Do police have to reimburse damage done during a search?

Well, he was being a dick and throwing his weight around, that’s for sure. The guard overheard my exchange with the ID checker (she couldn’t find the date in my passport and I had been traveling for 18 hours and was in no mood to deal with incompetence) and decided to retaliate, I guess. He was very belligerent and after he tore the bag open he took my pen, just a regular disposable I picked up from a hotel. Said he couldn’t allow me to bring sharp objects on the plane. I know that’s BS because I travel for business about every month and a half and I’ve never had a pen confiscated before or since. When I did get to the terminal I saw everyone had pens, and there was even a Mont Blanc store there. But what could I do? One wrong move and he could keep me off my flight.

However, I thought the TSA had the power to do whatever they wanted when it came to opening bags. If you had a locked bag, they will destroy it to get it opened and it’s your fault that it was locked to begin with. It was a cheap little duffle bag (the reason it had a hole was due to it’s shoddy quality) and not worth my time to pursue a claim if I could. The worst part was now my carry-on was spilling itself all over and I still had another 5 hour flight ahead of me.

I just have an anecdote about my brother. Earlier in the year he came up from Ft. Hood for a visit. At the time, he drove a really customized Honda Civic, with “lambo doors” that opened upwards instead of outwards. While he was here, a local police officer stopped him for speeding. Now, I’m not sure if the officer was out of line or whether my brother gave him some lip (probably the latter) but the bottom line is, the officer jerked open the door to pull my bro out. Since the officer didn’t know it was modified, he pulled outward, which popped a pretty big dent in the fender.

He probably would have pulled Mo out of the car but for the fact that Mo is handicapped and let the officer know it PDQ.

The officer wrote the ticket and told Mo to see the city administrator about the damage. We all went in to watch the dashboard video (it was muted so I have no idea what was said) in his office, and the city promptly issued a check for the damage. What would have happened if that tape had been “lost” or whatnot, I don’t know. The car got fixed, the officer’s still employed, and Mo drives slower when he’s in town.

Thisis what they might do. :smiley:

Well, you could write a letter and file a complaint. You might get that dude fired. The thing to NOT do (and you didn’t, it appears) is to get angry and start yelling then.

I don’t want to get into it here, too OT and probably not even the right forum. This happened a year and a half ago so it’s a moot point anyway. Complaining wouldn’t accomplish anything, he could just say anything and it would be my word against his, and who are they going to believe? Too risky, I can’t afford to be put on the no-fly list.

That’s scary.

:shudder: The climate in the US, especially concerning airports and flying, frightens me a lot. I’ve felt this way too, and I’m usually not one to respond to intimidation if I know I’m in the right. Sorry for the hijack*.

*Um, nope, I didn’t say hijack, uh - what I meant was derailment, no wait! um, well. . .

Here, they will reimburse you eventually, although it might take a year.

My Grandmother came home from hospital and realised my Grandad wasn’t moving on the sofa. She didn’t have a key with her, so the emergency crew (or maybe the police) cut a panal out of the door to get in. Her home insurance payed for the door, despite the fact that the door wasn’t actually covered in the insurance. Nice folks, they were great to my Grandma. Sadly my Grandad had passed away.

I picked up someone from the airport today and I have an update re: damage done during searches at the airport. A sign by a security checkpoint stated that the TSA is not responsible for any damage to luggage, and had a whole laundry-list of other damages they weren’t responsible for (perishable items, fragile items, electronics, jewelry, overpacked baggage, and a few others I don’t recall). For everything else it said to contact your air carrier. There also was a hand-written note taped up saying all gifts must also be unwrapped.

So it sounds like the security guy I ran into, despite being an a-hole, was correct. It also sounds like you have very limited recourse if any damage is done. Seems like the government won’t pay for practically anything, and it’s up to whatever you can get from the airline.

I had a similar situation - a security person who took my coat from me tore the sleeve of it while he was rifling through it. I asked him how I filled out a claim form and he looked at me and said words to the effect of “If you want to make your flight, shut up and walk away. Otherwise we can spend the next few hours checking your bags.” Note this was just post 9/11, when the security staff all had pieces of opaque tape over their badges, so you couldn’t even say it was “badge number so-and-so”.

As to the main topic of the thread, KCMO had a spate of “wrong address” raids in the 1980’s where police would break into homes in full X-Files type gear, essentially destroy the apartment/house, find nothing, and then leave without even a “sorry” to the tenant. In one case which caught my attention pets in the apartment were let free and not all recovered, and in another the police left the door wide open, and the resident came home to find their place subsequently burglarized. Some (I’d say “all” but have no cites to that) of the cases went to court because the city steadfastly had a policy of refusing to offer any compensation whatsoever outside of court, considering it all to be necessary casualities of the “War on Drugs”. :rolleyes: In every case that I followed, the city lost big in court, which of course meant the taxpayers lost big too…