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?
I guess they didn't want Sondra to dive head first into a toilet and flush herself down.
Since Hunter hadn't lived there in 2 years, this also seems like a criminal act with negligence to me. FBI had 2 years to "figure out" she didn't live there. Breaking and entering with damage.
If the attorney was competent, he/she named all plausible tortfeasors in the same lawsuit, not just the individual occifers. That would include the US gummit itself, which means the tax payers, or in this case the guy who turns the crank on the money printing machine. A jury verdict could easily go against the Feebs even if the judge hierarchy excuses individual occifers from liability.
Yes it is unbelievable. And now the U.S. Department of Education (ie. Re-education) now has a SWAT Team. Imagine the insanity, it could only be possible in our new Communist government.
I wonder how many of those destroyed doors are repaired by law enforcement? I was looking at estimates for replacing the door and the repair to the frame. The cost starts at $500 and go up to $1600, depending on the door. It would be like the police walking up to your car and whacking it with a sledge hammer. The problem with a house, is you need that door replaced very quickly.
You’d think people of almost any political persuasion would want to eliminate waste and duplication by having one “SWAT central” for a given government entity, e.g. all Federal agencies have to use “SWAT central” if they want SWAT. This is like being raped once and being told to pay for it a dozen times.
Shoot, you’ll likely get fined for a “public nuisance” if you don’t get it boarded up yourself pronto.
When the price of drugs goes up, people will take more risks to profit from it. When there are huge profits to make in the drug industry, people who are not usually attracted to it, will get into it. Such wealth can touch the entire fabric of society. The policy makers can make us think that by impacting the supply, they can protect society from drugs. Their action sows the seeds of corruption. Those same policy makers could also benefit from the climate of corruption they create. If I were in the drug industry, I would be encouraging the law makers to keep drugs as illegal as possible with nice campaign contributions. You don't want the price going down.
Maybe they need to train each other how to find the RIGHT address.
Yep. But it is total insanity for the U.S. Dept. of Education to have a SWAT team.. Totally Insane.
“A federal grand jury on Feb. 15 indicted 20 people on drug and gun charges. Sixteen are under arrest but police are still searching for the other four.”
Sondra Hunter was one of them.
A fact that could have been determined by any ten year old newspaper delivery kid in about twenty minutes. Or ask the mailman or call and pretend to be a telemarketer or fifty other cheap and easy ways to find out if your target actually lives there.
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
No, that would be Waco.
“which results in addicts mugging innocent people for money.”
Whether legal or not, they won’t be able to afford their habit and they will still mug people. This is a ridiculous precept for making drugs legal.
“..police SWAT teams..have fewer restrictions on conducting forced entry raids than do US forces in Afghanistan.”
50 yrs ago a clusterf**k like this would have been sufficient to cause the agents in charge to be stripped of authority and responsability. Welcome to the world of “Special Agent Karen Springmeyer”.
“conspiracy and heroin trafficking” according to the article.
Billy Ayers must be laughing again:
"Guilty as sin, free as a bird. What a country."
Female affirmative action hire overdoing things to prove how tough she is?
Contrast that to a Florida State Trooper's comment I witnessed when I was young[long before Noah came off the ark]. I was at a country restaurant, back then they were called truck stops or coffee shops.There was a State Tpooper at the counter drinking coffee. Thete was a family at one of the tables with a child that was misbehaving. The mother said to the child, " See that policeman over there? If you do not behave, I will get him to take you to jail." The Trooper said, "No I will not" and got off his stool and went over and picked the child up and held him in hs arms. He spoke to the patents and said, "We fight this all the time, please do not threaten your child with the police".
Why do we not insist on the same level of accountability for our Fed, State and Local law enforcement.
As a BTW, I am all for ending the ineffective and costly War on Drugs, and as a second good gesture, the War on Poverty. Both, IMHO, are vast wastes of taxpayer money which speak volumes of the gross inefficiency of government to “fix” anything.
Oh' come on now...what fun would that be not being able to use all their paramilitary toys by simply knocking on the door.
“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.”
Wrong! They will simply crack down even harder, go in with more weaponry blazing, killing more people and believe the entire time that they are justified because of all the “bad guys” that are shooting their agents when they come through the door.
Then again, maybe that’s what needed to arouse the citizenry.
FBI Special Agent Karen Springmeyer would not have been there 50 years ago.
One has to really question the tactics used by these JBT.
You are looking for "one" person supposedly in a house
So instead of surrounding the house with your 12 highly trained elite JBT's so that no one person can escape, you do a no knock dynamic entry with all types of potential negative outcomes instead of walking up to the door and announcing:
"This is the FBI, the house is surrounded, we have a warrant. Open the door"
Had the same thing happen to me and a couple of other cops at a greasy spoon years ago. Reamed the parents for it.
I arrested hundreds of people on all kinds of arrest warrants. Never pointed a weapon at a child and never kicked in a door to do it. One guy went around back and I knocked on the front door and stood to the side. If the suspect was a known badass there’d be two of us at the front and two at the back, and we’d knock at the door.
Denise Adams, 58, said seeing the red dots from the officers' targeting lasers crawl across her children's faces also has cost her faith in law enforcement.
That only means their guns were pointed directly at the children.
I wonder if they teach that intimation protocol at JBT training schools.
What type of bastard would do that?
Exactly. And the Men who were there would have had, along with all the authority, RESPONSABILITY for the Op. They would have been expected to protect the Constitution as well as society in the execution of their duties. None of those Men are likely even to have participated in a girly Op like this.
PC IS the feminization of a thing.