In the case of County of Los Angeles v. Mendez, the officers received information that an armed parolee resided in a given residence. The Sheriff’s Department decided to carry on an investigation to confirm the details provided. In conducting the search, the two deputies involved decided to focus on the property while the others focused on the main house. Without any knowledge and a search warrant, the deputies opened the shack’s door where Mendez and his pregnant wife Garcia were taking a nap. Mendez was shocked, and he woke up from the bed holding a BB gun and pointed it to the officers. In retaliation, the deputies continuously shot at Mendez for a couple of times thereby causing injury to him. Mendez reported the suits and a ruling which identified a Fourth Amendment violation was declared. The court assigned that the deputies used force that was unreasonable to the initial force used. The totality of the actions did not justify any action that had already been taken. It was wrong to rely on the provocation rule as a basis for upholding the use of excessive force since the deputies used a more reasonable force towards Mendez. Deputies claim that the BB gun was used to threaten them and that is why they fired against him. They did not have a warrant that could justify why they were carrying out the search.
In my opinion, the court made the correct ruling that would help to ensure that the citizens’ freedom of privacy is respected and enforced. The police departments in most parts across the world have often been accused of misusing their power to invade the privacy of individuals even without following the right procedures. Such cases are accompanied by panic since the victims are often unaware just as reflected in the case of Mendez. Unless the police are dealing with a criminal and creation of awareness would alter with the effectiveness of the findings from such searches, the police should always have a search warrant which would also help to strengthen the trust and confidence of the victim towards the police.
The ruling was a just way of dealing with the case since the deputies needed to conduct enough investigations before acting up. Proper measures are to be taken whereby no searches should be performed without a warrant. A knock-and-announce measure should also be adapted so as to comply with the set rules and standards of the law. Invasion of the personal rights of an individual should be established and taken to be of significant consideration. The affected couple should be compensated for all the damages caused to them. It is the duty of the officer not to misunderstand the victim’s innocence while they mean no harm but personal protection and not to use excessive force in handling it. The threat does not require a deadly force in return. The officers are personally liable to the court for their actions. Democratically, all measures should be taken to ensure that it does not continuously occur and the victim’s innocence can act as the replacement cause.
Robinson, Toni, and Greg Robinson. “Mendez v. Westminister: Asian-Latino Coalition Triumphant.” Asian LJ 10 (2003): 161.