D.C. Police Raid Wrong Home, City Refuses to Pay for Damage

Capitol Hill residents David and Allyson Kitchel tell local TV station WJLA that MPDC police recently raided their home looking for a suspect wanted on weapons charges. They say the raid caused $3,000 in damage. The Kitchels bought the home from the suspect's family 18 months ago. Police apparently raided the home after getting an address from the suspect's mother, but didn't bother to check public records to see if the house had been sold.

The Kitchels say when they asked the city to compensate them for the damage, they were declined. The city explained that "the warrant was authorized and valid," and that  "MPD officers determined there was sufficient probable cause."

So I guess as long as all the proper procedures were followed, the physical damage to the house is all in the Kitchels' imagination. Good thing they don't have an imaginary dog, too.

I suspect that now that the Kitchels' story has hit the media, they'll eventually be compensated. But it makes you wonder how many times this sort of thing happens in less affluent parts of the city, where residents are less likely to have their stories covered by the local news.

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  • Kyle Jordan||

    Thanks for another dose of reality Radley.

  • Joe M||

    WEll that sucks, but at least no one was shot and/or killed. And yes, I'm sure they'll get compensated once the blatant stupidity of this gets out. It's obvious the police made a huge error. Otherwise, they could just break into any house that at any time in history held someone who is wanted for a crime, with zero repercusions.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Hey, they didn't kill anybody. What more do ya want?

  • Rich||

    "MPD officers determined guessed there was sufficient probable cause."

    FTFY.

    "Thanks for your cooperation." 8-(

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    My policy is to punch someone in the face when I start tossing fists, and according to the records I followed my internal policies and procedures to the letter when I punched you in the face. If you have a problem with that, take it up with... well, nobody.

  • JD||

    These cops must be ISO 9000 certified Do you have a process, check. Do you follow that process, check. Do you keep records of it, check - you're golden!

  • Old Mexican||

    D.C. Police raid wrong home looking for a suspect wanted on weapons charges, causing $3,000 in damage; City refuses to pay for damage.

    So what else is new in these National Socialist States of Amerika?

  • ||

    Once again, reality meets the utopian non-sense that in order for liberty to flourish the state needs to have a monopoly on the administration of justice.

    If the state has such a monopoly, rest assured that there will be widespread chaos, disorder, mayhem, murder, lawlessness and a lack of accountability.

  • ||

    OK, LM, how would busting the state monopoly on LE have prevented this? Are you claiming that just because other non-state actors could do LE that state actors like DC would disband their police forces? What competing mechanism would have prevented this?

    Or are you positing a situation where the situation couldn't have been prevented, and where the Kitchels could hire private LE to arrest the MPD officers and try them in private court?

    I'm skeptical but willing to be convinced...

  • ||

    First, if there is no state monopoly on the administration of justice, there is no war on drugs. It is only because the state has the monopoly that it is able to (i) finance the war and pay the salaries and buy the allegiance of its drug warriors; (ii) immunize itself and its cannon fodder thugs from the murder and mayhem that they perpetrate; (iii) bribe and/or bully its judges into buckling under to the whole sordid state of affairs; (iv) force, require and/or otherwise intimidate private parties into expending zillions on drug education/drug awareness/drug testing and drug compliance; (v) force taxpayers to finance sleazy programs like DARE and (vi) inject the prison building/prison administration industry with filthy lucre in order to incarcerate millions the results of which amount to trillions in opportunity costs, including the lost productivity of all those imprisoned.

    That's for starters. Faced with competition, no administration of justice company would offer such fare-it simply would be eliminated from the competition.

    Have you studied Rothbard's work on competing justice companies?

  • ||

    It may be easy to criticize Rothbard's work, but he has the advantage that I have:

    There is all of recorded history to demonstrate that a monopolization of the administration of justice gets you the hundreds of millions of people slaughtered in the 20th century by those who had such a monopoly.

    You get our war on drugs. How many lives have been lost due to the WOD? Not just the bothced raids; but the deaths due to police brutality, at the station or in prison; the innocent being killed in prison; the victims of the turf wars and the deliberate murders committed by the drug warriors.

  • ||

    Tonio, who would want to pay for the sevices provided by justice companies if the services were the same now provided by the state in its WOD? Would you?

    Let's concede that some folks would pay for such services. But let us also cede that most would not. Yeah, in theory there could be a conflict. After a few employees of the justice companies who provided WOD services got a belly full of buckshot, such companies would collapse.

    I would gladly trade the lives of such cowardly losers in exchange for ending the state's monopoly and its WOD.

  • ||

    Anybody can SPECULATE as to what problems might ensue if the state's monopoly on the administration of justice was shattered; nobody has to speculate as to the damages caused by such a monopoly. Said damages are REAL.

  • ||

    Why do you always blame our heroic boys in blue, the noble defenders of all that is good in society?

    I mean, 18 months is almost like yesterday. They had a warrant!!! The Kitchels should just suck it up and be proud of their $3,000 contribution to keeping the streets safe from people who lived in the same house a mere year and a half ago.

  • ||

    "The Kitchels say when they asked the city to compensate them for the damage, they were declined. The city explained that "the warrant was authorized and valid," and that "MPD officers determined there was sufficient probable cause were following orders."

    Tah- daaaaaaah!

    *clicks heels, salutes*

  • DRATER||

    The Kitchels should be thankful they were able to stop the raid before MPDC could sieze their property. Otherwise, they might be reinbursed for the damage to their property from the proceeds of the forfeiture of their property. Or something like that.

  • skr||

    Please submit all claims to Information Retrieval. You claim will be reviewed in 3-30 years.

  • Mrs. Buttle||

    So my husband will be returned to me shortly, no?

  • Jeffersonian||

    With an invoice for his unfortunately disabling interrogation.

  • PeeDub||

    Here's your receipt.

    And here's my receipt for your receipt.

  • Solanum||

    The Kitchels have no one to blame but themselves. They did business with some very shady characters to come into possession of the house. You lay down with dogs, you get fleas.

  • ||

    Especially if you sleep in there beds.

  • ||

    Did they fill out a 27B/6?

  • matt2||

    Serious question - what if the police discovered something illegal when they busted down the door? Since there was "sufficient probable cause" to enter the house, could the owners be criminally charged?

  • ||

    IANAL, but my understanding is that the warrant, if properly executed, simply allows the police to search a given property. So, yes, the residents of the house could be charged with anything the cops found, or "found."

  • ||

    Radley: good reporting, as usual. Also, a total bummer of an article, also as usual.

    What is the single best organization fighting abuses like this? ACLU?

  • ||

    My fist.

  • Mango Punch||

    I suspect that now that the Kitchels' story has hit the media, they'll eventually be compensated. But it makes you wonder how many times this sort of thing happens in less affluent parts of the city, where residents are less likely to have their stories covered by the local news.

    Then again if it's a less affluent part of the city it would probably be less than $3k of damage, so less of a big deal.

  • IceTrey||

    How can a warrant be valid if it's not the suspects residence? They basically would have to have given the judge incorrect information thereby invalidating the warrant.

  • No Name Guy||

    Shakes head.....

    Radley - you went and ruined an otherwise fine afternoon.

    So - In my naive reading of the Constitution, the cops only get to SEARCH property when they get a warrant. Where does it say they get to DESTROY property?

  • ||

    Being a cop means never having to say you're sorry. It's what the New Professionalism is all about.

  • ||

    Radley makes little children cry every day by telling the truth... And I love it.

  • ||

    What a minute... they got the address from the suspect's mother? She gave them the address of a house she sold 18 months earlier? Or did they wait 18 months before the conducted the raid?

  • ||

    I never did like that city.

  • jester||

    Your the best, Radley. Uncontroversial here by nature. The one blogger everyone accepts.

    Your work is beyond excellent. Keep up your standard (as if some retarded h&r comment mattered). You will always be the unheralded herald. 'Cause, Hero is unheroic. You'll be the honest upholder of honesty anyone would want on his/her team.

    best from jest

  • ||

    The Kitchels say when they asked the city to compensate them for the damage, they were declined

    Don't ask the perps, ask the court to force the perps to pay for the damage. Duh.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Physical property damage, violation of Rights, Retaliation . Going to Court is easier said than done. I am in a US District Court as a Pro Se now suing a whole slew of defendants . See 5:09-cv-02059 VAP (AGR)

  • Evelyn||

    News has amazed me. Undoubtedly war with drugs is necessary, but while this incident becomes property of the public the government will indemnify a loss for the mistake

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