Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Business as usual

Ho-hum. Another day, another wrong-house drug raid, this time in Buffalo, New York, where an innocent couple and their six children were terrorized by having their door broken down in the middle of the night.

The wife claims that her husband, an epileptic Air Force veteran, was struck in the head with a shotgun butt, as well as had his arm dislocated while being yanked around.

"'As the officers were in the lower apartment, one of the detectives reviewed the search warrant application and realized it was for the upper [apartment],' said Dennis J. Richards, chief of detectives."

Because there's no better time for reviewing the warrant than after the raid has taken place.

Predictably, Detective Richards isn't talking specifics about his officers' screw-up:

"'We wouldn’t be comfortable discussing the internal investigation,' Richards said. 'We can say comfortably that over 1,100 search warrants were executed last year and 580 to date this year and that, with such a high volume and such a fast-paced environment, it is understandable that mistakes could happen.'"

Yeah, well, the Pennyamon family wasn't entirely "comfortable" with what happened to them, so why should the high-ups in the department get to escape the hot seat? I don't understand Richards's excuse about "mistakes", either. If his department can't perform warrant services without errors like this, then perhaps they should prioritize the warrants and research more thoroughly the ones that they decide to use high-risk techniques on, which would exclude a simple drug-possession case like this one supposedly was?

"Police said no arrests were made in the subsequent raid at the upstairs apartment."


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