Police Abuse

Town Appeals Decision to Allow Lawsuit Over Deadly SWAT Raid to Move Forward

The officer's own testimony already exonerated him after all


shot by cop

A lawyer representing both one of the five towns involved in a SWAT raid that left alleged drug user Gonzalo Guizan dead as well as the officer who killed Guizan has appealed a decision by a district court judge to allow a lawsuit on Guizan's behalf to move forward.  Though initial reports indicated a tip came in about the presence of drugs in the raided home as well as a gun, the lawsuit claims no gun was included in the tip. The Connecticut Post, which reported on the latest development, provides details:

Guizan had been watching television in the home with Terebesi, when the 21-member police team, armed with automatic weapons, broke down the door and threw flash grenades inside.

The lawsuit states that then Easton Police Chief John Solomon and present chief James Candee made the decision to call in SWERT after an exotic dancer who had earlier been at the home told them she saw Terebesi and Guizan take "something" out of a small tin, place it in two small glass smoking pipes and smoke it. She never told officers there were weapons in the home, the suit states.

Five towns sent officers to respond to allegations of drug use by a stripper by sending a SWAT team in. More than four years later, the federal lawsuit's still making its way through the system. In a 2010 piece on the death of non-violent drug users in the war on drugs, Radley Balko noted an attorney general's report exonerated the officer, largely (entirely, even) on the officer's own testimony. More recent Balko on the case.

NEXT: Three Strikes May Be Out in California

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  1. She saw him take “something” out of a tin and smoke it? And that was enough to justify a fucking SWAT raid? What the fuck?!

    For all she or the police knew it could have been tobacco. Granted, glass pipes are an odd way to smoke it, but some people are eccentric like that.

    1. Yeah, it means that you can essentially be raided at any time if the cops feel like busting down some doors today and someone decides to drop a dime on you. Shit, this was essentially proto-SWATting. Look at how easy it is.

    2. Er, I got raided because I bought cold medicine. There’s not a very high standard…

  2. Jesus. Fucking. Christ. It’s not even a meme any more. It’s a non-stop serial in real life.

  3. BTW, on the main H+R page, I’m still getting grey.gif.

  4. Well reported despite the grammatical structure of the first sentence, which is a little tortured. These stories about swat team tragedies are Reason bread and butter and it is important that it continues to cover them.

    I figure traffic cameras operated by law enforcement agencies probably capture lots of pictures of people driving with pipes that don’t look like meerschaums, but I don’t know of any DUI cases based on those kinds of pictures.

  5. The lawsuit also claims Sweeney shot Guizan after becoming disoriented when one of the flash grenades deployed by police detonated in front of him and after another officer erroneously shouted he had been shot.

    Keystone Cops playing soldier.

  6. 21 officers in a SWAT team….for taking something out of a tin and smoking it….is the article leaving something out, or were the cops high when they decided to do this?

    1. They don’t call it power tripping for nothing.

  7. Oh c’mon, you are all missing that a stripper was involved. Of course every swinging dick with a badge had to be in on it.

  8. Remember, when dunphy tells you that people don’t get arrested for pot anymore that they instead gut gunned down by jack-booted thugs, err fine police officers.

    Dude in the picture looks like a buddy of mine caught up in the war, but least he’s alive.

  9. Haven’t clicked through any links… what was the stripper’s interest in all of this?

    Woman calls cops saying ‘guys at a house were engaging in some unsavory behavior while playing xbox, send 21 member SWAT team STAT!’

    There’s way… way…. WAY more to this story. And if there isn’t, citizens of this country need to start shooting back.

    1. I couldn’t find any other details other than what is written above.

      Two possibilities that I can think of:

      1. She gets busted/pulled over, and implicates Terebesi and Guizan as a way to get out of trouble.

      2. She was already a police informant and was paid for information no matter how piddling. This guy’s death might of meant fifty fucking dollars to her.

      Either way, she’s complicit in this thing.

      1. 3. They didn’t pay her enough or ripped her off somehow.

  10. Ed, please fix that first sentence. It is somewhat confusing and can be read to indicate that one of the officers was killed in the raid.

  11. SWAT cvops are the biggest cowards of them all.


  12. the five towns involved in a SWAT raid


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