Today is the start of a very important civil rights case in Houston. Two brothers, Sean Carlos Ibarra and Erik Adam Ibarra, have filed suit against Harris County, Sheriff Tommy Thomas and four of his deputies. They are claiming the Harris County deputies arrested them without cause.
The whole thing started when Harris County Sheriff's deputies conducted a drug raid on the house next door to where the Ibarras lived. The Ibarras took their camera and began to take pictures of the raid being conducted. This angered the deputies, so they stormed the Ibarra home, destroyed the film in their camera and arrested both of the brothers.
The brothers were charged with resisting arrest. But when they were taken to trial, they were cleared of any wrongdoing. After being cleared, the brothers filed the suit. The civil case will begin today, and is expected to last from two-four weeks.
I believe the deputies were clearly in the wrong in this case. They had no probable cause to enter the Ibarra home or arrest them. They were not breaking any laws and were not interfering with the raid being conducted. They were simply taking pictures.
We do not live in a secret police state. All citizens have the right to document police actions with pictures (or with words). If the police were not doing anything wrong, they shouldn't mind a citizen documenting their actions. If they were doing wrong, then we should be thankful for honest citizens willing to document it.
I hope the Ibarra brothers win a sizeable judgement. A message must be sent to all law enforcement agencies in this country that this kind of rogue police action will not be tolerated. They cannot violate a citizen's rights, even when they are angry.