A SWAT team composed of between 15 to 20 officers raided an organic farm, named the “Garden of Eden” and it was all because they mistook tomato plants for marijuana!
The commune in Arlington, Texas, was subject to a raid all because police had convinced themselves that the community “must” be growing marijuana.
A federal lawsuit filed by five victims of the SWAT raid, noted that the justification for this armed assault on their farm all boiled down to the police mistaking tomato plants for marijuana.
In the search warrant affidavit, Exhibit A in the lawsuit, Arlington Detective Magdalena Perez stated that commune leader Quinn Eaker possessed “a usable quantity of marijuana of two ounces or less” in Arlington “on or about July 30, 2013.”
The Houston Chronicle reported that “a search of Arlington court records turned up no marijuana or other drug charges in Eaker’s name.”
Reason magazine notes that Perez cited the Garden of Eden’s website for what it considered more “evidence” against the farming community:
The website for the Garden of Eden also advertises “Uber Dank High Vibe Cuisine.” While the website indicates that Uber can mean “over the top,” “extraordinary,” or “super,” and Dank can mean “high quality” (mostly for consumables) or “overflowing gratitude,” your AFFIANT knows through her training and experience that “Uber Dank” is also slang for high quality marijuana. AFFIANT also knows that individuals who consume marijuana often refer to the sensation felt after consumption as a “high.” The website mentions the word high multiple times while describing the food. In addition, AFFIANT knows that some people consume marijuana by baking it into their food.
Since the cops couldn’t find any real dirt on the farm, Perez said she started asking around.
“Based upon multiple reports that the residents of the property were growing marijuana,” she said, without ever citing who those “reports” were from.
In her affidavit she only cites “an anonymous source of information,” who said that “Quinn Eaker of the ‘Garden of Eden’ community is growing marijuana that is covered by bamboo and that there were weapons, specifically two rifles and one pistol, on the property.”
“I’m passionately convicted in saying this is not how we treat people and this is not how a successful, efficient, honorable society operates,” Eaker told the Chronicle. “This is not in line with freedom.”
The Free Thought Project notes that a lawsuit, filed by Garden of Eden residents just last month, contends that law enforcement violated the rights of those who live on and operate the farm.
They are suing for property and emotional damage, inflicted by the State, as well as seeking the recovery of legal expenses for this fiasco “because the City of Arlington and Detective Perez showed a reckless and callous indifference,” according to Reason magazine.
Watch the video below on the raid, and help SPREAD THE WORD to show support for the lawsuit that has just been filed!
(Article by Jackson Marciana and M. David; h/t to Reason and The Free Thought Project)