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ventura-county-da-storyHugh Hewitt Show:

Hugh Hewitt

Thursday, February 4, 2016


University of California, Irvine law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky joined me today to discuss this case which my law partner former federal judge Stephen Larson is bringing on behalf of the victims. Given my obvious conflict-of-interest, I asked Dean Chemerinsky to comment given his long history of expertise in police abuse investigations. I’m about as pro-police as anyone on the air, but this kind of stuff shocks the conscience:







HH: Well, this one is very upsetting to me. The District Attorney’s offices are developing their own investigatory staffs, and I’ll let you take it over from there. What happened in Ventura County?


EC: Well, there was a fire at a place called Santa Clara Waste Water Company, and the official of that company made comments that perhaps it was because of improper training within the fire department that three firefighters got hurt. And once the person said this, apparently there was an immediate response saying that they were going to get this person, that…and they sure did. Once this man was overheard making the comments, two dozen personnel with the DA’s office and a SWAT team, including eight in full tactical gear with guns and riot shields drawn, executed a search warrant. Now this wasn’t a case where there was any suspicion of drugs. It wasn’t a case where there was any suspicion of terrorist activity. 20 police and DA vehicles descended on his house at 6AM. 30 personnel were involved in the raid of the home. His wife and his six year old daughter were hauled out of the house in their pajamas. And the six year old was literally taken out of the house with guns drawn, and she was detained in a SWAT vehicle. On July 31st, the DA’s office and the SWAT team, including officers in full tactical gear, and this was with assault rifles, guns drawn, riot shields and a battering ram, executed another early morning search at another person’s house. This official of the company and his wife who was recovering from cancer treatment, his kids, a guest, were all hauled out of the house, forced to wait outside in their underwear for two hours in front of onlooking neighbors. There’s been no charges filed.


HH: Now when Judge Larson told me this, I stopped him, and I said is this a civil case? And he assured me it is. It’s got no criminal overtones to it.


EC: As of now, there have been no charges filed. There’s no criminal prosecution. What I’m describing is a civil suit for money damages against the police for excess of force. And as best I can tell as an outsider, this person angered the law enforcement establishment in Ventura County, and they really came down hard on him.





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