Court Says: Police Chasing Shoplifter Owe Nothing to Man Whose Home They Blew Up

An armed shoplifting suspect in Colorado barricaded himself in a stranger’s suburban Denver home in June 2015. In an attempt to force the suspect out, law enforcement blew up walls with explosives, fired tear gas and drove a military-style armored vehicle through the property’s doors.

After an hours-long siege, the home was left with shredded walls and blown-out windows. In some parts of the interior, the wood framing was exposed amid a mountain of debris. A federal appeals court in Denver ruled this week that the homeowner, who had no connection to the suspect, does not deserve to be compensated because police were acting to preserve the safety of the public.

“Under no circumstances in this country should the government be able to blow up your house and render a family homeless,” Leo Lech, the house’s owner, told NPR. “This family was thrown out into the street without any recourse.” Lawyers for Lech argued that… KUOW News

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