Jose Sanchez vs. City and County of Denver

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO Civil Case No.________________ Jose Sanchez and Joshinna Carreras, Plaintiffs, v. City and County of Denver; Peri Beaulieu, a sergeant in the Denver Police Department, in her individual capacity; Dan Giles, an officer in the Denver Police Department, in his individual capacity; Kevin Ujcich, an officer in the Denver Police Department, in his individual capacity; Jeffery Heinis, an officer in the Denver Police Department, in his in
  IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADOCivil Case No.________________Jose Sanchez andJoshinna Carreras,Plaintiffs,v.City and County of Denver;Peri Beaulieu, a sergeant in the Denver Police Department, in her individual capacity;Dan Giles, an officer in the Denver Police Department, in his individual capacity;Kevin Ujcich, an officer in the Denver Police Department, in his individual capacity;Jeffery Heinis, an officer in the Denver Police Department, in his individual capacity;Andre Strode, an officer in the Denver Police Department, in his individual capacity; andGlen S. Riggs, an officer in the Denver Police Department, in his individual capacity;Defendants. COMPLAINTINTRODUCTION 1.   As a result of the Denver Police Department’s practice of racial profiling, ethnicstereotyping, and biased policing, plaintiff Jose Sanchez was unjustifiably targeted while he wasstanding lawfully on the public sidewalk, smoking a cigarette, outside the Denver home of hisgirlfriend, Joshinna Carreras. Police illegally detained and handcuffed him, falsely accused himof being an “illegal immigrant,” and falsely arrested him on a bogus charge of providing “falseidentification.” The supposedly “false” identification was a current and valid photo ID cardissued by the Department of Homeland Security verifying Mr. Sanchez’s legal presence andauthorization to work in the United States. Mr. Sanchez spent five days in jail on the boguscharge before it was dismissed.  22.   In the course of “investigating” Mr. Sanchez, police illegally barged into the homeof Ms. Carreras when they knew she was alone and taking a shower. Police demanded that sheexit the bathroom as they conducted an illegal warrantless search, rifling through cabinets,drawers, and Ms. Carreras’s purse.3.   In this action, plaintiffs seek compensation for these violations of theirconstitutional rights to the equal protection of the law and to be free from unreasonable searchesand seizures. JURISDICTION AND VENUE 4.   This action arises under the Constitution and laws of the United States, including42 U.S.C. § 1983. This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343.5.   Venue is proper in the District of Colorado pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). Allparties reside within the District of Colorado, and the events described in this Complaint occurredin the District of Colorado. PARTIES 6.   Plaintiff Jose Sanchez is a Mexican national who is legally authorized to live andwork in the United States. At all times relevant to this Complaint, he was a resident of Denverand the boyfriend of plaintiff Joshinna Carreras.7.   Plaintiff Joshinna Carreras is a United States citizen and a resident of Colorado.At all times relevant to this Complaint, she was a resident of Denver and the girlfriend of plaintiff Jose Sanchez.8.   At all times relevant to this Complaint, Defendant Peri Beaulieu was a Sergeant inthe Denver Police Department. She is sued in her individual capacity.  39.   At all times relevant to this Complaint, Defendants Dan Giles, Ethan Aldridge,Kevin Ujcich, Jeffery Heinis, Adre Strode, and Glenn S. Riggs were officers working for theDenver Police Department. Each is sued in his individual capacity.10.   Defendant City and County of Denver (“Denver”) is a home rule municipalityunder Article XX of the Colorado Constitution. It operates the Denver Police Department. At alltimes relevant to this Complaint, the individual defendants acted as employees and agents of theCity and County of Denver.11.   At all times relevant to this Complaint, defendants were acting or failing to actunder color of state law. FACTUAL BACKGROUND 12.   Both plaintiffs are Hispanic and are identifiable as such by physical appearance.By his accent, Mr. Sanchez is identifiable as Mexican.13.   At the time of the events described in this Complaint, Ms. Carreras resided in anapartment in the 600 block of Wolff Street in Denver. Mr. Sanchez lived in a differentapartment in the same complex.14.   On the evening of July 29, 2010, Mr. Sanchez had been visiting Ms. Carreras inher apartment. When she went to take a shower, Mr. Sanchez stepped outside the apartment tosmoke a cigarette. He left the door ajar as he was standing right outside.15.   While outside the apartment, Mr. Sanchez was speaking with an acquaintance,another Hispanic male. They spoke in Spanish.16.   While the two men were standing outside talking, the defendant officersapproached. Seeing the men’s Hispanic appearance and hearing them speak Spanish, the officersimmediately demanded that Mr. Sanchez identity himself.  417.   Mr. Sanchez provided his name and he was immediately placed in handcuffs.18.   The defendants did not have legitimate grounds to detain or handcuff Mr.Sanchez. They did not have probable cause or even reasonable suspicion to believe that Mr.Sanchez was involved in any criminal activity.19.   The officers demanded that Mr. Sanchez produce an ID. Mr. Sanchez replied thathis ID was in his girlfriend’s apartment. He said he thought it was in her purse, but that she wascurrently taking a shower.20.   Mr. Sanchez offered to go into the apartment to get the ID, but the officers refusedto allow him to do so.21.   The officers stated that they could go into Ms. Carreras’s apartment and look forthe ID themselves. Mr. Sanchez then told the officers that they could not go into hisgirlfriend’s apartment while she was in the shower. One of the officers replied, “yes wefucking can go in there.”22.   Jose protested that his girlfriend might walk out of the shower and into herapartment not expecting to see police there. He told the police that they needed to wait untilhis girlfriend was out of the shower, so that she could get the ID and show it to the officers.23.   One of the officers stated, “You don’t have any ID, you’re lying.”24.   Despite Mr. Sanchez’s protests that the officers could not enter the apartmentwhile his girlfriend was in the shower, three of the defendant officers went into the apartmentanyway. The officers told Mr. Sanchez they had a right to enter Ms. Carreras’s apartment.25.   While Ms. Carreras was naked in the shower and unaware of the officers’presence, the officers searched under sofa cushions, in drawers, in kitchen cabinets, in dressers,and they searched Ms. Carreras’ purse.
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