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Appeals court: Police search was ‘warrantless intrusion’

February 18, 2021 GMT

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal appeals court panel has ruled that a gun-drawn police search of a St. Louis County home constituted a “severe, warrantless intrusion.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the ruling Tuesday. At issue was a search in 2016 in which St. Louis County officers entered a Ballwin home searching for someone who skipped out on cab fare.

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ACLU of Missouri attorney Anthony Rothert called it “a nightmare for this family and something that is not supposed to happen in this country.”

The ruling allows a 2017 lawsuit to go to trial.

Jon Luer and Andrea Steinebach awoke about 3 a.m. on July 10, 2016, to find armed officers in their hallway. The court opinion said the two officers took Luer’s stepson, who also was in the home, to let the cab driver look at him. The officers left after deciding he was not the suspect.