“The agents entered the 14-year-old girl’s room first, shouting “Get down on the fucking ground.” The girl, who was lying on her bed, rolled onto the floor, where the agents handcuffed her. Next they went to the 11-year-old’s room. The girl was sleeping. Agents woke her up by shouting “Get down on the fucking ground.” The girl’s eyes shot open, but she was, according to her own testimony, “frozen in fear.” So the agents dragged her onto the floor. While one agent handcuffed her, another held a gun to her head.”

This terrifying account on Reason’s website describes ano-knock wrong house raid by DEA agents. The family sued the DEA for excessive force and the U.S. District Court provided summary judgement, essentially dismissing the claim. The Ninth Circuit, in an uncharacteristic spasm of common sense, issued this statement in allowing the lawsuit to come forward”

Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the Avinas, a rational trier of fact could find that agents engaged in “extreme or outrageous” conduct when the agents: (1) pointed their guns at the head of eleven-year-old B.S.A. “like they were going to shoot [her]” while B.S.A. was lying on the floor in handcuffs; (2) forced eleven-year-old B.S.A. and fourteen-year-old B.F.A. to lie face down on the floor with their hands cuffed behind their backs; (3) left B.S.A. and B.F.A. in handcuffs for half an hour; and (4) yelled at eleven-year-old B.S.A. and fourteen-year-old B.F.A. to “[g]et down on the f[uck]ing ground.”

Ya think?

While this raid was conducted under President George W. Bush, the deputy administrator of the DEA at that time was Michele Leonhart. She is now the administrator of the DEA, thanks to an appointment by President Barack Obama. Furthermore, the Obama Administration could have declined to defend the DEA in this case. Instead, Obama’s Justice Department has decided to make the case that federal agents should be allowed to hold guns to the heads of children.

While the Bush Administration may have (indefensibly) initiated the defense against the indefensible, President Obama’s team certainly could have declined to claim that putting an 11 year old one negligent discharge away from having her head blown off is an appropriate practice for DEA agents. That they didn’t is equally indefensible.

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61 Responses to Obama Administration Defends Holding a Gun to 11 Year-Old’s Head

  1. Sometimes the mafia has to try to save face when it’s enforcers run amok, otherwise, people might stop paying their “protection” vigs.

  2. A no knock warrant is the police state gone mad with power thanks to a corrupted polictical and bought off judicial branches of our once great republic that has now morphed into our “gubbermint”.

    Once the door is kicked in, my dogs would go nuts barking and that would mean if the flash-bangs did’nt kill them then the nazi stormtroopers would just shoot them in “self-defense” while conducting their “legal” search for contriband materials.

    When you have grenades going off inside closed up rooms, your door being kicked in at zero-dark hundred, and gun fire that is followed by your dogs yelps, the ONLY response they will get from me & mine will be a hail of return gunfire until every single one of the murdering scumbags is put down just like they did to my dogs who are as dear to me as children are to others.

    If enough people start to take a stand and resist thses jack-booted nazi tactics in our supposedly free country with equal or GREATER force then the gubbermint will quickly run out of”enforcers” to do their evil bidding because in doing so it will mean almost certain gunshot wounds or death!

  3. I don’t care if its Hannibal Lecter, holding a gun to someone’s head shouldn’t be a tactic in apprehension. Yelling obscenities while breaching the door is totally unprofessional, these ass clowns have apparently watched way too many Hollywood cop flicks. If this is considered acceptable behavior by the DEA or any other LE, their agency is a total joke.

    • Well Jon R.,

      In kabul and other points far-east where our vetrans serve, an 11 year old is already sleeping in a nice warm expolsive vest, the trigger in one hand and a grenade in the other hand.

      So, as per ALOT of their training, they are just following S.O.P.

      And remeber,

      in Obammy’s Amerikka you are guilty until he says you aint!

      If you protest too much you will end up on his kill list as well.

      • “in Obammy’s Amerikka you are guilty until he says you aint!”
        Its not just Obama, Bush 2 did it as well, see gitmo. I’m willing to bet you can find the same thing with any war time president, and plenty of peace time ones as well.

      • The big problem with that SOP is that Seeley, CA isn’t Kabul, and 11 year olds fast asleep in suburban California aren’t wearing bomb vests. This story is one ND away from being an even greater tragedy then it already is.

        • My sentiments exactly. What kind of threat did these kids pose? I would like to know exactly why these kids were handcuffed.

        • Why were the kids put in handcuffs? Isn’t it because the agents are afraid that they’ll get their posteriors kicked by children?

      • Having served in Kabul, Baghdad, Najiff, and several other points in the Far East, and having conducted more than my fair share of raids, I can say I never saw a US Soldier hold a gun to the head of an eleven year old…or an adult for that matter.

        We did almost no no-knock raids. We did mostly what we called “cordon and knock”. Establish an inner and outer cordon over the house in question, then knock on the door. The only two no-knock raids I ever participated in were for a face card in the famous Iraqi Freedom deck of most wanted, and for a guy who shot a Soldier execution style in the back of the head. There were children in both of those houses, none were handcuffed, none had a gun put their heads.

      • In kabul and other points far-east where our vetrans serve, an 11 year old is already sleeping in a nice warm expolsive vest, the trigger in one hand and a grenade in the other hand.

        Apparently they’re going to have to start doing that in the US so they can kill the Gestapo before the Gestapo kills them.

      • Kabul isn’t anywhere near here. And hiring a bunch of PTSD roid-ragers to “serve the public” is a mistake.

  4. The bar at which no-knock enterings is set is way too low I think. No-knocks need to have more scrutiny, with emphasis on evidence supporting that it is the correct house.

    • Why can’t you surround the house and then knock? Why does SWAT have to line up on the door with insificient evidence that you are in the right place? I have a hard time believing that there are that many cases where not knocking is safer than knocking.

      • they already do that chewy.

        the reasons they give a corrupted judge is that “critical evidence” will be destroyed if they come up and ring your doorbell and announce that they are the police with a search warrant for your porperty.

        they are NOT going to pay attention to some number on your mailbox while they are gearing up and getting pumped for the shooting they are about to commence.

        your only hope is to shoot first and let satan sort them out.

  5. The best (actually the worst) part about this whole thing, is that the DEA can’t read a license plate correctly and because of that the no-knocked the wrong house. These guys can’t be bothered to do the most basic fact checking and surveillance before they go breaking down peoples doors. Had they of sat in front of the house and done surveillance for a day before knocking down the door this would not of happened.

  6. The court didn’t say a thing about the abuse the parents suffered at the hands of these thugs.

    Cicero (against Verres): “It is a heinous sin to bind a Roman citizen; it is wickedness to beat him; it is next to parricide to kill him, and what Shall I say to crucify him?”

    A passage from Cicero, Orat. pro Verr. Act. ii. lib. v. 64, : Ille, quisquis erat, quem tu in crucem rapiebas, qui tibi esset ignotus, cum civem se Romanum esse diceret, apud te Praetorem, si non effugium, ne moram quidem mortis mentione atque usurpatione civitatis assequi potuit? “Whosoever he might be whom thou wert hurrying to the rack, were he even unknown to thee, if he said that he was a Roman citizen, he would necessarily obtain from thee, the Praetor, by the simple mention of Rome, if not an escape, yet at least a delay of his punishment.”

    We have fallen a long way to allow our employees to treat us the way cops treat citizens.

    • +1 (their never there when u need them but u can count on them ripping u a new one. 95% are losers who need a badge to make up for what they are unfortunate to of being blessed with)

  7. Most of this idiocy would stop if the police didn’t have sovereign immunity when they screw up.

    If the LEOs were personally on the hook for damages as a result of professional malpractice, they would be much more careful.

    • But we can’t have that because then it’s a slippery slope to the removing absolute immunity from prosecutors and judges.

      • They should lose immunity. I sat as an observer in a local courtroom yesterday and watched criminal trials. There was no jury, just the judge and he literally did not even spend 10 seconds contemplating the facts before declaring “guilty” on every one, including two girls who they didn’t have any evidence that they committed a crime (remember, I sat there through the WHOLE proceedings, so I hear opening arguments, witness testimony, closing arguments, etc).

        It was an eye opening experience at how truly dishonorable and corrupt our “justice” system is. From now on I’ll make sure to sit in as an observer for any incumbent judge before elections, and I suggest everyone else does the same.

    • Rich, you hit the nail on the head. Sovereign immunity is the outrage hear. If the feds end up losing this lawsuit at trial nothing will happen to the jackbooted DEA thugs except commendation for their heroism, promotion, and a generous retirement. We the taxpayers will be punished by having to pay the damages to this terrorized family. This kind of behavior in the name of the War on Drugs is so incompatible with a free society I don’t understand why there isn’t more outrage. It really can happen to anyone.

      • @dyspeptic,

        That is my whole point!

        It can happen to ANYONE!

        Wrong adress, so slolly!

        Please, don’t mind the night-terrors your children (and you) will suffer from for the rest of their lives.

        Never mind the gut-wrenching FEAR they will experience everytime they hear something go bump in the night.

        That is why I take the position of shooting through my walls at them and killing as many as possible so to make the rest of the jackbooted nazi thugs think twice before the next no-knock raid.

        If enough people do this it will force a policy change because their stormtroopers will no longer want to face certain death everytime they try serve a no-knock in the future and the corrupted politicians & judges will have to go back to the “soft-kill” methods they use to kill off the citizens of this country with posions, radiation, and vaccines.

  8. Perhaps if these goons had their doors kicked in, their family handcuffed on the floor, and someone told them to STFU while they tore their home apart the message would get through to them.

    Once handcuffed, is it really necessary to point a barrel at a person’s head? That’s a bad idea all around since if the gun goes off and they try to stage the scene there are bound to be marks on the wrist from the cuffs. Plenty of cases out there where they claimed to take fire from residents only to discover the guns were not loaded or fired.
    You swat guys are not only a bit too pumped up, you are asking for trouble.

    • “Once handcuffed, is it really necessary to point a barrel at a person’s head? ”
      When handcuffed, they are often interrogated, simulating a mock execution can help people talk. Didnt TTAG have a article about this in Ukraine not too long ago?

      • Don’t 11 year olds get to have their parents in the room at least for mock execution interrogation? Should Mom and Dad be on the floor shackled as well?

  9. A couple of important points. First and foremost, the language:
    “While this raid was conducted under President George W. Bush, the deputy administrator of the DEA at that time was Michele Leonhart. She is now the administrator of the DEA, thanks to an appointment by President Barack Obama. Furthermore, the Obama Administration could have declined to defend the DEA in this case. Instead, Obama’s Justice Department has decided to make the case that federal agents should be allowed to hold guns to the heads of children.” appears NOWHERE in the Ninth Circuit opinion, and is in fact the opinion of the author of the article.
    Second, government prevailed in the trial court on all counts. Third, the
    the Ninth CircuitAFFIRMED the judgment as to the parents, demonstrating the propriety of the defense of the DEA.
    Where do these so-called journalists get off suggesting that just because some court somewhere sometime ultimately concludes that someone did something wrong, that that someone should not have been defended in the first place? That’s SO unAmerican! Nor do I think that Justice could “decline to defend” the United States against a lawsuit filed against it. That’s its job. Should the government just rolled over and allowed a default to be taken? Let the plaintiffs empty out the treasury because the claims asserted were “indefensible”? Sorry, I don’t think so.

    • The gov’t can decide not to defend itself against lawsuits, and does so usually for laws that it doesn’t want to defend anymore, or that the administration in office doesn’t like.

      But, I am not sure where you are going with the Obama administration not supporting the idea of holding a gun to a child’s head. This is what they were trying to defend, the actions of its agents. When trying to defend it, you agree that is was ok. They fought the lawsuit. In reality, they could have settled and not defended it.

      • Uh huh. Not all cases can be settled. There are two issues in every case, liability and damages. Even if there is agreement as to one, disagreement as to the other will force a trial. Here there was a disagreement as to liability that needed to be resolved by an appellate court. The Feds won as to the parents–meaning it is ok to hold a gun to their heads while they were handcuffed, as established by a number of authorities cited in the opinion, and lost on appeal as to the kids. But the Court of Appeal did not say it was wrong as a matter of law, only that a jury could so conclude. So now it goes back down, and there is no telling if the case will settle or not. I am sure that if the plaintiffs demand millions upon millions of dollars, it will go to trial. If the plaintiffs are reasonable, there is a good chance, as with the vast majority of civil cases, that it will settle.
        And while agree that Justice can decline to defend a law against a claim of unconstitutionality, that does not apply to the circumstances of a personal injury action.

        I am not defendning the actions of the DEA. I am defending the right of every person to have disputes resolved in a court of law. And until all the evidenc is adduced, it is unfair to jump to conclusions. Remeber Zimmerman–where we still don’t know the facts. Should his attorneys decline to defend him?

        • “I am not defendning (sic) the actions of the DEA”. Yes, by implication you are. You can’t get around the fact that defending the DEA in this case is a defense of the practice of holding loaded guns to the heads of handcuffed children in a circumstance where the parents weren’t even engaged in criminal behavior much less the children. Frankly I see no legitimate reason to hold a gun to a suspects head while they are restrained by handcuffs and offering no resistance. The DEA screwed up completely and then compounded their error by using unnecessary terrorist tactics against innocent people.

          “I am defending the right of every person to have disputes resolved in a court of law”. No your not. That isn’t the issue here because the DEA agents aren’t being individually sued since they enjoy the broad protection of sovereign immunity. It’s the police state known as The Federal Government that is being sued here, not a person. Your contention that every individual deserves their day in court is especially ironic given that the trial court apparently doesn’t agree, having dismissed the plaintiffs suit. What about their rights?

  10. No knock means criminals means return fire, since I’m a law-abiding citizen who has never been arrested or given cause for any sort of raid. May not stand a chance against SWAT, but how am I supposed to know it’s SWAT until they’re in the same room I am with guns pointed at me? Someone busting down your door and shouting “warrant” and “police” doesn’t mean anything–a criminal will break into your home but won’t lie? Give me a break.

  11. I’m sure that the gun-pointing, obscenity-yelling Gestapo officers were in reasonable fear of the two little girls. Everybody knows how dangerous they can be, with their braids and Barbie dolls. And since there were no dogs around for target practice, the girls were the next best thing. Y’know, little kids make challenging targets when they’re squirming on the ground screaming for their mommies.

    So I salute this bunch of SS officers. They are everything we have come to expect from American law enforcement. Kudos.

  12. So the court sided with the residents? I know it was a summary judgement meaning they wouldn’t draw it out, but I hope they got some compensation. You know for the busted front door and such.

    • Face it drugs are the government biggest cash cow. THE GOVERNMENT IS SCARFACE. MONEY / OIL / DRUGS / WAR / SEX / JAIL ( UN / ONE WORLD ORDER) WELCOME TO HELL .

  13. These kinds of event scare the living crap out of me. I gotta watch out for the bad guys in the ‘hood, but now I also have to watch out for the police to not misidentify me as a perp, or being sent to my house by an anonymous tip from a scum bag, telling them that I’m heavily armed and killing my family in the hopes that the police will kill me. The old saying “that just because I’m paranoid, doesn’t mean that they are not actually after me”, is starting to make more sense than it used to.

  14. “Oopsie…wrong house…good thing we didn’t , y’know, slip and kill ya, or anything…Gosh we’re sorry…sort of…not really…and it will never happen again…until next time…
    Oh, and don’t bother trying to sue us, we’re the Government, and
    y’know, those judges, they work for us…not you…”

  15. Much of this abuse started under Bush but Obama, the “liberal”, hasn’t done nothing to curb this. We as a country just let it happen. It’s not supposed to be this way.

  16. Much of this abuse started under Bush but Obama, the “liberal”, has done nothing to curb this. We as a country just let it happen. It’s not supposed to be this way.

    • I think that the potential for this abuse started long ago, and while it is true we let it happen, it is also true we can do something about it. The DEA was formed by the government, it can be put on a shorter leash by the government.

  17. These DEA agents and other Militarized Law Enforcement folks are actually part of a Justice Department covert mission to train the American public what to expect and how to behave in the future, particularly if Obama gets re-elected. So. it’s really a Public Service, and we all know there are lots of homeless dogs, so all the dogs they shoot during the training are easily replaced. Furthermore, terrorizing children will accomplish two objectives: 1) making them appropriately “respectful” and co-operative with Law Enforcement Agents in the future; and 2) making them terrified of guns so they won’t EVER want to own any or have anything to do with them. Of course citizens should not expect any apologies, admissions of error or signs of remorse for this behavior because all “Good Amerikans” in the near future can be assured the Government’s Tactical Law Enforcement Teams are just insuring our safety and well being. So, quit your complaining, see reality clearly and get on board for the “Brave New Amerika”, or else you may have to be SWAT-ted to correct your thinking on this. (BTW- SWAT-ting is part of the Training Process, and those calls are being made by Government Agents, which is why no one is being caught and arrested for it.)

    That’s my crackpot hypothesis…and I’m sticking to it!

  18. Those spoiled brat punks ignored the commands of their lawful masters, they should have been given a good TASING.

  19. This family deserves some retribution for the mistaken address, but telling the DEA or any law enforcement to check ID for a persons age before they are allowed to hold a weapon at the ready doesnt make a bit of sense.

    • The family deserves to be given rifles, the addresses of the agents involved, and legal immunity for their actions, just as the agents were. And youre telling us, you cant tell the difference between a 11 year old girl from an adult?

  20. Looks to be excessive force, plain and simple.

    Most LEO’s are not like this. Unfortunately, many SWAT teams are.

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