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Cancer Survivor Sues City for Extensive Damages by SWAT Team

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Cancer Survivor Sues City for Extensive Damages by SWAT Team

Cancer Survivor Sues City for Extensive Damages by SWAT Team

Source: The Daily Mail

A woman in McKinney, Texas, recently sued a SWAT team for the damages done to her house during an operation.

The legal battle has had a lot of ups and downs, but Vicki Baker hopes to be triumphant in the end.

SWAT Team Destroyed Cancer Survivor's Home

Source: The Daily Mail

Cancer survivor Vicki Baker is currently distraught as she faces a legal battle with a SWAT team. The team, in pursuit of an armed fugitive, used extreme measures, causing a massive destruction of her home. 

Now, Baker is pleading to have some sort of compensation for the damages done to her home. However, things are not going quite well for her.

Why Did the SWAT Team Attack Baker's House?

Source: The Daily Mail

The measures taken by the SWAT team were extreme but also very necessary. The nightmare began when Wesley Little, who once worked for Barker, ran into her home with a girl he kidnapped in July 2020. 

Thanks to her vigilant daughter, Baker could call 911 to alert the police. She also gave them the code to access the property in McKinney, Texas.

Armed Fugitive Prompts SWAT Extreme Measures

Source: Pinterest

The man the SWAT team was after was armed with seven firearms. This made him an extremely volatile fugitive, and the team had to act fast. 

Because of this, the team used extreme measures like explosives, tear gas, and armed vehicles. Eventually, the teen girl was able to exit the house, but Little took his own life before the team got to him.

The Aftermath of the SWAT Team's Measures

Source: Pinterest

The damage by the team was extensive. Baker’s suit stated, “The damage to the house was extensive. Every window needed to be replaced. A hazmat remediation team needed to clean the entire house because of the tear gas.

Appliances were destroyed. The front door and garage needed to be replaced. Tear gas canisters had smashed through the drywall. Carpets, blinds, and ceiling fans needed to be replaced.”

Baker's First Victory

Source: The Daily Mail

Baker’s insurance policy excluded damages caused by the government, so she filed a property damage claim with the city. However, they refused to pay, so she sued the city with the help of the Institute of Justice.

Her defense argued that she had a right to proper compensation, and a jury awarded her $59,656.59 in damages.

Legal Reversal Denies Compensation

Source: Pinterest

Baker’s hopes for her $60,000 payout were short-lived despite her initial legal victory. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals took up the case on behalf of the SWAT team and denied her compensation. 

According to their argument, the extreme police actions were deemed necessary in the situation. This was a significant shock to Baker, but she’s not giving up yet.

Baker Seeks Justice Again

Source: Pinterest

Baker is a strong-minded woman who fought and won against cancer, so she has a lot of resilience. The surprising turn of events does not deter her; she is still seeking justice. 

Therefore, the Institute for Justice is pursuing a Supreme Court appeal on Baker’s behalf. The appeal challenges the court’s ruling and advocates for compensation, emphasizing the violation of Baker’s rights.

SWAT Team's Justification

Source: Pinterest

According to the court, the SWAT team’s actions were not without due cause. They also deemed them objectively necessary during an active emergency like that day. However, critics have argued against this. 

They strongly question the appropriateness of the extensive damage caused to Baker’s property and the potential implications for future cases. They also argued that even with the extreme measures taken, there was a loss of life involved.

Institute for Justice's Stand

Source: Pinterest

Baker’s legal representation, the Institute for Justice, firmly stands against the court’s decision. According to them, the SWAT team violated Baker’s Fifth Amendment rights, and she deserves compensation.

Nevertheless, they continued to help Baker with her case by challenging the court’s ruling. This further proves their commitment to justice; many hope they get it.

The Case in the Public Eye

Source: Pinterest

Fox News recently reported the case to raise awareness for Baker.

The report showed a court filing that said, “As a matter of history and precedent, the Takings Clause does not require compensation for damaged or destroyed property when it was objectively necessary for officers to damage or destroy that property in an active emergency to prevent imminent harm to persons.”

Baker Won't Give Up

Source: Pinterest

According to Baker, she cannot give up on this case for several reasons. She paid about $50,000 to repair the damages and also suffered emotionally. Tear gas also got to her daughter’s little Chihuahua, so he had to be put to sleep. 

Undoubtedly, the incident uprooted Baker’s life that day, and she firmly believes she deserves compensation.

Promise of Future Compensation

Source: Pinterest

Despite the legal setbacks, Baker’s lawyer assures that she will eventually get compensation under the U.S. Constitution. According to him, all they’re after is justice and fairness for Baker. 

Therefore, the appeals court’s reversal only applies to her Fifth Amendment claim, which says private property shall not ‘be taken for public use, without just compensation.’ Hopefully, the city will do the right thing.