April 30, 2013

SO IS DAMAGE DONE IN THE COURSE OF A LAWFUL SEARCH A TAKING? SEEMS LIKE IT HAS TO BE COMPENSABLE. This, however, seems excessive:

McCoy contended that Curtis couldn’t return home after investigators searched it but failed to find evidence of the deadly poison ricin.

“To be specific, Mr. Curtis’ home is uninhabitable. I have seen a lot of post search residences but this one is quite disturbing. The agents removed art from the walls, broke the frames and tore the artwork. Mr. Curtis offered his keys but agents chose to break the lock. Mr. Curtis’ garbage was scheduled to be picked up Thursday, the day after he was snatched from his life. A week later, the garbage remains in his home, along with millions of insects it attracted,” the letter says.

Curtis was once charged in the mailing of poisoned letters to President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and a Mississippi judge, but the charges were later dropped. The investigation shifted last week to another man who had a falling out with Curtis, and that suspect appeared in court Monday on a charge of making ricin.

There should also be punitive damages here. Law enforcement officials often do extra damage during a search to “send a message.” The message here is, we went off half-cocked and made fools of ourselves. Someone should pay.