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Sorry, wrong house: Drug squad's sledgehammer raid nets a dinner lady drinking tea

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posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 12:24 AM
reply to post by DYepes

Considering how much shorter a six year old is than an adult, the officer would even have to adjust the aim before a kill shot is made unless he is using a shotgun.

The kid jumped out of a closet, off of a shelf, with a cap gun, thinking she was scaring her cousin, who was supposed to be coming over for a birthday party.

No, I did not witness the shooting.

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 12:41 AM
reply to post by xxpigxx

The fact that the first replies immediately blame Bush and the US. WTH? Seriously. Other countries have their problems as well. I do not see how this ties into Bush and the US.

Are you kidding? Who do you blame for the drug problem in America?

The nickel-bagger on the corner that has no better job opportunity, and certainly doesn't own a boat or airplane to get the stuff into the country?

Or do you blame people like CIA, who have openly admitted to bringing in vast amounts of drugs into the US ?

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 08:47 AM
I think a big point here, is nothing stops the police from using such force and BURSTING in on grandma, even if it is on accident...

...The same can happen to ANY of us, at ANY time... Which makes, me for one, feel a bit uneasy.

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 09:20 AM
The Court System is supposed to be the "watch dog" that double checks and prevents such accidents from happening.

When I was with SWAT, we performed around 3 to 5 raids every week in the summer months, it always slacked off in the winter for some reason.

The process is actually quite lengthy, but not overly complicated, so for those of you that don't really know how it all "goes down" I'll describe it for you.

First the Detectives, or Investigators, get a lead that illegal narcotics are being sold from a certain premise, or evidence of another crime is being kept there or a wanted fugitive is staying there. Then they must send in a "Past Proven" confidential informant and make a certain number of purchases, or observations or discoveries. (Number depends on jurisdiction, type depends on investigation) In the jurisdictions I am familiar with, surveillance MUST be conducted on the premise during each "buy". the CI is searched prior to going and upon returning, and the money is marked. Then usually a UC (Under Cover) is sent in to make at least one buy. All still under surveillance.

After all of this takes place, usually around 2 to 3 weeks worth of work, an application for search is submitted to the local Magistrate. Sometimes it is taken before the DDA, DAG or Solicitor (Again Jurisdiction) for approval first, but ultimately the Magistrate makes the final decision for approval or denial.

Depending on the type of residence and illegal substance, the warrant may be a daytime, or nighttime warrant. For obvious reasons, a nighttime warrant is extremely difficult to obtain and the massive majority of warrants are daytime. That is 6am to 6pm....

Then as per the Search Warrant, surveillance is again initiated on the premise prior to the service.

Now I have done literally hundreds and hundreds of search warrants over the many years I was a SWAT Officer and Team Leader, dynamic and "routine" and I personally have never been to the wrong residence; but anything that is done again and again would by simple statistics, be prone to a mistake every so often.

That my friends is how it is done and one other thing to remember.

Search Warrants are NOT all in reference to narcotics. Yes the majority are, but many are done to obtain evidence of major criminal activity involving other crimes.

Just so everyone knows what is going on...


posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 09:32 AM
This happening in the UK. we are not all gun carrying crazys who shoot anybody who comes into our homes.

I suspect this lady, after getting over her shock, having her home repaired, will have a great story to tell her family and friends.

And mistakes will happen, and the police will raid the wrong property, but we have enough control to ensure that the police are accountable for their actions and in this instance, they have appear to have stepped up to the mark.

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 09:33 AM
reply to post by semperfortis

I for one respect your position of authority... Although I am scared to death of law enforcement. Seems a pretty unfair system, when it comes to an individual's rights/abilities to protect themselves.

I thank you very much for breaking down the process, and also mentioning that mistakes are rare.
The paranoia is still there, however.. Such a long and well-researched process, it would seem. It's surprising mistake raids happen at all.

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 09:45 AM
reply to post by LostNemesis

Thank you for your kind words.

The instances of "mistake" are extremely rare when taken into context of the number of raids that occur everyday across just the United States.

Some of the instances I have heard of have involved a "Number" falling off a house, "Cookie Cutter" style homes being confused in the dark, etc.

The number of checks and balances are there in order to prevent any one single person from having too much authority in regards to the "Fourth Amendment" and the protections it provides.

Yet like every other situation involving humans, mistakes will be made.

Just remember what the Fourth Amendment states very clearly...

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

US Constitution

Emphasis Mine of course..

Particular interest is the term "Unreasonable"... That is why so many different entities are involved; to ensure it is NOT Unreasonable.

Also keep in mind, that not only mistakes, but abuse is present in every human endeavor as well. No all Police are not corrupt, not even a large percent, but some are.

But as you can clearly see, the founders knew there would be times when it was appropriate, even necessary, to violate the sanctity of the home for the common good.


posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 09:52 AM
I think I need to weigh in on this...

The last thing anyone wants to see is Grandma's tea time interrupted by a bunch of para-military extremists waving firepower in her face. But I don't see that as exactly what happened here. This was a mistake, an apparently embarrassing one at that, and the damage was repaired immediately. The apology was nice too.

Cops are human, and humans make mistakes. How horrible a mistake can be depends on the job that particular human is doing. Should the clerk checking me out at WalMart make a mistake, either I will catch it at the register and be aggravated while it is fixed, or I won't catch it and the proper amount of money will not be exchanged.

If a lawyer makes a mistake, then someone could end up paying a fine he/she should not have had to pay. Or perhaps someone goes to jail until the whole thing is sorted out.

If I, as a truck driver, make a mistake, I could cause a major accident and ruin property or lives in the process.

If a firefighter makes a mistake, he could endanger or perhaps cause the death of others around him.

If a cop makes a mistake, a lot of innocent people could die.

What I am trying to point out here is that with increased authority comes increased responsibility. You cannot have one without the other. I realize how easy it is to get an address wrong; I have tried to deliver to the wrong warehouse numerous times. But my mistake simply meant I wasted a little time and interrupted Barney Fife from reading his magazine for a few minutes. No one died.

I am assuming everyone is familiar with the cultural phenomenon known as 'Cops'. I won't even watch it anymore. Every time I see them break down a door, I cringe. If that were my door, I know full well what's on the other side. It's not illegal, but it is deadly, and it's there for criminals, not cops. But I promise you, should anyone kick in my door at 6 AM, while I am asleep in my bed with my wife, screaming "Police! Raid!", chances are someone will die that day. In a slumber state, I doubt seriously I would be able to understand what was being said, and in such a moment of perceived attack, my impulse would be to shoot first and ask questions later.

This is not a threat against anyone. It's a warning of a terribly unsafe act, for both the citizenry and the police. There are areas in this country where police assistance is not something one can depend on, and those like me who live in those areas have learned to protect themselves out of necessity. To burst through a door, or window, or even to show up outside shouting at the wrong time can and will be disastrous.

I understand that the element of surprise is a major consideration in drug raids, but if a speeder can become so dangerous they call off the pursuit in the name of public safety, then the same thinking would apply to the drug raid. Everything should be triple-checked, and anyone who notices something wrong should be able to warn of a potential mistake. The stakes are high, and the caution should be just as high.

To the poster with a friend training to be a cop, I wish you and him well. Please show him this post. If he kicks in the wrong door at the wrong time, all the wishing in the world will be useless.


posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 11:01 AM

Originally posted by jackinthebox
What if the police got the wrong house that happened to be occupied by someone who was a hair-trigger gun enthusiast, who only owned legal firearms, and opened fire when his house was stormed by unidentified militants? Who would be to blame? Who would be legally accountable? If he survived, would he be facing charges for protecting his own home? Probably.

I was looking for the article, but can't find it... I'll do some more searching...

There was an elderly lady that was shot in Fort Collins during a false flag drug raid. She had a spoon or something in her hand when she opened the door and they shot her through her screen door, endered the house, and GUESS WHAT?!? NO DRUGS! Seemed to get hushed up pretty quickly.

BTW, EVERY TIME I've heard of false raids, they don't send flowers saying "I'm sorry, we'll fix your door". You are left with a completely turned over house, and it is out of your pocket that the doors and windows will get fixed. The same thing if you are pulled over for suspected drug trafficking. I've met 2 victims of this crap... both were given back their cars. One was a BMW, less than 6 months new off the lot. He got to pick his car up from impound in pieces. The other was an older pontiac, same thing... he got his car back, but it was in pieces.

The way they see it is that you must've been doing something to instigate the search, by non-compliance or whatever (neither of the guys I talked to were in the least bit non-compliant... both said they got yanked out of their cars at gunpoint and put in the back of a trooper's car while they watched their cars get demolished by hand).

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 11:31 AM
As long as they put her back in the same situation she was before they ripped the door/window off her house, I don't see any problem. It's not like they intentionally tried to invade her privacy.... everyone makes mistakes.

I know somebody that had their door busted down by mistake (and the door was unlucked at the time anyway
) and the police DIDN'T fix it. Now THAT makes me kind of mad.

[edit on 4/20/2008 by Yarcofin]

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 11:41 AM
reply to post by ChadAndrewATS

" Sorry, wrong house: Drug squad's sledgehammer raid nets a dinner lady drinking tea "

Well considering that the War on Drugs is just another fraud perpetrated on the people to legitimize barbaric behavior by law enforcement, not to mention additional laws that violate peoples rights.

Just add this to the list of other gov't sponsored terrorism disguised as a needed legal procedure to do as they please anytime they want in order to get the bad guys. PURE RUBBISH!

[edit on 20-4-2008 by toasted]

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 11:42 AM
reply to post by Earthscum

That website has the true story you were referring to:
Yet Another 'Oops, Wrong House' Drug Raid (

At dawn in your own apartment, you lay in bed petting your two cats as you ponder what you'll make for breakfast. Suddenly the door explodes into the apartment, followed closely by a stun grenade that catches your carpet on fire, then a herd of yelling, armored local and federal agents burst in waving guns, ordering you not to move and to lie on the floor. At 68 years of age, now forced to use a walker to make your way around your neighborhood, you struggle to comply hoping all the while that none of these armed, screaming home invaders shoots and kills you for not moving fast enough. You think this can't be happening as they cuff your hand behind your back as you lie there on the floor, not in the USA, you haven't done anything illegal, there must be some mistake. You are right- the police end up admitting after a fruitless search of your apartment that it's an "oops, wrong address" drug raid.

The raid was a mistake, but this is not a fictional account. This raid really happened at 7AM on May 14, 2003, in the Northeast Bronx, at the apartment of former US Marine and retired construction worker Timothy Brockman. "The police - they're all right with me," Brockman told the New York Times (06/29/03). "I suffer from seizure. A lot of times I have fell out on the street, and they picked me up. You have people who say, 'The police are dirty, this and that.' I can't find any fault with them that I know of. They got a job to do. But I don't know why they came and broke into my house. I don't see any right in that. If they have me under surveillance, they would watch me, and see who's coming in and out. Not to come in like storm troopers."

Brockman's neighbors were so frightened by the raid they fled their apartment, thinking terrorists had set off a bomb, and Brockman's cats disappeared for hours. As his fellow officers questioned Brockman about drugs and guns, one officer, assigned to guard the window during the raid, spotted the yellow ribbons hanging outside Brockman's window sill in honor of the US troops fighting on foreign soil, and only then began to suspect something was wrong.
The Times outlines what comes across at best as a frighteningly sloppy police investigation, at worst as an example of a deeper problem when it comes to police investigations of drug crimes- the feeling on the part of police that they are at war, and in all wars there will be collateral damage. Brockman is exactly that, collateral damage in the War on Some Drugs and Users, but he's lucky in that he survived, which is not always the case for these innocent victims.

Federal agents with the Justice Department told the Times that the Brockman raid was based "entirely" on the information gathered by the NYPD, but the police allege that the feds was involved as well. Both reportedly gathered information that was so completely wrong that they not only raided the wrong apartment but went so far as to raid one in the wrong building. The US Attorney's office would not divulge what the feds knew, if anything, about the major contradictory evidence gathered by the NYPD and the feds.

The NYPD based the raid on Brockman's apartment partly on the word of a confidential informant who'd proved herself reliable in another investigation. The informant told investigators that she had entered building number 1159, but had actually entered a different building, visiting an apartment she said resembled a "crack mill" where she also alleged she saw guns. The informant returned secretly to the apartment in the wrong building 5 days later to mark the door with white tape, which police subsequently found after the raid.

[edit on 20-4-2008 by ChadAndrewATS]

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 11:43 AM
I forgot to add that the "mistake" in Fort Collins came from a wrong address issued during the briefing, if my memory serves me correctly.

And, nope... In America, if your house is raided and trashed, even if it is a mistake, you get to fix it yourself and then go to court and sue for the damages. If you want anything done, for that matter, you have to take it to court... no apologies, no "Whoops... we made a mistake..." Just "well, we botched that one... better get out of here."


posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 11:54 AM
reply to post by semperfortis

Referring to the Virginia incident, protocol must not be standard across the board. Their informant was a burglar who broke into the victim's home and mistook his backyard garden for a cannabis patch. His word was apparently good enough to get a search warrant. There was no buy. There was no under cover. They just went right through the front door and the victim defended his himself, killing a detective on the other side of the door.

I suspect if the police had followed the procedure you described that detective would still be alive as the raid would never have happened. So getting the wrong address is not always the problem... government incompetence is.

And cops aren't always the ones who die.

The raid in Chesapeake bears a striking resemblance to another that ended in a fatality. Last week, New Hanover County, N.C., agreed to pay $4.25 million to the parents of college student Peyton Stickland, who was killed when a deputy participating in a raid mistook the sound of a SWAT battering ram for a gunshot and fired through the door as Strickland came to answer it.

Man kills intruder cop, first degree murder. Cop blindly shoots through door and kills someone, no charges. These are rare incidents but they are occurring at an increasing rate. I don't really think policy and procedure is the problem.

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 11:54 AM


Everyone who has posted anti-police, gun-toting, they are Nazi storm trooper vitriol in this thread does actually know this took place in Bolton, England, right? You all read the article, right? You're not all jumping the gun just because you saw the headline, right?

I think it is actually quite enlightening to read the comments below the article, a lot from Americans. Here are some:

You are completely right Jon, at least she wasn't killed. Another thing I think is important, She got a public apology. It seems, according to the article) that the police were honestly sorry for the mistake they made. Here in the States the cops try to cover up a mistake like this and rarely (if never) apologize for it. Oh, wait, that's might because some innocent was killed trying to protect their family and the cops think they can do no wrong!

- J., USA

They made a mistake, and have to answer for that. But they didn't arrest the poor woman, they apologized, and are making reparations. In the USA they would've hauled her off anyway, said nothing, and she would've been left with a home in disrepair.

All said, it could've been worse if she was across the pond.

- Andy, Texas, USA

I think it's nice they at least apologized and left someone to comfort her, and even repaired the window. Here in the states, they might've slapped the cuffs on her and hauled her in for questioning, "just to be on the safe side".

- Joe Shmoe, USA

Well at least they didn't do what American cops are famous for when entering an elderly woman's house during a botched drug raid and shoot her multiple times.

- Jon, Yes


Now, they quite clearly point out the difference between Uk and US police.

For you people here complaining how traumatic it is to wake up at 0600 with a sub-machine gun to your head and Granny having a heart attack, did it not occur to you that Police in the UK are NOT armed.

Do you see a gun?

The police here admitted the mistake immediately, left the woman a FEMALE officer to comfort her and repaired the window immediately. On top of that, they sent a bunch of flowers.

Big difference between your Gun-ho wannabe soldiers in the USA and our Police in the UK.

Big fudging difference......

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 11:54 AM
reply to post by TheRedneck

Star for your post.

Perhaps this would be a good time to point out something though, in reference to...

But I promise you, should anyone kick in my door at 6 AM, while I am asleep in my bed with my wife, screaming "Police! Raid!", chances are someone will die that day. In a slumber state, I doubt seriously I would be able to understand what was being said, and in such a moment of perceived attack, my impulse would be to shoot first and ask questions later.

In the execution of a no-knock warrant the police do not identify themselves. They wear para-military attire and most often have their faces covered.

There was a team down in the city who were actually doing criminal home-invasions as if they were a police tactical unit. They were not. They too targeted suspected drug dealers, but killed several people for not having drugs. The thug-squad thought the victims were "holding out" on them, and therefore executed the people.

So yes, I very much agree, shoot first and ask questions later.

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 11:59 AM
reply to post by stumason

I think the difference certainly does say a lot. But I really thought that even across the pond, tactical ops were carried out with firearms, though regular patrols are unarmed.

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 12:02 PM
reply to post by Earthscum

Believe it or not, that happened to one of my customers, I think it was fall of 07, mabe 06 in Bolingbrook Il.

A well meaning person doing a wellness check on someone, smelled gas and called the fire department The fire department showed up and in the process of checking out where the leak was coming from, stumbled upon a man who was trying to commit suicide, with the gas.

When he seen the fire department, he started shooting at them!!!!! So needless to say the cops and swat team got there and ended up taking cover inside my customers house! [my customer was at work not at home ] The place was riddled with bullets and trashed, they did fix his door but there was alot that they didn't fix and the insurance wouldn't cover.

That is Sooooooooooooooooooo wrong, we the people [ in any country ] should demand a compensation law for the COLLATERAL DAMAGE done to innocent bystanders, because a half hearted apology [ not fixing ALL the damage ] is hollow and is an additional insult to the victim. It is simply piling wrong on top of wrong....

[edit on 20-4-2008 by toasted]

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 12:09 PM
reply to post by Earthscum

That website has plenty of more stories about the botched police-raids & Narcs/drug-warriors, who went on a killing-spree on behalf of their masters (drug-lords, who manage the CIA, ATF, & FBI):

Headline: Atlanta no-knocks produce little results?

Saturday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution has this article, by Bill Torpy and Rhonda Cook: Few results from no-knock warrants, critics say. The Atlanta PD even raided the house next door to Mrs. Johnston's house about 18 months ago, finding no drugs, but the raid was eight days after the buy (which is the point of the staleness requirement, maybe?).

In March 2005, a team of Atlanta narcotics officers, armed with a "no-knock" search warrant, arrived at a northwest Atlanta home looking for a marijuana dealer known only as "Black."

The door was open so the officers didn't have to smash it down; they simply walked in and searched the home, said a resident of the house who was confronted in his living room by armed officers.

The officers found plastic bags and a small scale but no drugs, according to a police report, a point that the resident disputes. Police also did not find "Black" and made no arrests.

The house at 929 Neal St. is next door to and shares a driveway with the home of Kathryn Johnston, the elderly woman who was killed last week in a shootout with Atlanta narcotics officers who came to search for drugs.

The fatal raid, in which three officers were wounded, has shined a spotlight on how the narcotics officers target houses to raid and the tactics used in those raids.

According to police reports, warrant applications and search warrant inventories:

• In each of these two cases, police said a confidential informant made a single, small drug buy at the target house.

• In each case, officers had a no-knock warrant that gave permission to bust down the door.

• In each case, police were looking for a man known only by a nickname who also was not found; last year it was a man named "Black," last week it was "Sam."

• And in each case, members of the same narcotics team were involved.

But these aren't the only cases in which the team served no-knock warrants and came away either empty handed, or with little to show for their effort. Though the legal standard requires police to show special circumstances — that evidence will likely be destroyed or that weapons in the house put officers at risk — these cases and others show that short, routine descriptions and the trust of a judge is all that veteran officers need to obtain such warrants.

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 12:13 PM
reply to post by jackinthebox
There is a reason I referenced the Tv show 'Cops'. I half expected a reply similar to yours, jack.

In full view of a TV camera lens, ready to be broadcast across the air waves to the populace, it is apparently acceptable for armor-clad weapon-bearing groups of police to kick in a door to a suspected drug dealer's house, as long as they simultaneously scream out a warning as the door crashes down. So what actually happens while there is no lens trained on their activities?

I have also considered the other problem you mentioned with the fake police. I'll take my chances with a trusty handgun at my side and assuming the worst until the best is proven. I have to die someday, and I can think of no way better than fighting for my family and my home.


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