Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, teamed with members of the Nashville Metro Police, performed a warrantless raid of an apartment complex in Nashville, Tennessee, according to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU and a report from truth-out.org. The raid occurred on the evening of October 20, 2011, when many in the apartment complex were sleeping. ICE agents burst into one apartment and, when asked for a warrant, said that they did not need one as they pointed their guns at the heads of the residents. Then, gesturing to his genitals, the officer reportedly said “the warrant is coming out of my balls.”
As the ACLU pointed out in their report of the incident, the 4th Amendment protects everyone in the United States, both citizens and noncitizens, from warrantless searches of their homes. In the absence of a warrant, the 4th Amendment requires that the authorities obtain informed consent from the people whose homes they intend to search, which was clearly not forthcoming in this case.
Truth-Out.org notes that this raid is the most recent in a string of warrantless raids by ICE throughout the United States in the past several years. Similar lawsuits to the one filed in Nashville this week have been brought following warrantless raids in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Georgia and California.