Target: Michael Parish, Chief of Cotati Police
Goal: Reprimand officers who unlawfully entered a California home and tasered its occupants
Police in Sonoma County, California responded to a call involving a domestic dispute, and were greeted by a couple who stated they had an argument and everything was fine. When the police arrived, the residents refused to open the door. When asked why they refused to exit their home, an occupant stated: “Because we don’t live in a police state sir, martial law has not been has not been established in this country.” To which the officer replied: “Can you do us a favor? All get down on the ground with your hands behind your back.”
The officers proceeded to kick down their front door and entered the home. The occupant told the officers that they had no right to enter their home. The officers then tasered the man as he screamed. While a neighbor called and reported domestic violence, that alone is not probable cause to enter a home without a warrant. As the occupants of the house attempted to tell police that nothing was wrong, the police had no right to force entry into their home. Not only is this a violation of the occupants’ fourth amendment rights of security in their own homes, but the use of a taser is direct assault by police on a citizen. The victims also stated that children were present.
Police departments need to reprimand officers for such violations of citizens’ constitutional rights: these police had no reason to force entry into this home. Had there been visible evidence of a crime being committed, they would have had probable cause. In this situation, they did not, yet still forced entry into a private residence. Sign this petition to urge Michael Parish, chief of the Cotati police department, to reprimand the officers involved in this case.
Dear Michael Parish, Chief of Cotati Police,
Officers in your department forced entry into a private residence in response to a domestic dispute, without probable cause. A phone complaint does not provide enough evidence to assume that a crime has been committed, yet your officers broke a door down and proceeded to taser individuals in a private residence.
As the occupant stated in the video that has gone viral, “martial law has not been established in this country.” Your officers seem to beg to differ. As the occupants denied the police entry, they violated the victim’s fourth amendment right — they did not have a warrant to enter. This type of police action is wildly inappropriate. This is not an act of protecting citizens, but direct aggression.
I demand that you reprimand the officers involved in this incident for using force against individuals, and the forceful entry into a private residence without probable cause. Incidents like this cannot remain unpunished, show the public through your example that we should not fear the police force, but rely on them to come to our aid in times of need.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: publik15 via Flickr