Skip to comments.Bellevue family sues FBI over 'terrifying' raid
Posted on 06/17/2011 8:24:23 PM PDT by george76
The lasting impact of the raid on Gary Adams' home became clear in a comment from his 3-year-old granddaughter during a recent trip to the pharmacy.
"She said, 'Granddad. Police. Hide,' " Adams, 57, of Bellevue recalled Wednesday while discussing the federal lawsuit he filed against the officers who burst into his home March 3.
Led by FBI Special Agent Karen Springmeyer, about a dozen officers used a battering ram to enter Adams' rented Orchard Street home in a search for Sondra Hunter, then 35. But Hunter hadn't lived at that address for almost two years, while Adams and his family had been living there for more than a year, according to the lawsuit filed by Adams and 10 other family members...
The lawsuit says that officers knew, or should have known, that Hunter no longer lived there. By executing an arrest warrant at a residence that wasn't Hunter's, they violated the family's Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure, and their Fifth Amendment right to due process, the lawsuit says.
Duquesne University law professor Bruce Ledewitz said arrest warrants don't give police carte blanche to enter any building because they think a suspect is inside. Instead, such warrants only authorize police to go to the person's residence.
Police usually enjoy "qualified immunity" from lawsuits even when they make mistakes, as long as they were carrying out their duties responsibly, he said. Entering a residence without probable cause, however, would strip the immunity away from those officers.
University of Pittsburgh law professor David Harris said the family faces several obstacles in winning. In particular, he thought it would be tough for them to overcome the officer's qualified immunity because the Supreme Court has repeatedly raised the bar for suing police officers.
(Excerpt) Read more at pittsburghlive.com ...
Led by FBI Special Agent Karen Springmeyer, about a dozen officers used a battering ram to enter Adams’ rented Orchard Street home in a search for Sondra Hunter, then 35.
i assume Sondra must have been “armed and dangerous”, to need a dozen FBI agents doing a no-knock?
...i am curious what she was accused of, but i don’t see it anywhere...
I seem to remember that a war was fought over this very issues...It was so long ago that schools no longer teach it in history class.
Think about that for a minute. Then get angry.
ahh. finally found it here. Sondra is finally mentioned in about the 15th paragraph:
Nico “Cheeks” Nixon, 20, of Lower Lawrenceville, was still on the run and charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin. And Sondra Hunter, 35, of Manchester was wanted for heroin possession.
so like the Marine killed in Arizona, they were simply looking for drugs.
...i think way too many innocent people are being hurt in the “War on Drugs”.
all it seems to do, as per basic economics, is make drugs more expensive, which results in addicts mugging innocent people for money.
with unintended consequences of innocent citizens getting hurt, AND having their rights trampled by the government...
A battering ram to the door for a single woman. Never mind the fact checking and the half-dozen other ways to find out whether or not she lived there. SOP is terror - don’t mess with law enforcement, be good little citizens and comply, now! The family is lucky their pet wasn’t shot.
I’m constantly amazed at how many mistakes police operations make in entering the wrong home, often killing its innocent occupants. There is no reason for it.
A competent police department, FBI, DEA, ATF, SWAT squad is supposed to do extensive surveillance of the building to be entered, to know exactly where it is located on a map and in photos, what other structures are on either side of it and their numbers, etc.
The same for who is living there via phone numbers/names, owner or renter of the building, names on water, phone, electric bills, car registrations/licence plates, etc.
Also there should be photo surveillance and installed surveillance cameras when possible.
This screw-up is indicative of what the Left has done to police intelligence capabilities, and as one who was involved in them, I know what I’m talking about. Actual lawsuits filed by both innocent and guilty raid persons have forced the police to cutback their surveillance operations, staff, intelligence files, etc.
The Communist legal network has helped to file many successful lawsuits (some with merit) starting since the successful MayDay 1971 suits, COINTELLPRO suits, and local attacks that led to the destruction of Police Intelligence Units (often CIDs) in the major cities of the U.S. - New York, Baltimore, D.C., Chicago (red-led fronts did the attacking), Los Angeles (again red politicians and fronts), Detroit (The Mayor was a Communist Party member); etc.
Unfortunately, with Eric Holder as the Attorney General, and his hate-America, anti-white, and anti-Intelligence personna, there is little chance that any meaningful reforms in police surveillance/raid tactics will be enacted.
The same with the incompetent Janet Napolitano of the Dept. of Homeland Security, the leadership of ICE (Immigration & Customs), the leadership of the Border Patrol police, etc.
I’ve been in and around various types of intelligence/information gathering operations as both a former undercover operative, working on an Organized Crime Task Force, and as an investigative journalist for 40 years covering terrorism, domestic subversion, hate-groups/crimes, and local criminal problems. I had hoped that the police and govt would have finally gotten their acts together by now, but I was wrong.
Sheer incompetence, stupidity, inside-the-box mentality, and timidity are responsible for this, as well as politically correct operational attitudes.
FYI: My family (and by marriage) includes one police officer, one former police officer, one undercover operative, two lawyers, two paralegals, one police forensics agent, a former very high ranking military intelligence officer, and one great friend, a former career NYPD officer/intelligence officer. We’ve been there, done that, and seen it all. It is not a pretty sight and there is no reason for it.
and here is the official FBI press release:
kind of ironic. they burst in and terrorized an innocent family with children, instead of the flunky they wanted who might have had some heroin:
“”We want to advise violent criminals who tyrannize the neighborhoods and towns in our district that we know who you are; we are coming for you, and it is only a matter of when not if we catch you and disrupt and prosecute your criminal activity,” said U.S. Attorney Hickton.”
What I don’t understand is sending in SWAT without bothering to talk to neighbors or check other sources to see if it was the right address.
Officials THINK it MIGHT be right, so go in guns blazing, instead of low risk questioning.
i certainly know, there are MANY good officers. My Dad worked with the Mesa PD in AZ.
...but the War on Drugs, simply is a cure worse than the disease, even if the cure worked, which it doesn’t.
i wish the good officers, could all be concentrated on terrorism, and making our country safe from other crimes (not to mention a secure border would be nice...)
...and MadMax, the Grinning Reaper probably gave as good an answer to “why” as we are likely to get.
i think arrogance is also a part. the police i grew up with, still believed they were serving the people, and protecting them...
a LOT has changed in this country, in just a few decades...
Give every cop involved a mandatory five year felony sentence no parole, confiscation of all assets, forever proscribed from government employment, and loss of pension, and you'd see a host of fact checking cops, and the paperwork to prove it.
I'd say, "They used to."
Obama is an obvious felon. Nothing is done. But they serve search warrants with battering rams.
whatever happened to knocking on the door?
Interesting, the cops form a 12 man unit to bust in to get a person wanted for possession only.
Kind of sums up “Out of Control”
I no longer care at all if idiot goon agents like these all get blown away raiding the wrong homes and terrorizing innocent people. In fact it might be the best thing for the country because it might make idiots like this go over their intelligence one or two more times and value their stupid lives a little more.
These are the people who have ALL the resources and claim to be the only ones who can do this kind of stuff properly. Same folks who look down on regular folks that aren’t “trained” and couldn’t possibly be as intelligent as they are. Also they have no fear of any serious consequences for screwing up like this. Show me the long list of any members of any of these kinds of teams getting fired or jail time for crap like this. None.
Lots of departments are using swat and tactical teams on such missions for “training purposes”.
Whatever happened to confirming your intelligence you’ve gathered to make certain it’s correct before using deadly weapons on people?
Doesn’t anyone do any scouting and intelligence work before busting into a place?
You know, like confirming their suspect is actually there?