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Lawsuit: St. Louis County sent SWAT team, killed a dog over code violations

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posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 02:57 PM
A tactical raid by a swat unit can be a horrifying situation for anyone to experience. And as a society we should expect that such tactics are only reserved for appropriate situations. One such situation which I would believe most, if not all of us could agree is not an appropriate situation is for code violations.

In the lawsuit, Angela Zorich claims that St. Louis County Police tactical officers -- aka the department's SWAT team -- raided her house in April 2014 and killed Kiya, her four-year-old pit bull.

The reason for the raid: to check if her home had electricity and natural gas service.

Sure, it's possible these individuals were repeat delinquents when it comes to their utilities.

Online court records suggest that Zorich and relatives have had various landlord actions and complaints filed against them since 2005 at two separate addresses in south St. Louis County.

But is a tactical raid even close to an appropriate response? Here is the series of events as laid out by this lawsuit.

On April 25, 2014, St. Louis County Police officers came to her house. Her son cussed at them. They inspected the home's exterior and placed a "Problem Properties" sticker on the front window

On April 28, Zorich called the police to follow up on the matter. An officer told her they were investigating the home for failing to have natural gas or electric service, as required by county ordinance. She admitted that the gas had been shut off, but said the claim about electricity was "bulls---." The officer hung up on her.

Zorich called back and spoke to a different officer. This one sounded angry that he'd been cussed at by her son three days earlier. Zorich tried to set up an inspection for a time when her husband would be home. The officer told her that was fine, but that the investigation would continue in the meantime.

The next day, around 12:41 p.m., Zorich was at home with several family members and her pit bull, Kiya, when a St. Louis County Police Tactical Response Unit burst through the door without knocking, according to her suit. The unit had at least five officers with M-4 rifles, supported by at least eight uniformed officers.

The officers entered so quickly, Zorich's suit alleges, that Kiya didn't even have time to bark. A tactical officer fired three shots into the dog, and the dog's "bladder and bowels released and she fell to the floor." The dog "was laying on the floor in her own waste and blood struggling to breathe. She had a gaping hole in her chest."

The lawsuit is against St. Louis County and two officers, Corey Zavorka and Robert M. Rinck but in this case I would have added the judge who signed off on the warrant for the raid, assuming there was one.

The use of swat units on non violent situations has got to be one of the most despicable tactics by law enforcement. Any one of the people present during this raid could have joined the family dog in death at the blink of an eye.

At one point in the raid, Zorich alleges, an officer pointed his firearm at her son's head and said "One word, motherf-----, and I'll put three in you."

Now this I admit could be an exaggeration meant to make the lawsuit more provocative. Though I have no problem believing it possible and consider it very likely.


posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 03:01 PM
Lol I just posted this. so star and flag


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