Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Ypsi Police May Face Federal Charges

20. October 2004 • Murph
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While Washtenaw County Prosecuter Brian Mackie has declined to file criminal charges against the Ypsilanti Police Officers who searched a home and confiscated materials without a warrant, Mackie says the officers did violate the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution. An internal investigation by the Ypsilanti Police Department is underway, and a lawyer for the homeowner plans to file civil suit in federal court against the city and police department within a month, barring settlement with the YPD.

From the Ann Arbor News:

The officers entered the basement of the Bargers’ house in the 500 block of North Hamilton Street on June 30. Firefighters and DTE Energy crews responded to a ruptured gas main in the neighborhood, which caused the evacuation of dozens of residents in the area. While firefighters were in the Bargers’ home checking for dangerous gas levels, they saw sex-related materials in a basement room and told police officers about it.

Police later entered the house without a search warrant and went through some of the Bargers’ belongings. Several pictures of nude or partially nude women were taken from the home by police. The police were videotaped on equipment Dennis Barger turned on when he was evacuated from his home.

The Michigan State Police, FBI, and US Department of Justice are all currently involved in the investigation into the Ypsilanti officers’ conduct.

Ypsilanti blog Seat of the Revolution has been following the story, and Barger has taken part in discussion on that site.