Grand words, but unfortunately they cannot prevent government officials from engaging in such conduct. Consider the following case.
Florida has a statute requiring that barbers be licensed and it gives the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) authority to enforce it through biennial inspections of barber shops. Two inspectors conducted an inspection of the Strictly Skillz shop in Orlando on August 19, 2010. They found no violations.
But only two days later, DBPR came back to Strictly Skillz, this time with an astounding display of force: eight armed officers, including narcotics agents, some of them wearing masks and bullet-proof vests burst into the shop with weapons drawn. Squad cars blocked off the parking lot. The officers shouted that the customers were to leave immediately and that the shop was “closed down indefinitely.”
Read the story but this sums it up...
On September 16, the 11th Circuit issued its decision in Berry v. Leslie. The court’s ruling, written by Judge Rosenbaum, strongly attacked the idea that government officials, police and regulatory, can hide behind an immunity defense when they engage in conduct they knew or should have known violated “clearly established statutory or constitutional rights” of individuals.