Police Abuse

UPDATED: Two Children Injured in Apparent Wrong Door Search Warrant Raid, Police Major Explains to Reason


12-year-old's injury
family photo

UPDATE: After calling back again I got to speak to a public information officer who transferred me a couple of places before I reached Major Delrish Moss, who is in charge of the Public Information Office at the Miami Police Department. Here is a portion of what he told me in a phone interview a few minutes ago about a SWAT raid yesterday that left two young children injured:

"That we had the wrong address is not accurate. It was the correct address and it was a correct address, and narcotics and weapons were seized from the location. The reason I can't [be specific] is it's all part of a larger [narcotics] investigation and there's more that's going to be coming out, but not right away. What I think the main issue is right now is what happened to the two kids inside and that is part of an internal affairs investigation, because those injuries are pretty serious and looking at the pictures as a parent myself, a bit disturbing. So we do have an open investigation into what's happened there."

"Any time there's a warrant there's an element of surprise and chaos and things happen and we want to make sure the cops went in and acted the way they should've and not get out of control."

"I'm not sure they were aware children were at the house… but you have to assume people are there, especially at night, usually people live there and I'm sure because of earlier surveillance and other measures they knew that there were kids."

"We contacted Fire Rescue, and we have Fire Rescue on scene every time we have a SWAT call out. Both children were looked at by fire rescue and taken to the hopsital by us. As for medical bills, that's something way down the road [to decide]."

"No arrests made. When we roll out the rest of the information we'll go into why that was. This was a search warrant." 

The major said he didn't know whether cash was seized but was "sure" in a case like this it would have been. He tells me he will ask Internal Affairs whether cash was seized and how much and return to me with that information. I also mentioned the case in Georgia where a SWAT team threw a flash bang into a baby's crib—he had not heard of that case.

Original story with first update follows…

The latest horror story from the failing but still indefinitely ongoing war on drugs comes from Coconut Grove in Miami. According to the victimized family, police bombarded and entered their home while three children were there, injuring two of them, on a warrant that had a different address listed.

WSVN reports:

Twelve-year-old Aaron said he was sleeping. He was in town from Georgia visiting his aunt who lives at the home. "They tried to snatch me off my bed, but my foot got caught on the side of the bed, and I couldn't move," said Aaron McLendon. "and they thought I was trying to refuse to go, so they punched me in my eye, and that's when I got my foot unstuck, and then they snatched me off of my bed and took me outside."

When asked who punched him, he replied, "The police."

The young teens were not arrested or charged, but Internal Affairs is investigating the case. "You can rest assured that we are going to do everything that we can to get to the bottom of what happened in there," said Delrish Moss.

Aaron also said he knew there were still good cops out, just not the ones he encountered. The family says police claimed they were at the right house even though the address on the warrant was wrong. Police say they found drugs and weapons in the home.

According to Local 10 in Miami, police said they would have more information today. When I called the public information office of the Miami Police Department earlier this morning, the unit's secretary told me there was only one officer there today and that I should call back in an hour. A peculiar staffing arrangement given this kind of horrible incident happening just 24 hours ago. We'll update you if the police release any new information or if we get any comments when I call back as asked.

UPDATE: I called back, now the single public information officer on the clock the day after police were accused of injuring two young boys in a wrong-door raid is… in a meeting at another unit. The secretary didn't know when the department was planning on releasing more information as they promised last night and suggested I call back, again, in an hour.