Las Vegas Sun

September 24, 2017

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Court allows civil rights lawsuit against police officers

CARSON CITY — A panel of federal judges ruled today that a civil rights lawsuit can be pursued in a case in which Metro Police officers were accused of entering a house without a warrant and handcuffing three teens.

The panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision of District Court Judge Robert Jones, who granted a pre-trial summary judgment that the officers had immunity from the lawsuit.

The civil case now returns to District Court.

On Oct. 24, 2009, police received a tip that two men about 18 to 20 years old were seen peeking in windows of homes in an area where there had been a rash of burglaries, according to court documents.

Sgt. Jay Roberts and Officer Michael Dunn responded. Roberts looked through an open window of a home and saw three young men 15 to 18 years old listening to music, watching TV and playing video games, according to court documents.

The 28-page opinion, written by Judge M. Margaret McKeown, said Roberts did not ask the boys any identifying questions, pointed a gun at the head of one of them and told them not to move. The teens were handcuffed.

They were never charged with a crime.

The house belonged to Jesus and Adriana Rodriguez, who were not home at the time. The teens were Henry Rodriquez, then 18, and his friends David Madueno, 15 at the time, and Jordhy Leal, then 16.

The suit was filed by the parents or the guardians of the three teens.

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