Skip to comments.Women says police went too far in drug raid
Posted on 10/28/2006 11:27:01 AM PDT by traviskicks
A Sugar Land woman says police went too far when they burst into her home and arrested her boyfriend and son on drug charges. The raid left her dog dead and caused thousands of dollars in damage.
"It was bang, bang, bang, then there was a boom as they broke the door in, threw the fire grenade, and then shot the dog," said homeowner Margot Allen. "This all happened in anywhere from five to fifteen seconds."
That's how Allen's son and boyfriend describe what happened that day. Sugar Land police acted on a tip. They say they found traces of marijuana and cocaine in her trash after a month-long investigation.
"There's no crack done in my house," she said. "There's occasional marijuana in my house. I don't do it because I don't happen to like it."
Based on the evidence in the trash, a regional SWAT team arrived at the home. Police say they knocked, waited 30 seconds, and then broke in with guns and a concussion grenade. The house suffered $5,000 damage and one officer shot and killed Margot's golden lab, Shadow, when police say it charged toward one of the officers. What did officers find inside?
"A joint half the size of my pinky fingernail and then one about this big," she said, showing a length on her finger. "And not anywhere near this big around."
The Sugar Land Police Department declined an on-camera interview, but they are defending their actions, saying they followed protocol to the letter.
The department says it was determined that the bust would be of a moderate risk. Even though they had no specific threat, they were prepared for firearms in the house and felt obligated to anticipate any resistance or violence. They say killing the dog was regrettable. They also say Allen's boyfriend has a history of drug convictions. But for Allen, it was overkill.
"They treated us like we were terrorists," she said. "They broke the door down. They shot my dog. They set my house on fire."
Both Allen's son and her boyfriend were charged with a Class B misdemeanor for that small amount of marijuana. That's punishable by up to six months in the county jail or a maximum $2,000 fine. Both of them will be in court on January 9.
But heck, they got that half a joint off the streets.
You'd think they could stop by the pound and pick up some strays to practice with but they don't.
I don't appear too often on the drug war threads - though they are interesting reading. My question is: is it now protocol to shoot the dog? In these stories where the people own a dog, the dog ends up dead. And then, when I read the threads about people being cruel to animals - some become rabid (not really trying to sound punny) and say the people who are cruel to animals should be treated the same, sent to the lower regions of hell, etc... Just an observation or two.
The police should really plant a nice sized back of cocaine in the house when this happens. Otherwise they end up looking stupid, and we can't have that. Plant the coke boys, and never shoot the dog.
Boy I feel so much safer now. Several strands of weed taken off the illegal drug market. Whoopee!
You beat me to it.
"When I called for help, I asked them to be NICE, maybe we could have a little chat and be sure to bring cookies." Expectations, disappointments.
They used to do that, just to justify the carnage. Then they discovered we'd sit still for whatever they do no matter what's found, or even if nothing's found at all.
They need to either defend their actions better or change the protocol.
I'd like to know that the police had a legitimate reason to use that kind of violence in the course of a misdemeanor arrest. Maybe they did, but none is mentioned in the article.
The ATF and Texas dont mix. Time to "redeploy" the ATF and DEA?
If those SWAT guys dont get to kick in doors every coupla days or so they start getting restless. The excuse for these raids is that if they dont swoop in, the dopers will flush the evidence. Ok. So maybe they should have to try knocking on the door, and then after they get off by flushing the first time, they can come back next week and shoot the dog?
I'm with the Texan. The SWAT team never has come rampaging into MY home. And just perhaps the dog threatened them.
Crime, chaos vs Law 'n Order.
"Based on the evidence in the trash, a regional SWAT team arrived at the home."
Now I know how to get back at the neighbors with the all night barking dog.