We’ve documented the proliferation of no-knock SWAT raids and the militarization of what used to be everyday police work. It’s even worse when the paramilitaries get their information wrong and knock down the wrong door. Pets have been shot, innocent people terrorized and sometimes killed. One Bellevue, PA family has decided they’re not taking it lying down…
It turns out the FBI was looking for Sondra Hunter who had lived at the same address two years previously when they used a battering ram to enter Gary Adams’ home. pittsburghtrib.com reports that the Adamses had only been at the address for a year. Oops.
The feds couldn’t have done much legwork prior to the raid. Court records had a Long Beach, CA address for Hunter. In fact, she returned to Pittsburgh when she learned that she was wanted by the cops. Doesn’t sound like much of a hard case, does she?
“They had guns on my wife, my babies. I’d like to know how they would feel — the people in my house — if that happened to them,” [Adams] said. 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.
Old fashioned police work seems to have gone out of style. Did the FBI or locals watch the house to see if Hunter was there? They couldn’t have. When it’s scary-easy to find large amounts of information on just about anyone through the magic of the Internets, why not use the tools that are right there on your desk?
It’s evidently a lot easier (and cooler!) to put on the Kevlar, pick up an AR and kick in a door. Wrong address? Sorry. Here’s a number to call to get your door fixed.
It’ll be difficult for the Adamses to prevail in the suit. They’ll have to show that the feds were reckless or negligent. But it’s good to see victims of these wrong address raids fighting back. It’s about the only way to force cops to be a little more careful before suiting up.