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SCOTUS: Officers Justified In Entering Teen's Home

January 24, 2012  | 

Burbank (Calif.) Police officers investigating a rumor that a truant teenager was planning to "shoot up" Bellarmine-Jefferson High School five years ago were justified in invading the student's home without a warrant because of concerns that violence was imminent, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday.

Student Vincent Huff had been subjected to bullying and had been absent for two days when police were alerted by school authorities to "a rumor about a letter" in which the student had allegedly warned of an attack on the school, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Huff's parents, George and Maria, failed to answer their telephone or front door when officers arrived to investigate. When one of the officers called Maria Huff on her cellphone to inform her that they were outside, she came out with her son to talk to the officers. She declined to invite them in, and when asked if there were guns in the house, she rushed back inside. Officers followed, fearing that a violent confrontation might be imminent, according to court documents.

Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Bob@Az. @ 1/24/2012 6:14 PM

Yup, thats the way to teach your kid how to get along in this world. Don't answer the door, refuse to calm the situation down by cooperating with the Police who were concerned with YOUR safety and then run back inside. Shame there's not a law on stupidity by a parent. Glad it ended as it did and thanks to the Court for a rare glimpse of sanity.

Simon @ 1/24/2012 6:52 PM

Not often you get a Court showing so much common sense.

Don B In St Louis @ 1/25/2012 7:08 AM

So, it is ok to send an annoyous letter/email/phone call that a threat is imminent and the police can invade a private home without a warrant? I guess folks who don't lilke cops can start sending letters/emails/phone calls that cops have guns in their home, danger is imminent, and have the police officers homes invaded!

Wake up people and read your Constitution!

Jon @ 1/25/2012 8:08 AM

Don B in St Louis, I think YOU need to read the constitution, and more so case law. This was righteous for many many reasons. Community caretaking, imminent jeopardy, warrantless search and seizure, etc… Let’s also not forget the climate that we live in, and law enforcement faces today. School shootings, mall shootings, ambushes on government officials and police, if they didn’t act and something bad happened, then what??? Dead cops, kids and teachers? But you would be happy… They didn’t go in based on just a rumor, but the totality of the circumstances. If people would go back to the days of having manors, respect, cooperating and acting appropriately, these things would not happen at all for you to Monday morning quarterback.

Tom @ 1/25/2012 11:58 AM

Don B in St. Louis:
I know the Constitution, and so do most of the people that read these articles. Before you blather on about this violating right to privacy, consider this easy equation: How would the innocent children who may have been obliterated by this piece of spam felt about their privacy. When you expand your rights to impede those of others, the Constitution, your state laws, and we as law enforcement MUST step in. Thank you SCOTUS.

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