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Can I Sue The Police?

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What is the name of your state? Colorado

I live in Colorado and was home on September 7th, 2017 when I had to call 911 because my husband wasn't breathing. The ambulance arrived and the EMS staff started life-saving procedures on my husband and eventually called the hospital for permission to pronounce him dead.

Two Sherriff Deputies watched this happen while snooping around my house. After they pronounced my husband the two deputies asked if they could do a search of my home stating it was to make sure my husband hadn’t hit his head on something. It was very apparent that he hadn’t died because of an injury. I told them no. They said I had to go outside while they got a search warrant. One of the deputies stood guard over me outside while my husband's dead body was still inside my home.

They ended up searching my home while my husband lay on my living room floor and I was outside being guarded. I was on my front porch when one of their people who was guarding me said to get prepared because they were bringing him out in a body bag and that it was going to sound funny but that it was normal to sound that way. It sounded as if they had a whole host of items inside that bag beside just a body. I am still not sure of what all they took out of my home via that body bag, it was just very noisy, you could hear there were a lot of things rolling around in it making clashing sounds. It sounded like that had packed half of my house and put it in with my husband's dead body.

Can I sue the police?
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
I am sorry for your loss.
I don't see anything in your story that would show that the police did anything improper.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
Unless the deputies were acting the role of thief and conspiring with remaining medical personnel (and possibly coroner's personnel) to steal from you, there would be no reason to remove items in such a way. It sounds as if the deputies were investigating a cause of death and wanted to look around. Since you did not want to provide consent, they opted to go for a search warrant. If they wanted to seize any items they could have done so under the search warrant, not sneaking it out of the house in a body bag. Not to mention that sneaking evidence out in a body bag would so taint the evidence as to make it legally useless. Now, if you accuse the deputies and EMS personnel of being thieves, that's a different story ... and you'd better have some evidence rather than a claim of strange sounds.
 
Unless the deputies were acting the role of thief and conspiring with remaining medical personnel (and possibly coroner's personnel) to steal from you, there would be no reason to remove items in such a way. It sounds as if the deputies were investigating a cause of death and wanted to look around. Since you did not want to provide consent, they opted to go for a search warrant. If they wanted to seize any items they could have done so under the search warrant, not sneaking it out of the house in a body bag. Not to mention that sneaking evidence out in a body bag would so taint the evidence as to make it legally useless. Now, if you accuse the deputies and EMS personnel of being thieves, that's a different story ... and you'd better have some evidence rather than a claim of strange sounds.
Thank you, that makes a lot of sense, I didn't think about it in those terms. I hope this doesn't come off as grasping at straws, I just have another question because I just feel as though something isn't right with this whole deal and maybe that's due to the fact that when the coroner called he asked me if I was sitting down before telling me my husband's cause of death which was a heart attack with recent use of drugs. I also wonder if I was tricked into giving consent to search my house because after I told them no it was only about 30 minutes later when they asked me if I was sure I didn't want to give my consent because they said they were there with the search warrant and so I said yes. They made me stay outside while they searched, eventually, they all left. Fast forward a few weeks or so and some guy comes into my life and finds a way to get inside my house and ends up telling me that it looked like drugs were being made in my house. I can't decide if this person in a confidential informant or just some homeless loser who found out I was a widow and decided he could con me into giving him free room and board and mooch off of me and be a freeloader. If drugs were being made inside my house I think I would have known about it but apparently, there was something in my husband's room that could be considered as drug making. In summary, if this person is a CI working for the cops can I sue them for all of the money this person (CI) is costing me and for the damages he has caused me? I understand it would be impossible to find out for sure if this person is a CI but I am seeing all the signs that he is.
 
A person wishing to sue a governmental entity has 182 days from the date of discovery to file a claim. If such claim is not filed, the person is barred from filing suit. In this case, the OP "discovered" the act when it occurred.

https://codes.findlaw.com/co/title-24-government-state/co-rev-st-sect-24-10-109.html
Thank you, I heard about the 182 days from some of the attorney's I've asked about this. I haven't wanted to file anything without an attorney and finding an attorney who sues the police has been really hard to find. I truly appreciate your time, knowledge, and response. I haven't talked with anybody about all of this until now because I get that it all sounds pretty far-fetched. This is helping thank you.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
Yes, you were - in a way - coerced into granting consent. However, they were almost certainly telling the truth in that your refusal to grant consent would result in a search warrant. When you have a suspicious death, you are going to investigate. If the property owner won't consent, you will get a court order. So, this form of coercion would almost certainly not rise to any violation of your rights.

And, no, the police would not be responsible for you allowing a person into your home even if he were a CI. And, if he were working for the cops, they sure as heck aren't paying him to hang out in your home indefinitely. Also, the police don't tend to pay CIs for such extended ops. It's not how they work. If he found evidence of criminal activity, the police would likely have acted on it.

If you do not want him in your home, turn him out.
 
Did you notice anything in particular missing? Any missing valuables?
That's a great question, thank you. I have valuables but I doubt they would have taken any of them because it's just too hard to wrap my mind around authorities stealing. Thinking back on it, it could have just been some of their stuff they used in trying to save his life that was in there making all of the noise. I appreciate your time, the dialog is helping me open my mind and get a better grasp on the situation.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
Yes. They would have included any materials that were discarded in the life saving efforts as the medical examiner would want those to compare with any injury they observed. Typically anything attached to, and used by, EMS as part of the lifesaving efforts will be accounted for in some way. Disposable items will typically be included in the bag.
 
Yes, you were - in a way - coerced into granting consent. However, they were almost certainly telling the truth in that your refusal to grant consent would result in a search warrant. When you have a suspicious death, you are going to investigate. If the property owner won't consent, you will get a court order. So, this form of coercion would almost certainly not rise to any violation of your rights.

And, no, the police would not be responsible for you allowing a person into your home even if he were a CI. And, if he were working for the cops, they sure as heck aren't paying him to hang out in your home indefinitely. Also, the police don't tend to pay CIs for such extended ops. It's not how they work. If he found evidence of criminal activity, the police would likely have acted on it.

If you do not want him in your home, turn him out.
That is so true, or I hope it is anyway. I am starting to see just how naive and ignorant I really am especially when it comes to matters of the police and the law. I am just going to have to somehow manage to grow a backbone and do exactly what you said, turn him out. I am starting to believe that it's just been wishful thinking on my part that he's either an undercover or working for the police so that I could somehow feel safe with him here. I've just about been wiped out and for some dumb reason, I haven't been able to bring myself to believe that I'm being totally swindled.
 
Yes. They would have included any materials that were discarded in the life saving efforts as the medical examiner would want those to compare with any injury they observed. Typically anything attached to, and used by, EMS as part of the lifesaving efforts will be accounted for in some way. Disposable items will typically be included in the bag.
That's so true, I can't believe I didn't think about that until just now, I truly can't thank you enough for the insight you've given me by having this dialog.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
That's so true, I can't believe I didn't think about that until just now, I truly can't thank you enough for the insight you've given me by having this dialog.
Huh? You said that you were TOLD this by the police officer just before the body was removed.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
Huh? You said that you were TOLD this by the police officer just before the body was removed.
No, they told her:

I was on my front porch when one of their people who was guarding me said to get prepared because they were bringing him out in a body bag and that it was going to sound funny but that it was normal to sound that way
The police did not explain WHY. Carl did.
 

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