LOUISVILLE, KY — Beverage control enforcers performed a surprise raid on a popular dive bar, detained dozens of people and forced them all to endure warrantless searches before being allowed to leave.
The incident occurred on September 10th, 2014. It was an otherwise uneventful Tuesday at Cahoots, a tavern located on Bardstown Road, when officers swarmed into the establishment around 2:00 a.m.
The front and back doors were immediately locked, effectively depriving dozens of occupants of the ability to freely leave.
“Now a show of hands,” an officer announced. “Who’s got something on them they shouldn’t have? No one?”
Police began systematically searching each patron individually for contraband, without any probable cause or a warrant.
“We’re going to start over here in this corner,” the apparent leader said. “We’re going to work our way around, and if we go by, if you’re clean, you get to go out the front door.”
“Wow, is this for real?” one customer asked in disbelief.
Another customer filmed the incident with a cell phone. View it below:
Responding to someone about civil rights, an officer barked, “You have the right to shut up.”
Reportedly, the justification for the raid was an alleged violation of the bar’s liquor license.
Participating in the raid were both the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) and the Louisville Metro division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).
“It looks like police gone wild,” witness Kameran Kerelaj told WAVE-3 News. “They’re searching them, they’re not asking for permission, they’re not letting them leave.”
Civil rights advocates have decried the tactics. Was it a few rogue officers breaking from standard operating procedures? So far the departments are remaining mum.
The veracity of the discipline (or lack thereof) will proportionately reflect the state and metro agencies’ commitment to protecting the civilian right to privacy. So far no officer has been disciplined, terminated, or criminally charged for the appalling mass violation of rights in Louisville.