Longmont will pay $210,000 to settle claims over warrantless K-9 searches at public housing complex

The city of Longmont will pay $210,000 to resolve claims brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado on behalf of four people who were subjected to warrantless drug-dog searches of their apartments at a public housing complex.

The settlement was on behalf of Alice Boatner, Billy Sparling, Michael Kealy and Christine Herrera. The ACLU and Longmont officials announced the settlement on Tuesday.

“I did not have any opportunity to stop a police officer and K-9 from coming into my home and searching it,” said Alice Boatner, in a prepared statement from her released by the ACLU. “I felt violated, powerless and demeaned.”

She thanked Longmont Public Safety Chief Mike Butler, who has expressed regret over the searches and who has retrained his staff on the requirements for lawful searches.

The searches, conducted in May by Longmont police and a K-9 at The Suites Supportive Housing Community, prompted national controversy, one that the Longmont Housing Authority admitted in one report had “coalesced into a Category 5 storm.”

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The ACLU of Colorado last week filed a notice of claim with the Longmont Housing Authority. The $210,000 settlement does not resolve the claims against the housing authority. The settlement will pay for damages and attorneys’ fees.

As part of the settlement, Longmont officials agreed to issue a statement saying the city’s …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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