Woman Sues Police Over 'Flash Grenade' SWAT Raid
An Indiana woman falsely raided by a SWAT team is suing the city of Evansville and the police department after cops smashed down her door and threw flash grenades into her home in response to "threatening" Internet posts that she wasn't even responsible for.
"Police came up empty-handed in a search for evidence about threatening Internet posts but only after damaging the house, handcuffing the woman and her granddaughter and seizing their computers, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court at Evansville," reports the Courier Press.
Police claim the raid, which occurred back in June, was justified due to Internet posts traced back to 68-year-old Louise Milan’s house which threatened to attack the police department, but the posts had been made by a suspected gang member who had hijacked Milan's wi-fi connection because it was not password protected.
The lawsuit states that the actions of the officers “were done with malicious intent to cause severe mental and emotional distress to Milan.”
After smashing Milan's window and her storm door, police threw two flash grenades into the home before ordering Milan and her daughter onto the floor at gunpoint. The two were handcuffed and paraded in front of their neighbors before police seized computers and a cellphone.
The police even ensured that a news camera crew was there to document the raid in order to "memorialize" the incident.
Alleged gang member Derrick Murray, who lived nearby, later admitted to a federal court that he had used his smartphone to hijack Milan's wi-fi connection to make the threatening posts.
SWAT raids which turn out to target the wrong houses are a routine characteristic of America's increasing decline into a police state.
- In October last year, police in Middletown, Delaware searching for a "person of interest" raided Steve and Jennifer Tuppeny's house and held them at gunpoint before realizing they had the wrong house.
- In July 2010, a Minneapolis-St. Paul SWAT team raided the wrong house, shot the family dog and forced three children to sit next to the bleeding corpse of their beloved pet for over an hour.
- Police in Adams County, Colorado falsely raided the home of Jeff Fisher before shooting and killing his pet dog Ziggy when the animal attempted to run away.
- Lebanon, Tennessee resident John Adams was shot to death by cops as his wife was handcuffed in another room following another wrong house raid in September last year.
- A 12-year-old girl suffered second degree burns after police used flash grenades in executing a raid on a house in Billings, Montana last October over an alleged meth lab that never existed.
These are just a handful of cases from the last few years in what is turning into an epidemic of police abuse as a result of the failure to properly verify that such raids are targeting the right people.