War on Drugs

Two More Isolated Incidents


First, in Temecula, California:

While Williams said he could not discuss specifics, he did confirm that a raid conducted by the Street Enforcement Team last week —- which ended up at the wrong Temecula house —- is part of the administrative investigation.


Williams said he believes the team was supposed to be raiding a parolee's home Aug. 24 when they inadvertently hit the wrong door.

Officers ended up at the home of David and Lillian Scott, just off Rancho California Road.

Lillian Scott said she and her husband were in the living room discussing family plans, their 15-year-old daughter was in the garage with two friends and their 16-year-old son was in another room feeding the Scotts' 5-month-old baby.

That all changed at 9:35 p.m. she said, when Temecula police officers —- four or five, she's not sure —– carrying rifles charged though the unlocked front screen door and ordered the couple to the floor.

"Two of them came over and put handcuffs on the two of us," Lillian Scott said. "We asked what we had done wrong and didn't get an answer."

Elsewhere in the house other officers handcuffed their daughter and her two friends.

"(The officers) told them to get down on the f—ing floor," she said.

Her 16-year-old son, who was feeding the baby, was also ordered to the floor and handcuffed, Scott said.

From the other room, Scott heard her infant crying.

"I asked if my baby was OK and the officer told me if I moved he was going to put a bullet in my head," Scott said.

The officers apparently figured out they'd hit the wrong home when they'd cleared the second floor, then realized they were only supposed to be in a one-story home, something you'd think they might have verified before tearing down the front door. Here, at least, the city has been apologetic, and is talking about making a settlement offer to the family.

The second comes from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

The door had to be repaired this morning after police reportedly rammed it during a raid on Norma Saunders South Philadelphia home Friday night. Her bedrooms were ransacked, drawers overturned and kitchen cupboards emptied onto the floor. According to a search warrant, police were looking for drugs and weapons.

Away for a family reunion at the time, Saunders returned when her alarm company called. When she returned she found the security system was ripped from the wall.

Norma tells Action News, "When I came home my neighbors ran up to me and said, 'Norma they had the wrong house. We tried to tell them they had the wrong house.'"

"This has never been a drug house. We've never had a problem with this home at all. So this I knew this had to be a major mistake," said Reverend Tobin Young.

Neighbors say police simultaneously raided another house on the block and placed several people in handcuffs.

68-year-old Saunders, a great-grandparent and retired veterans hospital nurse with heart problems, contends she has no dealings with drugs, nor does her 50-year-old son who works security at Abington Hospital while pursuing a college degree in computer science.

At least they weren't home to experience the violence in person.  Archive of botched raid posts just since I came to reason last November here.