CBP Officer Sues Homeland Security for Violating Rights

CBP Officer Sues Homeland Security for Violating Rights

A Customs and Border Protection officer says the Department of Homeland Security violated his constitutional rights.  Jim Slaughter and his wife Sheila were doing laundry last July when, they say, a group of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents showed up on their doorstep looking for a fugitive.

"My wife said is this candid camera and that kind of ticked him off a little bit and he says no mam you need to step back," says Jim.  The couple claims they were ordered to stand in the middle of their living room as agents were about to search their home.

"I said do you realize i'm a U.S. Customs K-9 officer at San Luis, Arizona and they all just froze. The lead agent, his eyes got real big, and he's like what?  You are?"  In fact Jim has worked for CBP for seven years.  He says the agents immediately retreated.

In March, Jim's attorney filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security citing a violation of the fourth ammendment for protection against unreasonable searches.

"You must have probable cause or a warrant to enter a home in America," explains attorney Robert Cook.  "He had five armed cops and he understood and respected the firepower that was in his living room."

The Slaughters are seeking $500,000 from each defendant.  The couple also claims the incident aggravated Sheila's hypertension.

"Here they invaded my home, think of this, my children weren't home. What if my husband hadn't of been home? What would they have done to me?" says Sheila.

Jim says he filed the suit because ICE officials have refused to explain or apologize for the mix-up.  KSWT contacted local ICE spokesman Vincent Picard, but he said the agency cannot comment on current litigation.  The Slaughters now believe those agents were looking for someone who lives on 26th Place but wound up at their home on 26th Street.