A Kansas couple will finally see their day in court after years of rulings and appeals stemming from a 2012 SWAT-like raid that only turned up some tomato plants and loose leaf tea.
Some of the scarring memories for the family from the raid:
- The father was forced to the floor, face-down and shirtless
- Officers searched the house for two and a half hours
- The Harte children were detained in the living room under armed guard
- Drug sniffing dogs
Previously, Johnson County Sheriff Frank Denning and seven sheriff’s deputies were sued by homeowners Robert and Adlynn Harte, both retired CIA agents. A federal judge threw out the case in December of 2015.
Now, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver has reversed the ruling – allowing the couple’s claims against the sheriff and his deputies to stand.
One of the most colorful opinions came from 10th circuit Judge Carlos F. Lucero:
“Law-abiding tea drinkers and gardeners beware, One visit to a garden store and some loose tea leaves in your trash may subject you to an early-morning, SWAT-style raid, complete with battering ram, bulletproof vests, and assault rifles. Perhaps the officers will intentionally conduct the…