A SWAT team destroyed a cancer survivor’s home while chasing a fugitive. The city refused to pay for the damage. But a new legal strategy may help Vicki Baker and others.
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Foreign The summer of 2020 I had just Gotten my house already for sale Spending a lot of money uh fixing it up I'd spent probably 20 000 then getting it uh ready for sale And then sold it it was under contract For one week a day that this happened [Music] I guess he knew that I was living in Montana most of the time he must have Seen the for sale sign on the house He showed up at uh my house with this Young 15 year old girl that he was on The run with [Music] Our neighbors had called me and showed Me a little clip You know what was going on and they were Recording all the It was like 30 tear gas canisters Gone in through the roof gone in through Six Windows the girl had come out they Said it about three hours before that She told them that he had a backpack With guns in it and so the police had to Be cautious I understand that though he Never fired at them that I am aware of They put a bomb on the Um garage door And blew that off they used a Humvee to Run down my back fence And what I was told is the reason they Did a lot of that
Was to Bring about confusion You know to the perpetrator inside and They call it shock and awe so while they Were doing all of this damage to my House He apparently Killed himself Tear gas unfortunately got my daughter's Little Chihuahua And we ended up having to put him to Sleep The HazMat team threw everything out They had two huge containers uh in front Of my house and both were filled to the Full I mean couches chairs Dishes everything went everything that You have in the house I remember A calling my insurance company and Thinking that everything was going to be Covered [Music] She said we don't pay those claims and I Said you don't understand I'm trying to tell her you don't Understand and she's telling me you Don't understand we've never paid a Claim like this and I said I want to Talk to your insurance company please And she said fine You know but you won't get a dime those Were her exact words I laid on my couch here For
Probably a couple of days just crying I Mean I could barely do anything because Now my house was no longer sold I Couldn't pay off this property I was Forced into Um Semi-retime mostly retirement when the Cancer came because I could no longer Call on patients My name is Jeff Redfern and I'm an Attorney at The Institute for justice The government has this power called Eminent domain which means you know most Familiar use of it would be like taking Your house for a road they can take your Property if they need to for a public Use but they have to pay you just Compensation and that's in the Fifth Amendment so we argued that the Destruction of Vicki Baker's house in Order to take a dangerous criminal off The street was it taking just like it Would be a taking if they took your House to build a road or if your house Were destroyed because they built a dam And your land got flooded or any number Of other ways that that government can Intentionally destroy private property Sometimes for very good reasons It's it's a very good thing that the Police got this guy off the street and And nobody's disputing that It's just about you know who has to bear The cost of that you know the answer to
That can't be well Vicki Baker uh you Know a cancer survivor retiree Um has to Bear over sixty thousand Dollars in order to pay for something That the town could pay for if it chose To [Music] I felt Vindicated I felt okay somebody Understands somebody else doesn't want This to happen to anybody else and they Knew by giving me a win that it might Help other individuals [Music] I feel we will win this thing because I Feel it is right Feel God is on our side [Music]