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11th Circuit tells FL Sheriff's dept to quit making SWAT raids on barbershops

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  • 11th Circuit tells FL Sheriff's dept to quit making SWAT raids on barbershops

    ...for misdemeanor licensing violations. Now, if there was credible intel that AKs were being sold to gangbangers out of the back of the shops, I'd understand the display of force. But, licensing violations? Wow...

    http://www.allgov.com/news/unusual-n...20?news=854308

    Florida Sheriffs Used SWAT-Style Attack to Enforce Barbershop License

    Florida sheriff’s deputies, under the guise of checking professional licenses, raided an Orlando-area barbershop using SWAT-like tactics back in 2010 and now a federal appeals court has ruled that the search was illegal.

    In a ruling that allows a lawsuit against the department to proceed, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals strongly criticized the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for storming the Strictly Skillz barbershop four years ago. “With some team members dressed in ballistic vests and masks, and with guns drawn, the deputies rushed into their target destinations, handcuffed the stunned occupants—and demanded to see their barbers’ licenses,” the court wrote. The raid was one of several deputies carried out against minority-owned barbershops and salons in 2010.

    The justices said the deputies went too far in using a SWAT-like approach just to check whether barbers were licensed. In fact, inspectors from Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) had inspected Strictly Skillz only two days prior to the raid and found everything in order.

    Describing the raid as a “scene right out of a Hollywood movie,” the panel of judges wrote: “Unlike previous inspections of Strictly Skillz...the August 21 [2010] search was executed with a tremendous and disproportionate show of force, and no evidence exists that such force was justified.” The Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reported that “no illegal or unlicensed activity was found” at the Pine Hills barbershop.

    Working with DBPR, the deputy sheriffs claimed they suspected unlawful activity had taken place at the shop, which caters to minority customers, and others like it.

    Tuesday’s ruling was a result of two deputies, Keith Vidler and Travis Leslie, petitioning that they should be immune from any civil litigation brought against them for doing their jobs. But the judges rejected their position, noting that they had twice before ruled in other cases that those participating in a warrantless criminal raid were not entitled to immunity. “Today, we repeat that same message once again,” the court wrote. “We hope that the third time will be the charm.”

    Both the DBPR and the Sheriff’s Office launched internal investigations following a report by the Orlando Sentinel exposing the raids.

    The DBPR terminated several employees and settled out of court with barbers. But the Sheriff’s Office concluded deputies did nothing wrong.

  • #2
    There is no evidence within the article you quoted that "SWAT raids" were made on barber shops. Please do not intentionally distort the facts in an effort to create a sensational headline/topic title. The author only says that the Court disagreed with "SWAT-like" approaches, a phrase which needs a lot more explanation (was this the author's words or the Court's?). Bullet resistant vests, guns, masks, and "rushing" into a location do not a SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team make. Most every police officer wears a vest and carries gun every shift. Wearing a mask suddenly makes him/her a SWAT team member? Which special weapons and tactics did these raids utilize? Was it the 9mm and the quick movement toward the front door? Special weapons and tactics indeed!

    The Court apparently disagreed with the way that these officers forcibly detained individuals at the business but I guess that doesn't sound nearly as sensational as saying "SWAT raids on barber shops."
    "Screw that. We can make bullets faster than they can make terrorists. Kill them all. Every last one." -Interceptor

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    • #3
      As noted in the thread on militarization when this was brought up, there's a serious disagreement between LE and the barber shops on what happened that day. The barber shops say it was a SWAT raid. LE, which I tend to believe, said there was just a large LE presence THAT WAS REQUESTED by the state agency behind this raid. LE didn't just wake up and decide to go raid barber shops.

      That being said, the gist of this case is that the barber shops are trying to get money from a different turnip. They've already gotten a check from the state agency. They want a check from LE, and this decision allows them to sue. Which IMO is regrettable because the taxpayers are actually writing these checks.

      And I don't think anyone has to worry about any "SWAT raids" on barber shops there anymore, regardless of what the 11th Circuit said or didn't say. When this came up, I went back and went through all the stories on it to try to get a perspective of what happened, and the guy in charge of the LE agency involved here basically said in one story, not in so many words but the point was about as subtle as a brick to the head, there was no way in hell he was taking this agency's call again after getting burned so bad with this, if they want to raid somebody, they can go raid somebody and if shooting starts, they can call 911. And I bet all the other LE agencies down that way will pick up on that.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by LPSS View Post
        There is no evidence within the article you quoted that "SWAT raids" were made on barber shops. Please do not intentionally distort the facts in an effort to create a sensational headline/topic title. The author only says that the Court disagreed with "SWAT-like" approaches, a phrase which needs a lot more explanation (was this the author's words or the Court's?). Bullet resistant vests, guns, masks, and "rushing" into a location do not a SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team make. Most every police officer wears a vest and carries gun every shift. Wearing a mask suddenly makes him/her a SWAT team member? Which special weapons and tactics did these raids utilize? Was it the 9mm and the quick movement toward the front door? Special weapons and tactics indeed!

        The Court apparently disagreed with the way that these officers forcibly detained individuals at the business but I guess that doesn't sound nearly as sensational as saying "SWAT raids on barber shops."
        Ok, raids. Back to the real point, these were about non-existent misdemeanor barber shop licensing violations. But, I suppose you win the semantics argument.


        Originally posted by Ink Stained Wretch View Post
        As noted in the thread on militarization when this was brought up, there's a serious disagreement between LE and the barber shops on what happened that day. The barber shops say it was a SWAT raid. LE, which I tend to believe, said there was just a large LE presence THAT WAS REQUESTED by the state agency behind this raid. LE didn't just wake up and decide to go raid barber shops.

        That being said, the gist of this case is that the barber shops are trying to get money from a different turnip. They've already gotten a check from the state agency. They want a check from LE, and this decision allows them to sue. Which IMO is regrettable because the taxpayers are actually writing these checks.

        And I don't think anyone has to worry about any "SWAT raids" on barber shops there anymore, regardless of what the 11th Circuit said or didn't say. When this came up, I went back and went through all the stories on it to try to get a perspective of what happened, and the guy in charge of the LE agency involved here basically said in one story, not in so many words but the point was about as subtle as a brick to the head, there was no way in hell he was taking this agency's call again after getting burned so bad with this, if they want to raid somebody, they can go raid somebody and if shooting starts, they can call 911. And I bet all the other LE agencies down that way will pick up on that.
        I'm not surprised that Florida has a state agency tasked with validating barber licenses, but I'm amazed that they had the power to garner LE assistance.

        Comment


        • #5
          Those inner city barbershops that have the dice games, guns and liquor in the back? Might want to go into those with more than a code enforcement inspector.

          Back in the day, the numbers rackets were run out of barber shops. Everyone knew it, I suppose the proprietors paid off the right people.
          When you are dead, you don't know you're dead. It is difficult only for the others around you.

          It is the same when you are stupid.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Carbonfiberfoot
            I'm not surprised that Florida has a state agency tasked with validating barber licenses, but I'm amazed that they had the power to garner LE assistance.
            Georgia has the Board of Cosmetology which falls under the Georgia Secretary of State. They issue licenses and enforce rules and regulations regarding barber licenses. The Secretary of State Office has armed investigators with full arrest powers that investigate violations of those rules.

            Why have licenses and rules if you aren't going to have a law enforcement authority to enforce them?
            Sign here. Press hard. You are making five copies.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by LPSS View Post
              I guess that doesn't sound nearly as sensational as saying "SWAT raids on barber shops."
              The actual court decision describes the operation as "a scene right out of a Hollywood movie." Read the document. It boggles the mind that OCSO went along with the deputies' overwrought plans.

              Comment

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