Confrontation caught on camera: Was a woman's arrest legal?

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by Rucks Russell / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on May 8, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Updated Thursday, May 9 at 9:28 AM

HARRIS COUNTY -- A woman recently arrested by deputies with the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office has filed a formal complaint because she believes they violated her rights.

“What they did in my apartment in front of my kids was uncalled for,” said Jennifer Limon, who recorded the incident last week on her cell phone.

The video shows Limon pleading with the deputies to leave the apartment she shares with her sister and their five small children.

You can hear the deputies asking the women to identify themselves, but the women refuse to comply and demand a search warrant. Then, the video shows the deputies arresting Limon.

She was charged for failing to identify herself to a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.

“I felt violated by these two men,” said Limon.

The incident occurred a few days after Limon’s former boyfriend had been arrested and charged with committing a string of armed robberies.

Authorities said deputies came to the apartment as part of a follow-up investigation into the robberies, and added that the suspect’s stolen vehicle had been witnessed parked near Limon’s home earlier in the week.

A spokesperson from the constable’s office said deputies didn’t need a search warrant because the women failed to give their names.

“That’s a violation of the law,” said Sgt. J.C. Mosier. “You have to identify yourself to a police officer. At that point, the officers entered.”

KHOU 11 News’ legal expert, who watched the video for himself, reached a different conclusion.

“I think the officers were out of line,” said attorney Gerald Treece. “There isn’t a ‘you didn’t identify yourself’ exception to enter your home and search it. There just isn’t that.”

Limon sought help from a local activist and filed a formal complaint against the deputies involved.

“Cops tend to take their badges and their power out of control,” she said.

And that’s what she believes they did to her.

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