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Thread: Late-night visit leads to uninvited entry

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    Guess I'll go ahead and spill the beans since I have (loosely) decided on a course of action. The other person involved in the incident wishes to remain anonymous at this time, and will be referred to as 'Tim'. Feel free to comment,

    On April 17, at 1:30 AM I was awoken by knocking on my door. It was one of THOSE knocks. My wife got to the door first, looked out the peephole, recognized the person as a police officer, and opened the door enough that I could see out as I approached it. Due to the apartment layout, the door was open about 90 degrees. A female LMPD officer, accompanied by an unidentified civilian (Person X from now on) who was definitely not on the force, held up an ID and asked if we knew this person. It was a friend of ours who we were expecting to stop by, who was spending the night at our place. The officer stepped into the apartment while explaining her version of what was transpiring out in the parking lot. Tim was apparently out-of-control, on a cocktail of narcotics and alcohol, driving recklessly enough as to almost hit the building, passed out in the drivers seat for over an hour, and was probably going to be taken to jail. (In real life it was no, no, impossible, no, no, and didn't happen, respectively)

    After being in the apartment for at most a few minutes, she spotted my XD sitting in a Serpa holster on the piano bench. She reached down, picked it up, and said that she needed to secure it for her safety. As she moved toward the door with it, I objected. She ended up placing it on a bookshelf. My wife informed her that there was another one sitting there. A little more chatter transpired before my wife left with the officer to go check on Tim.

    My wife reported that a male officer who was outside told her that our place was the worst apartment complex in the area and something about this being expected, and when she objected he added that it was probably a little bit better closer to the road. They searched Tim's car with consent and berated him for having a prescribed (non-narcotic) medication in the vehicle that he didn't tell them about when the police asked if he had narcotics. Tim was ordered by the officer to not drive before 1PM that day, and threatened with arrest if the officer saw him out driving again that night. Person X was present for all of this. We have no clue where she came from, or where she went to afterwards.

    I didn't stop to think until everyone was back in the apartment. I told my wife, as I was thinking about how upset it made me that the officer felt it prudent to re-arrange my house, that I didn't remember giving her permission to come in. She surely didn't ask, because I would have said no (wouldn't have been the first time that I've declined a search). My wife confirmed my suspicions, she didn't give consent either. Unless I'm mistaken, an open door is not permission to enter, and neither is (unintended) lack of denial of entry. There are 3 witnesses to the entry, Me, my wife, and Person X. Which leads me to my next problem...

    Who is Person X? This person now knows where I live, and what I have in my apartment. Did the officer who brought her to my front door just set me up for a robbery at a later date? I have already moved all but carry pieces to a place more "undisclosed" than the Vice President's panic room, just as a precaution.

    I've got to start getting audio/video of all this stuff... you guys wouldn't believe the crap that goes on in front of me that others just see as police officers doing their job, or the rights that people sacrifice just to make them go away faster. My wife often wonders why I end up in the situations that I do all too often. Truth is, when I meet an officer that knows and respects my rights, there's no reason to commit that interaction to memory. I might not even know that the interaction took place if it's just a glance in my direction (like I'm sure happened at Thunder). That's the way it is most of the time, and that's the way it should be. Now it's time to work towards that goal...

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    For whatever reason you do not reveal your location. If you would, there is a possibility that someone on here who is from or in that area can provide you with help/answers.

    Just a thought........

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    jihadthis wrote:
    For whatever reason you do not reveal your location.
    Louisville, and the officers were from LMPD. I knew I would forget something

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    Talked to a SGT last night who was very disrespectful to me, and tonight I talked to a LT who was very reasonable. Their claim at this point is that the officer was allowed to enter the apartment without my permission because she saw the firearm from the door, and it becomes an officer safety issue.

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    v8shoguy wrote:
    Talked to a SGT last night who was very disrespectful to me, and tonight I talked to a LT who was very reasonable. Their claim at this point is that the officer was allowed to enter the apartment without my permission because she saw the firearm from the door, and it becomes an officer safety issue.
    They claim that since the officer saw your weapon then that gives them the power to violate sec.2 of the Kentucky Constitution ? "Absolute and arbitrary power over the lives, liberty and property of freemen exists nowhere in a republic, not even in the largest majority." AND sec. 10 " The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions, from unreasonable search and seizure; and no warrant shall issue to search any place, or seize any person or thing, without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause supported by oath or affirmation." ? Not even to mention KRS 237.104

    (1) No person, unit of government, or governmental organization shall, during a period of disaster or emergency as specified in KRS Chapter 39A or at any other time, have the right to revoke, suspend, limit the use of, or otherwise impair the validity of the right of any person to purchase, transfer, loan, own, possess, carry, or use a firearm, firearm part, ammunition, ammunition component, or any deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.

    (2) No person, unit of government, or governmental organization shall, during a period of disaster or emergency as specified in KRS Chapter 39A or at any other time, take, seize, confiscate, or impound a firearm, firearm part, ammunition, ammunition component, or any deadly weapon or dangerous instrument from any person.

    I don't know about you but I don't see where it says " unless it's for officer safety" any where in the Constitution or this revised statute.

    I would press the issue in the State courts then when I won there I'd take it to the federal level and seek some jail time for civil rights violations ( sorry I'm to tired to look up the USC on the color of law thing right now.)



    He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent which will reach to himself. -- Thomas Paine (1737--1809), Dissertation on First Principles of Government, 1795

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    v8shoguy wrote:
    Guess I'll go ahead and spill the beans since I have (loosely) decided on a course of action. The other person involved in the incident wishes to remain anonymous at this time, and will be referred to as 'Tim'. Feel free to comment,

    On April 17, at 1:30 AM I was awoken by knocking on my door. It was one of THOSE knocks. My wife got to the door first, looked out the peephole, recognized the person as a police officer, and opened the door enough that I could see out as I approached it. Due to the apartment layout, the door was open about 90 degrees. A female LMPD officer, accompanied by an unidentified civilian (Person X from now on) who was definitely not on the force, held up an ID and asked if we knew this person. It was a friend of ours who we were expecting to stop by, who was spending the night at our place. The officer stepped into the apartment while explaining her version of what was transpiring out in the parking lot. Tim was apparently out-of-control, on a cocktail of narcotics and alcohol, driving recklessly enough as to almost hit the building, passed out in the drivers seat for over an hour, and was probably going to be taken to jail. (In real life it was no, no, impossible, no, no, and didn't happen, respectively)

    After being in the apartment for at most a few minutes, she spotted my XD sitting in a Serpa holster on the piano bench. She reached down, picked it up, and said that she needed to secure it for her safety. As she moved toward the door with it, I objected. She ended up placing it on a bookshelf. My wife informed her that there was another one sitting there. A little more chatter transpired before my wife left with the officer to go check on Tim.

    My wife reported that a male officer who was outside told her that our place was the worst apartment complex in the area and something about this being expected, and when she objected he added that it was probably a little bit better closer to the road. They searched Tim's car with consent and berated him for having a prescribed (non-narcotic) medication in the vehicle that he didn't tell them about when the police asked if he had narcotics. Tim was ordered by the officer to not drive before 1PM that day, and threatened with arrest if the officer saw him out driving again that night. Person X was present for all of this. We have no clue where she came from, or where she went to afterwards.

    I didn't stop to think until everyone was back in the apartment. I told my wife, as I was thinking about how upset it made me that the officer felt it prudent to re-arrange my house, that I didn't remember giving her permission to come in. She surely didn't ask, because I would have said no (wouldn't have been the first time that I've declined a search). My wife confirmed my suspicions, she didn't give consent either. Unless I'm mistaken, an open door is not permission to enter, and neither is (unintended) lack of denial of entry. There are 3 witnesses to the entry, Me, my wife, and Person X. Which leads me to my next problem...

    Who is Person X? This person now knows where I live, and what I have in my apartment. Did the officer who brought her to my front door just set me up for a robbery at a later date? I have already moved all but carry pieces to a place more "undisclosed" than the Vice President's panic room, just as a precaution.

    I've got to start getting audio/video of all this stuff... you guys wouldn't believe the crap that goes on in front of me that others just see as police officers doing their job, or the rights that people sacrifice just to make them go away faster. My wife often wonders why I end up in the situations that I do all too often. Truth is, when I meet an officer that knows and respects my rights, there's no reason to commit that interaction to memory. I might not even know that the interaction took place if it's just a glance in my direction (like I'm sure happened at Thunder). That's the way it is most of the time, and that's the way it should be. Now it's time to work towards that goal...
    Sounds like it was a busy night. A few questions, V8SG:

    1. Was Person X an acquaintance of Tim?

    2. A door open 90 degrees is fully open.Are you saying the door was fully open when the LEO walked in?

    3. Could the LEO have seen the XD/holster on the piano bench from outside with the door open, in your opinion?

    4. Were you or your wifeunder the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants at 1:30 AM on Apr.

    17?

    5. Approximately how long was the LEO inside your domicile?

    6. Did Tim get cited for any violation?

    7. What time was Tim expected at your house to stay the night?

    8. Did you talk to Tim on that night before 1:30 AM?



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    Don't open the door for cops. If they have a need to enter they'll either get a warrant or break down the door.

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    kwikrnu wrote:
    Don't open the door for cops. If they have a need to enter they'll either get a warrant or break down the door.
    That's a good general rule.

    But not a reasonable action in this specific case. Don't forget, V8SG and wife were expecting Tim to show up.

    Opening the door, at least to talk to the cop(s) about Tim, was indicated. Very reasonable. Not opening the door to talk to the cop(s) would be illogical.

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    HankT wrote:
    kwikrnu wrote:
    Don't open the door for cops. If they have a need to enter they'll either get a warrant or break down the door.
    That's a good general rule.

    But not a reasonable action in this specific case. Don't forget, V8SG and wife were expecting Tim to show up.

    Opening the door, at least to talk to the cop(s) about Tim, was indicated. Very reasonable. Not opening the door to talk to the cop(s) would be illogical.
    I don't open the door for cops. I would talk through the door or I might step outside, maybe. Never let them inside. I'm surprised they didn't run the serial #.

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    kwikrnu wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    kwikrnu wrote:
    Don't open the door for cops. If they have a need to enter they'll either get a warrant or break down the door.
    That's a good general rule.

    But not a reasonable action in this specific case. Don't forget, V8SG and wife were expecting Tim to show up.

    Opening the door, at least to talk to the cop(s) about Tim, was indicated. Very reasonable. Not opening the door to talk to the cop(s) would be illogical.
    I don't open the door for cops. I would talk through the door or I might step outside, maybe. Never let them inside. I'm surprised they didn't run the serial #.
    Would you open the door if the cops said, "We got this guy here and he says he was going to stay here tonight?"




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    I would open the door and step outside and close the door. I would also tell my friend not to consent to a search of his car.

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    1. Was Person X an acquaintance of Tim?
    I found out that Person X was an authorized ride-along.

    2. A door open 90 degrees is fully open.Are you saying the door was fully open when the LEO walked in?
    Yes, but it was done so for my convenience, not hers.

    3. Could the LEO have seen the XD/holster on the piano bench from outside with the door open, in your opinion?
    No, and the fact that she didn't head straight for it when she entered the apartment seems to back that up.

    4. Were you or your wifeÂ*under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants at 1:30 AM on Apr. 17?
    No.

    5. Approximately how long was the LEO inside your domicile?
    A few minutes at the longest.

    6. Did Tim get cited for any violation?
    No.

    7. What time was Tim expected at your house to stay the night?
    Around 12. He estimates the officers had him outside for about 30 minutes before coming up to the apartment.

    8. Did you talk to Tim on that night before 1:30 AM?
    Yes, Tim was over at the house around 7:00 PM 4/16.
    Â*
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    If the door was opened at 90 degrees and no one was standing in the way to block the entrance the officer could easily take that as an invitation to enter especially if no one objects verbally as they are entering.

    I think it would be easier to make a case if the door was only opened slightly and an occupant fully blocked entrance into the dwelling such that the officer either has to ask them to move or forces them to move to walk inside.

    Once the officer picked up and then set down my weapon I wouldhave promptly asked them to step outside and remain outside of my home.

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    The layout of the apartment necessitates the the door be open 90 degrees for two people to be standing at the door. The officer showed no concern about the presence of the firearm until around halfway through the time she was in the apartment. These are my main questions:

    Lacking Probable Cause, can an officer enter my apartment without my explicit consent, assuming I am present?

    Is what happened outside of my apartment enough to give the officer probable cause to enter my apartment?

    Is seeing something that is legal for over 90% of KY residents to possess (on their person, in public) probable cause to enter my apartment?

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    I just don't understand how the officer was able to step into the room if someone was standing in the doorway when the door was opened. Either the officer pushed their way past someone which I would assume to be an illegal entry or the one who opened the door retreated back enough to open up a path for the officer to enter. If the latter occured without any protest to it, then I thinkan argument could be attempted such that the officer felt they were being invited in.

    I really don't know but am just speculating and giving my own personal opinion and feedback since I wasn't there. Its one reason why citizens need to be very direct and very clear as to what they forbid in regards to entering and/or searching private property. Sometimes, not voicing objection can be construed as implied consent. Moving backwards and allowing enough space for the officer to then step inside could be seen as implied consent as most people will do this when answering the door and allowing (inviting)someone to freely enter.

    I do know that if I were in your shoes, I would have felt a bit violated once their attention and hands turned to me or my property when that wasn't their reasoning to knock on my door to begin with.

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    The argument has not been made by the officer that she was invited in. Her basis for claiming she was legally authorized to enter the apartment was that she saw the firearm from the door. I claim that she took advantage of the situation (I was just woken up by her knocking) and used her position of authority (along with unsubstantiated claims) to come in the apartment. When someone crowds you, you move back.

    If your car door is left open at a traffic stop, does the officer have authority to enter and look around, or do they still have to ask? I have a hard time believing that the absence of refusal is implied consent.

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    v8shoguy wrote:
    The argument has not been made by the officer that she was invited in. Her basis for claiming she was legally authorized to enter the apartment was that she saw the firearm from the door. I claim that she took advantage of the situation (I was just woken up by her knocking) and used her position of authority (along with unsubstantiated claims) to come in the apartment. When someone crowds you, you move back.

    If your car door is left open at a traffic stop, does the officer have authority to enter and look around, or do they still have to ask? I have a hard time believing that the absence of refusal is implied consent.
    Her assertion that since she saw a weapon that gave her the power to enter your domicile is pure horsesh*t. Have you sought legal advice on this? IMHO you should have a slamdunk civil rights case but IANAL
    He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent which will reach to himself. -- Thomas Paine (1737--1809), Dissertation on First Principles of Government, 1795

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    No the officer did not have a right to enter.

    I was in a similar situation once.

    Late on a Saturday night I had a loud knock on my door and considering that I had a few unsavory characters in the past show up looking for a previous tenant who had been busted for cooking meth here, I grabbed my sidearm.

    Having pulled back the blinds to see who was out there, it was two LEOs. I placed the sidearm on a shelf by the front door and opened the door enough to poke my head out and see what was going on.

    Well the officer in the front was being stand offish and not willing to tell me what was going on. He asked me if he could come in at the same time he TRIED to step in through me, I guess assuming I was going to get out of the way, without waiting for my response.

    Well needless to say he was shocked when I stood my ground and told him he wasn't coming into my house. He said that in 15 years he had never had anyone tell him that he couldn't come in and did I have something to hide. I told him of course not, but my privacy isn't something he has the authority to question.

    Then he goes on about how he can call judge so and so and get a warrant, blah blah blah. Now keep in mind folks that a warrant has to be for a specific thing, not some generalized search by a LEO with a "hunch". Well knowing that, I cut him off and told him to go ahead and get his warrant because he wasn't coming into my house, that I didn't have to let him into my house because he had no RAS.

    His demeanor completely changed and he said, "No sir, you don't have to let me in." He did politely ask me if I would come to the police station to straighten something out because he didn't want to stand in the cold. I did agree and finally discovered that it was a complete misunderstanding, he discovered I wasn't a criminal, but I was a citizen who knew their rights and ENFORCED them. This would be the second time I've done so.

    I do have respect for LEOs that do not let their position go to their head, however I have zero respect for those that would try to trample on our rights as citizens. I had an epiphany that night as well, I figured out why LEOs have the derogatory nickname of "Pig".

    Because the latter type will root for anything to arrest you on, just like a pig roots for things to eat.

    That's what the female officer was doing when she came in, that's what she was doing when she wanted to take your gun out and run the numbers to see if it had been stolen or involved in a crime.

    Reading the trespassing laws, I don't see where you would have a criminal case. To step into someones home when they are standing right there at the door and they don't voice their disagreement isn't a crime. However, if you had told her to step back outside after she had entered and she refused, then she could be prosecuted. Had she taken the gun out of your front door despite your protests, she would have been guilty of theft, that's why she set it back down. They don't like it when you know and enforce your rights. You did it half right.

    As for your friend, it depends. Were his keys still in the ignition? Was person x a witness to him almost hitting the building? You must remember that a LEO can arrest you even if they are wrong. A LEO is also supposed to search a vehicle after arresting the driver in order to catalog personal possessions to keep unscrupulous individuals from claiming that the tow company stole something from them. Now if anything they found after the initial arrest is admissible in court for further charges I don't know, this is where an attorney comes in.

    They may have searched his car, but they didn't arrest him.

    Should they have arrested him before searching his car? Yes.

    Should he press the matter of an illegal search? Not in my opinion.

    Your friend didn't get arrested, that's a definite plus. It sounds like he was DUI to me and deserved to be arrested, but the officer knew that a decent lawyer would have gotten him out of it and decided it wasn't worth the trouble or maybe they were even kind hearted enough to figure he was already stopped, just let him go sleep it off.

    Sorry, but the officer didn't violate your rights in my opinion. She started to, but she stopped when you protested.

    This isn't to say you shouldn't speak to a lawyer, maybe you do have a case for at least an administrative inquiry into her decision to step into your home without permission. Those things do go on their records and they do affect raises and promotions.

    But I doubt it's going to go anywhere significant.

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    The allegations of DUI were completely false. The officers accused Tim of having/being on narcotics for having prescribed medication (non-narcotic). This is why Tim doesn't wish to be involved in the situation, because every officer tells me, "We did your buddy a favor by not arresting him for DUI", saying that a DUI had been committed when there is no proof other than a phone call that happened an hour before the officers arrived. Tim even stated that he drove past the officers immediately before pulling into the parking place.

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    My general rule is...

    Anytime an officer tells someone he's "going to do you a favor, this time, by not arresting you for committing this crime" is that there's very little likelihood a crime has been committed in the first place.

    An officer might do someone a favor by not citing them if they committed an infraction, but I don't think any officer is going to ignore a crime. Arresting criminals (those who have committed crimes) looks good on an officer's record, doesn't it?

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    v8shoguy wrote:
    The allegations of DUI were completely false. The officers accused Tim of having/being on narcotics for having prescribed medication (non-narcotic). This is why Tim doesn't wish to be involved in the situation, because every officer tells me, "We did your buddy a favor by not arresting him for DUI", saying that a DUI had been committed when there is no proof other than a phone call that happened an hour before the officers arrived. Tim even stated that he drove past the officers immediately before pulling into the parking place.
    Sorry but there are inconsistencies.

    Why would your friend be coming over at 1:30am to spend the night and why were you and your wife asleep knowing he was coming over?

    Who was person x and how were they even involved if your friend had just gotten there?

    I don't mean for this to sound like an inquisition and I don't even want you to answer, just pointing out.

    The only thing, BY LAW, that a LEO cannot arrest you for without proof is self defense. They are required to show, on scene, articulable reason and that doesn't even apply if it's against a LEO.

    503.085 Justification and criminal and civil immunity for use of permitted force -- Exceptions.
    (1) A person who uses force as permitted in KRS 503.050, 503.055, 503.070, and 503.080 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom the force was used is a peace officer, as defined in KRS 446.010, who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law, or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a peace officer. As used in this subsection, the term "criminal prosecution" includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.
    (2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1) of this section, but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.
    (3) The court shall award reasonable attorney's fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff, if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1) of this section.
    Effective: July 12, 2006
    History: Created 2006 Ky. Acts ch. 192, sec. 6, effective July 12, 2006.

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    Fallschirmjäger wrote:
    My general rule is...

    Anytime an officer tells someone he's "going to do you a favor, this time, by not arresting you for committing this crime" is that there's very little likelihood a crime has been committed in the first place.

    An officer might do someone a favor by not citing them if they committed an infraction, but I don't think any officer is going to ignore a crime. Arresting criminals (those who have committed crimes) looks good on an officer's record, doesn't it?
    Not true, I've seen it happen.

    An officer can choose to cite without arrest for a criminal offense as long as it's not a felony.

    Not all of them are heartless machines.

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    Unfettered Might wrote:
    Why would your friend be coming over at 1:30am to spend the night and why were you and your wife asleep knowing he was coming over?
    We live in a 24-hour society. Tim was aware of the fact that we could be asleep, and was going to call us before coming up. He tells me he was looking for his phone on the passenger seat when the officer knocked on his window.

    Who was person x and how were they even involved if your friend had just gotten there?
    Person X was a ride-along with the officer.

    I don't mean for this to sound like an inquisition and I don't even want you to answer, just pointing out.
    Ask a question, get an answer. When I talked to the officer's SGT and LT, they like to focus on the parking lot, on officer safety, etc. but I still haven't heard the law that backs up the officer's action of entering my apartment.

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    v8shoguy wrote:
    Unfettered Might wrote:
    Why would your friend be coming over at 1:30am to spend the night and why were you and your wife asleep knowing he was coming over?
    We live in a 24-hour society. Tim was aware of the fact that we could be asleep, and was going to call us before coming up. He tells me he was looking for his phone on the passenger seat when the officer knocked on his window.

    Who was person x and how were they even involved if your friend had just gotten there?
    Person X was a ride-along with the officer.

    I don't mean for this to sound like an inquisition and I don't even want you to answer, just pointing out.
    Ask a question, get an answer. When I talked to the officer's SGT and LT, they like to focus on the parking lot, on officer safety, etc. but I still haven't heard the law that backs up the officer's action of entering my apartment.
    1 & 2) Ok, then it sounds like your friend has more of a case than you do imo.

    3) Fair enough lol. The police actually searched your friend's car, one of them may have entered but they didn't actively search anything. She tried with your gun and you protested and stopped her, she would have left your apartment if you had protested that as well.

    There isn't a law backing up her action of entering, but she has plausible deniability that she didn't know you didn't want her in there. I totally agree with you on being angry for her stepping inside your home, I would have been livid. But I would have also told her to step back outside immediately, why didn't you?

    I might wager than you didn't know all the facts, you were sleepy and maybe you were reluctant to be confrontational because your friend was involved.

    Trespassing is the charge that comes the closest here that I know of. But in order to be trespassing, the trespasser has to know either through signs or verbally by the property owner that they are not welcome in the dwelling. Neither occurred.

    Your not going to win a criminal or civil case here, but you may be able to have her reprimanded. You need to contact internal affairs.



  25. #25
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    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    South end of the state, Illinois, USA
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    V8shoguy , didn't you say you moved back out of the way as she moved to enter your place?? If you did then there isn't a case.

    I believe you were either still half asleep and not thinking , or you didn't want to cause any undue trouble for your friend. If you didn't object verbally and moved back to allow the officer entry , where is the right to complain ?? Also , she did put the pistol down when you did realize what was going on and told her to do so .

    To reword a popular phrase ," It is to late to shut the door when the cop is already in the room.! " :P

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