A woman saw an airport display of helicopters. She slowed her car, drove closer, and took pictures from her car window. She was on public property at all times. She planned to post it on her “Support Our Troops” website.
She was approached by a policemen, who demanded to know what she was doing. He grabbed the camera.
He demanded that she remain where she was.
He then radioed the county sheriff’s office that she posded a terrorist threat.
Suffolk County Deputy Sheriff Robert Carlock responded to the scene, along with various members of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office. When Deputy Carlock arrived, he placed cameras on the roof of his vehicle, aimed at Nancy Genovese and her 18 and 20 year old sons who had come to the scene at this point to help their mother. Deputy Carlock ordered all three of them to stand directly in front of the cameras, and not to move.
Officials from the airport, as well as other local and federal law enforcement agencies also responded, including, without limitation, the Southampton Police Department, the Westhampton Police Department, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security. Nancy was questioned on the side of the road for approximately five to six hours, from about 6pm until midnight, denied food or water, and denied the opportunity to use a restroom, all without having received any warnings as to her rights.
She had been at the local shooting range earlier in the day. She owns a rifle.
The cop came across her unloaded rifle. It was in a locked case.
The policeman tauntyed her: “You’re a real right winger, aren’t you?”, and stating in words or substance that she was never going to see her rifle again.
During the remainder of the six hours that Nancy Genovese was forcibly detained on the side of the road, she was taunted, verbally harangued, threatened, belittled, abused, humiliated and harassed by members of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office. For example, Deputy Carlock repeatedly referred to Nancy as “a right winger” and “tea bagger”, and threatened that they were going to arrest her for terrorism to make an example of her to other “tea baggers” and “right wingers”.
Around midnight, officials from the airport and federal law enforcement agencies determined that Nancy posed no terrorist or other security threat. Once most of the other law enforcement officials left the scene, Deputy Carlock ordered Nancy Genovese to be handcuffed by another member of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office. Before placed in handcuffs, Nancy attempted to give her purse containing her wallet and cell phone to her sons. Her wallet contained approximately $13,000 in cash, money she was holding to pay tuition that day for her son’s college and her daughter’s Catholic school tuition. Deputy Carlock refused to allow her sons to take her bag, and ordered her to leave it on the front seat of her unlocked vehicle, even after being informed of the value of its contents. When Nancy’s sons objected, Deputy Carlock threatened to arrest them if they touched it, and ordered them to leave the scene. Not knowing what to do, they left.
When Nancy’s sons responded to a call from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office in the early morning hours to pick up their mother’s vehicle from the roadside, they found $5,300 of the $13,000 missing. The money was never returned. In addition, the contents of the glove compartment box was missing, and there was damage to the body of the car, particularly around the trunk.
Around midnight, after her sons were ordered to leave upon threat of arrest, Nancy was transported, in handcuffs, to the Suffolk County Jail. While in a holding cell, Deputy Carlock continued to verbally harass Nancy, telling her “you will pay”, and admitting that they had nothing to charge her with, but that he would “find something in order to teach all right wingers and tea baggers a lesson.”
While in her holding cell, Nancy Genovese was interrogated by Suffolk County Undersheriff Caracappa without receiving any warnings as to her rights. Her requests to speak to a lawyer were ignored. Following her “interrogation”, Undersheriff Caracappa informed her that she was being arrested and charged with “terrorism.”
It got worse. You can read the article to fund out how much worse.
Of course, it’s her word against theirs. I don’t know how she can prove all of it.
She has filed a $70 million lawsuit.
That seems a bit excessive to me. I think a $5 million lawsuit would have been sufficient, with an out-of-court settlement of $2 million.
Citizens who have been treated unconstitutionally need to send the cops a message. A successful lawsuit sends a clear message.