Member Describes Arlington Police Raid on Garden of Eden Sustainability Community on August 2, 2013
September 1, 2013
Created by Inok Alrutz on September 1, 2013
KENNEDALE, TX Accidents & Emergencies
We are a small sustainable community that was recently subjected to a SWAT raid by our city government over the appearance of our yard. They falsely accused us of being a marijuana growth and trafficking operation to justify the use of such excessive force, with no sound evidence to substantiate the claims cited in the search warrant, and no evidence found during the raid.
We have used hundreds of hours over the last few months researching the law and talking to those in the know about the law and our options to hold the city and the individuals involved accountable. We have a powerful plan in the works and are excited to utilize this support to enforce justice. Details of the raid descriobed here
On the morning of August 2, 2013, we were all asleep in our beds when a heavily armed SWAT team raided our home and our land. They came in ready for battle, with the full regalia of weapons and armor, guns cocked and loaded, shouting, and put all 8 adults present in handcuffs, including the nursing mother of a two week old infant who was separated from her children during the raid. All of us were detained in handcuffs for over two hours, except the mother who was returned to her children where she was allowed to nurse them under armed guard. While detained, technically arrested without charges or rights read, the officers present attempted to interrogate us about our personal information, in clear violation of our rights.
None of the officers would say why they were here on our land, nor give their names, and many covered their badges to conceal their identities. After over two hours of being detained in handcuffs and many demands to see a warrant by many of those in handcuffs, two warrants were eventually produced.
The first was a Search Warrant for a suspected marijuana growth and distribution operation purportedly being concealed on the premises. The warrant was issued based on a completely unsubstantiated claim by an Arlington City Police Officer of possession of marijuana by one of the community members, for which there is no police record whatsoever. The warrant also states that aerial surveillance was used to confirm the presence of marijuana in our garden, which was also false.
It was because of this warrant that the SWAT team was used, yet, absolutely no marijuana or any other evidence of drugs or a drug trafficking operation were found, (of course). This accusation was a thin mask, devised purely to “justify” the use of extreme force in enforcing the code compliance issues outlined below. There was a lot of hearsay and conjecture in the warrant, and no evidence whatsoever.The judge who signed such a warrant deserves to be stripped of her title and duties, as she allowed this unscrupulous operation to take place based on hearsay and conjecture, endangering the lives of innocent and nonviolent people, including two babies and their mother.
No one here at the Garden of Eden was armed or dangerous, and there was no need for such excessive force to be used. In fact there is no one who can claim that they have been harmed by what we are doing here, or by any one of us as individuals, ever.
The second warrant was an Inspection & Abatement Warrant for code compliance violations such as tall grass, improperly stacked wood, siding missing from the house, and storage items in the yard. Code compliance for the different way that we use and keep our land is an issue that the City of Arlington has been harassing us about since February of this year. We have a series of bona fide documents which prove that we have been in correspondence with the City since first receiving their complaints, wherein we were attempting to find an honorable and reasonable solution for these small matters. Yet the city code compliance office, the Mayor’s office, the City Manager and the Sheriff all failed to send a single written response or make a single phone call in response to our letters. The only answer they were looking for, and the only one they would accept and acknowledge, was a check. A court date had been set to resolve the matter before a judge and jury in March of 2014, but the City jumped the gun and forcibly resolved the matter through illegal and dishonorable means, failing to follow due process of law on many counts.
The entire operation lasted about 10 hours and involved many dozens of city officials, SWAT team, police officers and code compliance employees, and numerous official vehicles including dozens of police cars and several specialized vehicles involved in the “abatement” operation. Three witnesses attest that there were helicopters and unmanned flying drones circling the property in the days prior to the raid that are presumed to have been a part of the intelligence gathering. The combined expenses for the raid itself and the collection of information leading up to the fruitless raid are estimated in the tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars.
The final results of the raid were zero drug related charges, one arrest made for outstanding traffic violations, the removal of 20,420 lbs of plant and building materials, and many more citations given for more code compliance issues. One of those detained was a guest here on our land, and he was allowed to leave after everyone was released from handcuffs. The rest of us were detained inside our own home, with multiple armed officers standing guard to “ensure our safety” while other officers took illegal actions in cutting down our crops and other plants, and stealing our building materials.
We may live our lives differently than most, but we are still entitled to our inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yes, our yard may look messy to some, and our high value on living a sustainable lifestyle may not be shared by our neighbors. But that does not give anyone the right to tell us that we cannot live as we do, nor the right to enforce their beliefs and preferences upon us with force and the threat of violence.
We are all born free, with unalienable rights. This country that we all live in, which we call the
United States of America, was founded upon these birthrights.The Declaration of Independence and Constitution of United States do not give us rights, but are simply the proclamations and declarations of these rights. They exist to acknowledge and to guarantee that the government and the public servants will serve, uphold, and protect these birthrights.
This is a clear case of the government overstepping its bounds and abusing its power to the severe detriment of the People. Not only were our personal civil rights violated, but it is also clear that due process of law was not followed. These are our public servants who have sworn an oath to uphold and protect the Constitution. If or when they fail to do so, it is the right and the responsibility of we the People to see that they are held accountable for their actions. We must not allow tyranny to become the new law of the land.
We are taking action to see that a real change in the system is established and that crimes like these do not continue to be committed against the People. We are doing this not just for ourselves, and certainly not for money, but for the honor and the integrity of our country and our People. It is time that We the People stand up for, claim, and enforce our rights. Freedom is not free and it cannot be given. We must take it and preserve it for ourselves.
We are here to make a point and an example of this situation. We are here to remind the People that WE ARE the power, and that the government was created by and for the People, and the public servants are here to serve and protect US. The system that is in play now is designed for our submission and slavery. We are here to change that, to bring it back to the way it was supposed to be, the way We the People and our founding fathers intended for it to be.
We will use this fund to see that every crime committed against us is accounted for in a court of law. Every violation of our civil rights, every violation of an oath of office to uphold the Constitution, every step where due process of law was not followed must be accounted for and those responsible must be held accountable. The City officials and officers who participated in this unlawful and abusive raid must be brought before a judge and jury and held up the the standard of the US Constitution, the supreme law of the land. We are here to enforce the true law, to do our part to see that our nation is restored to a place where there truly is liberty and justice for all.
This will require a lot of time and a lot of money because the whole system is designed to be expensive. They are counting on us not having enough funds. They are counting on us not having the commitment, dedication, education and the empowerment to see this through to the end and they are mistaken about all of this. We are going to do things that we have not seen done before and together we are going to be a part of something that we didn't imagine was possible.
America can once again be the “land of the Free and the home of the Brave”. Let us stand together here and now, and show our government that we are brave enough to stand up to tyranny and to claim our FREEDOM!
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