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Longmont settles case over warrantless police searches

Longmont settles warrantless police search case
Posted at 2:02 PM, Nov 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-14 19:42:07-05

LONGMONT, Colo. — A Colorado city has reached a settlement with residents of a subsidized housing apartment complex whose homes were searched by police without warrants.

The City of Longmont said Tuesday it agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado on behalf of building tenants who were subjected to drug searches by a K-9 unit in May 2017.

A resident of the Suites Supportive Housing Community raised the issue to Denver7 back in June after receiving a letter in May from the housing authority that read in part, “We will occasionally have K-9 units with LPD accompany us for purposes of training and compliance.”

The Longmont Police Department told Denver7 the housing authority’s request was in response to a rise in illegal drug activity and an overdose death at the complex. It eventually ended the program after media attention and expressed regret about what happened.

According to the settlement, Longmont agreed to pay the tenants and their lawyers $210,000. The city also will take input from the ACLU on search policies and hold a public forum to address the incident.

The city also released a statement confirming that the tenants didn't consent to the search.

ACLU attorneys say their clients still are considering action against the Longmont Housing Authority, which requested the searches.