Thursday, 24 July 2014

Lawsuit: SWAT Team Allegedly Injured Innocents, Killed Dog in Raid

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Another child is injured by an overly aggressive SWAT team and their use of seemingly unnecessary force. The mother and her daughter are now suing the SWAT team.

While the woman (who wishes to remain anonymous) was sitting at home alone in her Orange County, California home in 2010, the county sheriff’s SWAT team broke down the door and and “came in shooting,” the complaint alleges.

"I got up and went towards the door and literally once I went towards the door, boom!" the daughter said.

"I was 17. I was 5 feet 2 inches and 100 pounds wet," she said, as quoted by a local TV news channel. "And they came in shooting.”

The lawsuit filed by the women asserts that the police were looking for a family member who did not live at the home when the SWAT team came busting in.

Once inside the house, the SWAT team continued shooting, the women claim, including shooting and killing the family dog. "The dog was startled and ran to the closet, to the room, and when he ran to the room is when they shot him," she said, in the article.

SWAT team members claim the dog “aggressively came toward them.”

The younger woman reports that she was injured by the gunfire, as well. Photos reportedly show wounds on her leg.

According to news reports, the police officers were executing a no-knock warrant in search of a man suspect of dealing drugs. "I said, 'Chris hasn't lived here in weeks, so if you've been surveillancing [sic] my house, why are you here?'" the woman told the news channel.

Upon searching the home, police reportedly found ammunition, but no firearms. Marijuana seeds and some sort of related paraphernalia were also found in a room where the suspect had once slept, according to the report filed by the SWAT team. Sometime after the assault on the home, the suspect was found and arrested, but was released after charges were dropped.

The woman (who was 17 years old at the time of the incident) says she is suing the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for injuries received in the SWAT team raid, injuries from which she still suffers. "My back hurts a lot now even just doing regular stuff," she said. "The very first year was very, very hard for me. I went to a very dark place.”

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office would not comment on the case, as it is currently in litigation. Regardless of the outcome of this lawsuit, the evidence of law-enforcement abuse of power is mounting.

The New American has reported on several such incidents and has pointed out similarities between the weapons and tactics being used by police and the behavior of a “standing army” so despised by our Founding Fathers.

Steadily and speedily, the force of the militarized police is denying citizens the protections of fundamental civil liberties afforded us by the Bill of Rights. While there remain legions of law-enforcement officers devoted to protecting and serving their fellow citizens, the federal government’s proffer of powerful, free or almost free, weapons, vehicles, gear, and tactical training is making the allure of becoming an unofficial branch of the armed forces irresistible.

If the threat of the police becoming a standing army of the sort our forefathers believed to be “inconsistent with liberty” is to be diffused, Americans must not only exercise their right to demand that police recognize their responsibility to abide by the law rather than break it, but we must also fiercely resist every attempt to abridge our right to keep and bear arms while keeping ourselves ready to defend that right against all enemies.

Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American. Follow him on Twitter @TNAJoeWolverton.