Mississippi police officers fatally shot a man in a wrong-door raid. The city says he had no constitutional rights because he was an undocumented immigrant.

Two years ago, police officers arrived at a Mississippi home in the middle of the night to execute a warrant. But they knocked on the wrong person's door, a commotion ensued, and they shot the homeowner in the back of the head, state investigators said.
Now, the city of Southaven has argued in a legal brief that the man, Ismael Lopez, was not protected by the US Constitution because he was an undocumented immigrant.
"It is the most absurd thing in the world," Aaron Neglia, a lawyer for Lopez's wife, told Insider. "What [they're] saying is that because this man is undocumented, it's okay to kill him?" 
Attorneys for Lopez's family have filed a civil lawsuit over the shooting, and are seeking $20 million in damages for Lopez's widow, Claudia Linares. They have argued that Lopez was the victim of one of the worst police shootings in recent memory — akin to Walter Scott, an unarmed black man who was shot in the back in 2015 while he ran from a white police officer.
But the city, the Southaven Police Department, and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation have alleged that the officers opened fire on Lopez after he pointed a .22-caliber rifle at them — an allegation Lopez's lawyers deny.

Immigrants — both documented and undocumented — are protected by the Constitution

immigrant citizenship ceremony
A person holds an American flag as they participate in a ceremony to become an American citizen during a U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services naturalization ceremony at the Miami Field Office on August 17, 2018 in Miami, Florida.
Getty Images/Joe Raedle
An attorney for Southaven who wrote the legal brief argued that Lopez, due to his immigration status and criminal history, had no rights under the Fourth Amendment or 14th Amendment. The amendments protect against unreasonable searches and seizures, and guarantee equal protection, respectively.
"Ismael Lopez may have been a person on American soil but he was not one of the 'We, the People of the United States' entitled to the civil rights invoked in this lawsuit," attorney Katherine Kerby wrote. "Ismael Lopez had insufficient connections with the United States of the type, dignity, and caliber required to attain standing for Fourth or Fourteenth Amendment protection." 
In fact, immigrants — both documented and undocumented — are protected by the Constitution, as is anyone on US soil.
The Supreme Court has affirmed these protections before, such as in the landmark 1982 case Plyler v. Doe, which held that immigrant children are protected under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and therefore can't be barred from attending public schools.

"Where they say, 'We the people,' they don't say 'residents' or 'citizens.'"

ConstitutionKaren Ducey /GettyImages
Kerby also argued in her brief that Lopez's criminal history— he was charged in the 1990s with domestic violence and driving under the influence — precluded him from constitutional protections.
"Ismael Lopez was a convicted felon for a crime of violence while in the United States and a fugitive from justice in violation of the his terms of probation with an outstanding warrant for deportation as well as being a felon in possession and an illegal alien in possession of a firearm at the time he opened his door to the knock of the described Southaven police officers,"
Neglia told Insider that nothing from Lopez's history gave Southaven police the right to arrive at the wrong door and kill the person inside.
He added that he believed Kerby's legal brief was akin to a "hate manifesto" and said she was warping the true meaning of the Constitution.
"Every human being on American soil has constitutional rights. It's very clear in the Constitution — where they say, 'We the people,' they don't say 'residents' or 'citizens.' They say 'people," Neglia said. "The US Supreme Court has made it clear that any individual on American soil, regardless of how they entered America, has constitutional protections."
Mississippi police officers fatally shot a man in a wrong-door raid. The city says he had no constitutional rights because he was an undocumented immigrant. Mississippi police officers fatally shot a man in a wrong-door raid. The city says he had no constitutional rights because he was an undocumented immigrant. Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:52 Rating: 5

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