A broken window policing program that began in Washington state and Oregon in recent years has turned into a nationwide scandal, with a number of high-profile cases of people getting caught up in it.
One of the most high-featured was the arrest of a University of Washington student who was walking down the street and saw a police officer holding a handgun.
According to court documents, the officer told the student, “If you don’t get in the car, I’m going to shoot you,” according to the Seattle Times.
A few weeks later, a 19-year-old woman in Maryland was arrested for breaking and entering a home and breaking out a window, but her attorney argued that she had broken no laws and had only broken windows in self-defense.
The police chief in the Washington state case was suspended.
In Oregon, the arrest came after a woman in the state’s northernmost town broke into a house, leaving a key to a safe, and a deputy told her to leave.
After a year of investigation, authorities were able to arrest her for breaking into a home.
In New Mexico, a woman broke into an apartment and then set a fire, leaving two people injured.
She was eventually charged with aggravated burglary and arson.
The woman was later found guilty of first-degree criminal mischief and sentenced to five years in prison.
In Minnesota, a man broke into his girlfriend’s home, breaking in and stealing a box of cigars.
He was charged with burglary, aggravated criminal trespass and arson and sentenced in federal court to three years in federal prison.
The man was released after serving a year.
“The federal courts have never seen anything like it,” said Stephen L. Burdette, who is an assistant professor at the University of Texas School of Law.
“I don’t think they’ve seen anything similar in the history of the United States.”
The case illustrates the challenges facing police departments across the country trying to enforce a broken windows law.
“There’s no question that there’s going to be some tension,” said Daniel L. Gattis, a professor at Texas A&M Law School and the director of the Center for Policing for Justice, an Austin, Texas-based research group that focuses on policing.
“When you’ve got a broken-windows policy that’s so broad that people are breaking into cars and breaking windows, it creates a whole bunch of legal and constitutional issues.”
Police departments across California and New York have also been hit with civil rights complaints over broken windows policies.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, a group of residents protested outside a police station and demanded a change to the city’s broken windows policy in the fall of 2017.
The protest was met with some strong criticism from some police officers, who said they believed the group should have been given more time to find the property to be broken into.
“It’s not like they’re not looking at property, it’s just that they’re looking at it so they can make a statement and have the ability to respond,” said Sgt. Eric Barra, a spokesman for the San Jose Police Department.
In Georgia, a police report on a broken glass incident in an apartment complex in Georgia’s capital city, Atlanta, said officers had entered the building on Dec. 3, 2016, and found a broken toilet and a broken door.
The report said a woman had been “trying to break into the apartment” and had been breaking windows with a knife.
The investigation found that the man had been drinking.
A police report said officers saw the suspect leave the apartment with a broken mirror, a glass bottle, a bottle of wine, a broken bottle opener, a plastic bottle opener and a bottle cap.
Police reported that they were unable to find any evidence to support the claim that the suspect was armed.
The city has since closed the complex, and the suspect has not been charged.
In Alabama, a former police officer accused of breaking windows at his former employer was charged in November with breaking the law.
The former officer, Michael H. Taylor, pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary and one count of breaking and entry.
He told police that he broke into the building because he wanted to “make a statement” and said that he “had a gun” in his hand, according to a report in the AJC.
He also said that when he found the broken window, he “felt like I had a bullet in me,” according the report.
He had been fired from the department after a domestic violence arrest in 2011.
The state’s attorney said he would seek a dismissal of the charges against Taylor, and he declined to comment further.
In Tennessee, police have been caught using broken windows to arrest people who had broken into cars, but have been accused of violating the law by breaking windows themselves.
In March, a Knoxville police officer was charged after breaking into the home of a woman and her friend after they broke a window.
The Tennessee State Police said the officers were responding to a burglary call