by Christopher Zoukis
A Hopkinsville, Kentucky police officer submitted his resignation September 5, 2017 rather than be fired for several warrantless searches of a home.
Officer Jason Brent responded to a home on South Campbell Street in Hopkinsville after receiving a call reporting drug activity at the home. According to WSMV.com, he knocked on the door, and when no one answered said, "If you open the door and talk to me, I will not make this miserable. If you want to play games, I will make your life a living hell."
Two men emerged from the home, one of whom admitted to smoking marijuana. With his body camera on, but without a warrant, Brent then entered the home twice to search for marijuana. On one of his illicit trips into the home, Brent found a gun, telling the men, "Look, dude, it's laying on the floor. It's not covered up, it's laying on the floor on top of the carpet. Ray Charles can see it."
At that point, Brent asked the men to sign a consent to search. When they refused, he tried to get a warrant. When that was denied, he entered the home two more times anyway. He found nothing, but the two men were arrested for being felons in possession of a handgun.
An investigation found that Brent violated police policies regarding obtaining consent, body camera usage and search warrants. Oh, and the Fourth Amendment.
"Officer Brent violated the constitutional rights of the owner and occupants of the residence by making entry into the home four times without proper consent or a search warrant," said the investigative report.
Chief Clayton Summer supported the investigator's recommendation that Brent be fired.
"Right is right and wrong is wrong, regardless of who you are," said Summer.
According to WSMV.com, county prosecutors confirmed that all charges against the men were dismissed. There was no word on whether Brent would be charged with a crime.
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