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U.S. court will not block lawsuits over Connecticut SWAT raid
A U.S. federal appeals court has ruled that Connecticut police cannot claim immunity to quash lawsuits seeking millions of dollars in damages from a botched 2008 raid by a SWAT team that severely injured a homeowner and killed his friend.
The decision by the U.S. 2nd Court of Appeals in New York clears the way for a judge to decide whether five suburban Connecticut police departments violated the constitutional rights of homeowner Ronald Terebesi by using excessive force.
On May 18, 2008, a heavily armed SWAT - or special weapons and tactics - team unit knocked down Terebesi's door, threw stun flash grenades into his Easton home and fatally shot 33-year-old Gonzalo Guizan of Norfolk as the two men watched television.
Guizan, who was visiting the home, died after being shot a half dozen times.
“The court ruling here is going to be relied upon in other courts throughout the country," Gary Mastronardi, a Bridgeport attorney who represents Terebesi, said on Tuesday. "They set up the parameters that define the extent to which qualified immunity can be asserted by police in SWAT cases."
In a 51-page ruling that upholds a lower court decision, the appeals court said the police responded with unnecessary and inappropriate force and under the circumstances, are not protected by "qualified immunity" from the lawsuits.
Well, I don't like this guy so let's break into his house, break his stuff, steal his stuff, pistol whip him, and kill his friend all on the word of "woman [who] was extremely thin, her teeth heavily decayed and her eyes glassy and dilated, according to the police report...[whose] body twitched as she spoke," who "couldn't recall the exact address she had been to, she said it was "Wood" something."