'We'll never be the same,' after police sniff hydroponic tomato garden
A family in America’s heartland was traumatized when local cops invaded their home, battering ram in hand, searching for marijuana based on their purchase of hydroponic gardening equipment to raise tomatoes.
Bob Harte, a former CIA employee, found himself flat on his stomach in his Kansas City home after a swarm of armed deputies from Johnson County, with guns drawn, invaded his home one morning, freaking out his wife, Addie, and their two kids – a girl in kindergarten and a boy in the seventh grade. Having seen enough TV crime shows, the teenager instinctively put his hands up.
The officers would only say they were searching for narcotics.
“You take the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, all the rights you expect to have – when they come in like that, the only right you have is not to get shot if you cooperate,” Harte told the Washington Post about the raid April 20, 2102. “They open that door, your life is on the line.”
After five years, the Hartes’ efforts to get satisfaction through federal lawsuits have failed. But last week they got the news that a three-judge panel of the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeal ruled the case could move forward.
The ruling blasted authorities for laziness and possible fabrication, the kind of overzealous police work that entangles innocent people – especially hydroponic gardeners.