While acting as if they are holier than the rest of us when it comes to gun control, the Obama administration defended agents of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s use of force against the 11-year-old and 14-year-old daughters of Thomas and Rosalie Avina. The “excessive” force included putting a gun to the youngest girl’s head. Attorney’s for the Obama administration defended the actions of the agents arguing that “the DEA agents’ conduct was plainly reasonable under the circumstances,” under the Bush administration in 2007.
What kind of circumstances would lead one to think it was “reasonable” to put a gun to an 11-year-old girl’s head?
According to Reason.com:
After subduing their parents, agents broke into the two girls’ bedrooms during a wrong-door raid in January, 2007. The oldest of the two girls dropped to the floor and was handcuffed by agents before being dragged into the living room and laid next to her mom and dad. The 11-year-old, however, was sleeping when agents came into her room. As they began to shout at her to “get on the fucking ground,” the girl woke up and “froze in fear.” Agents then dragged her from her bed to the floor. One agent handcuffed her while another aimed a gun at her head.
The Obama administration’s argument is based on the agents’ belief that the home they were preparing to raid on January 20, 2007, belonged to suspected drug trafficker Louis Alvarez, who “had a history of violence and resisting arrest.” The agents anticipated that Alvarez would be armed, and that the only way they could safely arrest him would be with an early morning raid. While agents would later learn that they had the wrong house, they didn’t know that when they battered down the Avinas’ front door, guns ready.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the matter that agents were acting within the law when it came to the parents, especially the father who resisted the orders barked out by the agents and was handcuffed at gunpoint. The Obama administration argued their case based on Muehler v. Mena, which established the right of law enforcement agents to detain residents during a raid for an unspecified amount of time (Notice that the term “rights” are being transferred from citizens to government officials).
Just how did the Obama administration attorneys handle their presentation of the agents handling of the little girls?
Agents also entered the bedrooms of plaintiffs B.F. and B.S. Avina, who were then fourteen and eleven years old, respectively. Both girls were in bed at the time, and B.S. was sleeping. B.F. complied with the agents’ instruction to get on the ground, and the agents thereafter handcuffed her. B.S. initially resisted the instruction, and agents responded by assisting her to the floor and handcuffing her. The agents did not use profanity in speaking to the girls.
They “assisted” her to the floor. Isn’t that a nice way to put things? Perhaps it was similar to the Elian Gonzalez raid. Remember that, where armed federal agents went in and took him from family to send him back to Cuba after his mother gave her life so that he could live in America?
At first the Obama attorneys said there was no profanity. Later they would simply play it down:
In response to plaintiffs’ contention that “the allegedly extensive use of profanity somehow contributes to a finding that the agents used unreasonable force,” the [lower] court noted that there was “no evidence that suggests any use of profanity was extensive.” To the contrary, the court observed that “the evidence demonstrates that the agents sparsely used profanity,” and “did so only in association with commands during entry directed solely at the adults.” Id. “Though B.F. Avina testified that she heard profanity used in the background during the agents’ entry, neither B.F. nor [B.S.] Avina testified that any of the agents used any profanity directed at them.” Id. (internal citation omitted).
Yet according to the Ninth Circuit Court’s Ruling, the daughters did testify to their use of profanity. Not only that but the Obama attorney omitted that one of the officers aimed his firearm at the 11-year-old’s head.
The Obama administration asked the Court to uphold a lower court’s ruling on the matter:
Having probable cause to believe that a drug-trafficker was living at plaintiffs’ residence, DEA agents obtained warrants to arrest the suspect and to search the residence for firearms and other evidence of illegal drug-trafficking. Plaintiffs were home when agents executed the warrants, and the agents reasonably detained plaintiffs, in handcuffs, while securing the premises. Finding no evidence that the agents used force beyond that necessary to handcuff the plaintiffs, and concluding that the agents’ use of strong language was not excessive, the district court granted summary judgment for the United States on plaintiffs’ claims of assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. This Court should affirm the district court’s judgment, as plaintiffs have adduced no evidence indicating that state law would impose liability in like circumstances.
In the end, DEA raided the wrong house. Surprise! Should they not be held accountable for their actions and lack of knowing where they should have raided? The Obama administration says “No”:
Plaintiffs [the Avinas] offer no argument or evidence suggesting that the agents did not in good faith act within the scope of the warrant in this case. As plaintiffs note, evidence exists that the affidavit supporting the warrant erroneously stated that Alvarez’s car was registered to plaintiffs’ address. But this deficiency was not apparent from the face of the warrant and therefore does not implicate the limited exception to Leon; there is no indication of any kind that the agents executing the warrant had reason to know of the error and acted other than in good faith. To the contrary, the statement in the affidavit regarding the registration would tend to confirm the existence of probable cause to search the residence.
Ladies and gentlemen, it appears that the Obama administration wants you and your children to be defenseless in order that none of their “officers” are hurt during a raid on your home, but that’s not all. They really do want to remove as many firearms from the American public as they can. They want you to think they care about “the children.” But you can see from this case, that they will go to all sorts of lengths to disregard the fact that their agents used excessive profanity, excessive force, and brought to bear extreme emotional trauma on the minds of both of these girls, including putting a gun to one of their heads. Do you really think Barack Obama cares what happens to kids at a school in Newtown, Connecticut?