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Court hammers Florida sheriff’s office for SWAT-style raid to check for barber licenses

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An appeals court harshly rebuked the Orange County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office over a SWAT-style raid to check for barber licenses, finding it was unreasonable to conduct such an investigation of a second-degree misdemeanor.

The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that deputies had violated the civil rights of barbers at Strictly Skillz during a 2010 license inspection, reported the Sun-Sentinel.

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“It was a scene right out of a Hollywood movie,” the court ruled.

The lawsuit is related to a series of sweeps at minority-owned barbershops and salons pairing deputies with the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation to inspect the businesses.

State officials said they targeted shops that had not cooperated during previous inspections or where crimes had been witnessed in the past.

Deputies found illegal activity during the raids, but they arrested dozens for “barbering without an active license” – a little-used statute.

No illegal or unlicensed activities were found at Strictly Skillz, where barbers said eight to 10 masked deputies wearing bulletproof vests raided the shop and cleared out customers during a busy weekend.

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The appeals court ruled inspections “must be ‘appropriately limited’” and “may not serve as a backdoor for undertaking a warrantless search unsupported by probable cause.”

Two deputies involved in the raid argued they should be immune from civil action because they were performed in the court of their law enforcement duties.

The ruling allows a suit filed by the barbershop’s owners to go forward against the sheriff’s office.

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The court noted that DBPR inspectors confirmed the Strictly Skillz barbers had licenses just days before the raid, which the judges ruled “was unconstitutional from the moment that OCSO burst into Strictly Skillz in raid mode for the ostensible purpose of helping DBPR review … barbers’ licenses that it had just inspected two days earlier.”

The ruling noted two “strikingly similar” cases the appeals court cited as precedent.

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“We have twice held, on facts disturbingly similar to those presented here, that a criminal raid executed under the guise of an administrative inspection is constitutionally unreasonable,” the court ruled. “We hope that the third time will be the charm.”


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BUSTED: Trump flack Kayleigh McEnany has voted by mail 11 times in the last 10 years

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Trump White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany this week echoed President Donald Trump's statements that allowing everyone to vote by mail would result in an unprecedented surge in "voter fraud."

However, a review conducted by the Tampa Bay Times has found that McEnany herself has voted by mail a total of 11 times in the past decade alone.

"In fact, the Tampa native has voted by mail in every Florida election she has participated in since 2010," the Tampa Bay Times has found. "Most recently, she voted by mail in the state’s March 2020 presidential primary, just as Trump did after he made Florida his new permanent home."

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Kentucky militant’s wife plays victim after militia leader fired for hanging governor in effigy

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A right-wing militant was fired for hanging Kentucky's governor in effigy during a lockdown protest -- and his wife is furious.

Terry Bush, president of the Kentucky 3 Percenters militia group, lost his job Tuesday with Neil Huffman Auto Group after he was photographed and recorded hanging Gov. Andy Beshear in effigy before demonstrators gathered outside the governor's mansion and demanded that he come outside, reported the Courier-Journal.

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Jerry Nadler shoots down Eric Trump’s attempt to paint him as a hypocrite on mail-in voting

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This Wednesday morning, President Trump's son, Eric Trump, took a dig at Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) by tweeting out an old video featuring Nadler saying that "paper ballots are extremely susceptible to fraud," in an attempt to paint Democrats as hypocrites in light of President Trump's disparagement of mail-in voting.

https://twitter.com/EricTrump/status/1265605224699441153

"At least with the old clunky voting machines that we have in New York, deliberate fraud is way down," Nadler says in the video.

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