necessary to the well being of the homeowner or public at large.  This was the justification used in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombings when the entire city and surrounding neighborhoods were on lockdown.  Circumstances in the scenario and the urgency of them, especially where a suspect must be pursued in an effort to save lives and protect others from harm, seems to be the determining factor in a majority of these cases.

It’s nearly impossible to determine whether constitutional rights are violated when police forcibly enter one’s home.  Since each case differs from the next, some factors could exist in one case and not the other, that directly affects whether it was a violation or if the authorities were justified in their assertiveness.  However, one fact remains in that the militarization of civilian law enforcement continues without an end in sight.  More police squads are given war style equipment to be used here in the homeland, including grenade launchers and mine restraint vehicles.  If such equipment and weaponry is used on Americans it could be said to be in contempt of the Third Amendment, classifying cops as soldiers.

Source: The Blaze

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9 Responses

  1. DDearborn says:


    Just think if the British soldiers who often “occupied” Colonists homes without home owner permission prior to the Revolution had just called themselves “policemen” there might not have enough justification for a war and the third and fourth amendments would never have needed to be written.

    In the general context of these 2 amendments, to suggest that heavily armed (essentially different in practical terms from “soldiers” in name only) “police” are somehow exempt is another example of the government giving the citizens, their civil rights and the Constitution the finger. Such actions as these are the hall mark of Police States around the globe.

    In the real world, outside the confines of the obviously mentally impaired police departments around the country there is effectively NO DIFFERENCE between police armed to the teeth and “soldiers” armed to the teeth entering and occupying your home without your permission and against your wishes. Essentially the justification being used by the government here is that semantics trumps reason, common sense and the Bill of RIghts. It is the logic of children, the mentally impaired and common criminals.

    • Hugh Mann says:

      The cops now look and act like soldiers. So, If it looks and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. In a non-corrupted court this wouldn’t be a grey area.

  2. Archie1954 says:

    Stupid article, stupid explanation and stupid conclusion! Need I say more? You all live in a fascist state, get used to it.

  3. Rethinker says:

    This is the problem: “depending on the individual judge interpreting the case”. Where are the independent juries? When do WTP decide cases? Where’s our government by consent of the governed? What happened to government of the people, by the people, for the people? WTP ARE the government. Why are our representatives running the government?

  4. Petr says:

    Never know when I will stick a double barrel up their arse as they come thru my door

  5. Gaia Sagrada says:

    The terrorists are employed by our govt! Cops, swat, military, etc.

  6. doesntmatter says:

    never know when youre going to be terrorized by those that’s “on your side”…shame -_-

  7. ticktock says:

    Indeed, the legal loopholes deliberately left open to “interpretation” have been a great ploy for the laws. America illegally became Amerika overnight with the stroke of a pen!

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