Police Abuse

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

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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.

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  1. Aaron also said he knew there were still good cops out, just not the ones he encountered.

    Dumb kid.

    1. Maybe he just doesn’t want to get punched out again, or worse…

      1. Children are people? How would we know that!

    2. There’s a “two black eyes” joke in here somewhere…

    3. Smart kid. You don’t publicly badmouth the gestapo in a police state if you want to grow up to be a smart adult.

      1. ant1sthenes|8.8.14 @ 1:19PM|

        Agreed. It will also help with the law suit. He should say he wants to grow up to be a cop too.

        1. “It would be fun to play the knockout game legally!”

    4. I’d love to see someone quoted with something like “I’m sure there’s three or four good cops out there, nationwide. Maybe literate, too”

  2. Police say they found drugs and weapons in the home.

    See? Even if the cops couldn’t read an address correctly and had no legal right to be there, they knew–knew–that these lawbreaking scumbags were up to no good. Those kids are lucky that all they got is punched. hth

    1. I bet I could search random houses and find drugs and weapons in every one that’s occupied. Keep the definition broad enough and it’s easy.

      1. Oh noes, Zantac and kitchen knives!

    2. Aspirin is a drug and knives are weapons.

      1. I should have read further along…

        1. I was about to click submit on the same thought.

      2. I detect a Pravda-reader’s infallible spidey-sense.

  3. I’m sure that nothing else will happen. The cop ordered the kid out of bed, and the kid failed to obey. So the cop followed his training and punched the child in the face. Luckily the boy’s foot came free or the cop would have pounded him until his face caved in, and it would still be justified.

  4. How stupid do you have to be to not get the address right?

    1. Seeing how often this happens, as stupid as your average cop?

      1. Did you see that article about police filtering out applicants with IQs that are too high?

        1. Yep. The cops can eliminate their own pesky mens rea through stupidity. For us proles, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

    2. Stupid or just plain dishonest. With cops you can never tell.

      1. I realize what Hanlon’s Razor says, but with officers it seems to happen often enough that it can in truth be attributed to malice.

    3. How stupid do you have to be to not get the address right?

      Or just lazy. When you know you won’t experience any consequences for busting in the wrong door, what incentive do you have to do the legwork to make sure you’ve got the right place?

      1. Exactly. And there’s probably just as much chance that you can find kids to beat up or even better, dogs to shoot, at the wrong house. So it’s all good.

        1. Try to put yourself in their shoes for a minute. Imagine the rush you must get from punching a small child, or sticking an automatic weapon in his terrified mother’s face, or shooting their dog while they watch. What’s more, because they’re just women and kids (and pets lol!), you know they can’t hurt you, because you’ve got all your buddies with you and you’ve all got guns.

          The feeling of sheer power you’d get from so thoroughly dominating, terrorizing, and humiliating people in their own homes – where they think they’re most safe! – must be absolutely sublime.

          1. You summed it up very well.

            1. You summed it up very well.

              Thank you!

              I really do think that’s the mentality that drives these people, at least subconsciously. I dare say they’d be far less gung ho about charging into a house where they knew there was an armed individual inside who was itching for a fight.

          2. I tried to imagine this, but all I felt was revulsion.

            1. I tried to imagine this, but all I felt was revulsion.

              Me too. Guess that means we don’t have the stomach for police work. Maybe a life of selfless service and putting out lives on the line daily for our fellow man is best left to men made of sterner stuff.

          3. It doesn’t work for me, but obviously, it works for them all too well.

            I think that since they are so tough, we can obviously use them to go in and subdue ISIS. We should send them all over there right now, then they can play army guy for real, get to be real heroes and all that. I’m sure they will just volunteer given the opportunity.

    4. Police Guy: “We need a warrant for 123 Main St.”

      Judge: “No.”

      Police Guy: “Well, how about a warrant for 124 Main St.?” *snickers*

      Judge: “Okay.”

      1. The Gruber Defense; It was a typo.

        Right address; OT
        Wrong address; OT with opportunity for more OT (cause you F’d up)and less danger.

        It is quite clear they have every incentive to get it right.

      2. this is probably what did happen

    5. Do you think they really care? They probably think they’ll find something anyway.

  5. “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 [Miami Police Major Delrish] Moss.
    If you believe that, i’ve got some ocean-front property for you in Montana.
    An armed man (acting as a “police officer”) physically accosting a child brings forth numerous criminal charges. No immunity of any sort applies.

  6. Police say they found drugs and weapons in the home.

    None of that should be admissible. I hope Reason stays on this to see if they charge the family anyway.

    1. Even if they don’t charge the family, they’ll never get their stuff back.

    2. That was shorthand for “they had it coming anyway.”

    3. They neglected to say they had planted it there.

  7. Aaron also said he knew there were still good cops out, just not the ones he encountered.

    Or the ones he ever will encounter.

    1. There are still good cops out there, and all three of them wish more people would acknowledge that.

  8. FTA: Records show officers did seize some marijuana, cash and a gun.

    Um, what? If their warrant was for a different house, how can they legally take anything?

    Oh yeah. Because FYTW.

    1. It’s amazing that they kept searching. The right response would be, “very sorry, here’s a number you can call to file a claim for damages, we’re leaving now.”

      1. They’ve already assaulted two minor children, and you really think they’re going to apologize? No, they’re going to turn the place upside down and plant something if they have to.

    2. “Who has the drop gun and stash duty tonight?”

  9. “The latest horror story from the failing failed but still indefinitely ongoing war on drugs–“”

    1. Nominally failed. Actually quite successful, at least for the enforcers.

      1. Actually quite successful, at least for the enforcers.

        Can we settle comfortably on “lucrative”?

        1. I may have to turn in my libertarian card for saying so, but not everything can be measured in dollars. There’s also the sadistic pleasure in being able to sock a child in the face while your buddies cheer you on.

          1. There’s also the sadistic pleasure in being able to sock a child in the face while your buddies cheer you on.

            Exactly. If they wanted an adversary who could fight back, they’d have joined the Army and shipped out to Afghanistan.

            1. Washouts, has-beens, and never-weres. At least when high school sports heroes burn out in the big league they don’t end up armed with a badge, a handgun, and a chip on their shoulders.

              1. Not everyone is happy to just sing, Glory Days.

  10. “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 [Miami Police Major Delrish] Moss.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that they will get to the bottom of this, but I ain’t holding my breath waiting for them to admit what they find at the bottom. “We fucked up, we’ll continue to fuck up, we don’t give a shit if we fuck up, we’ll never admit that we fucked up. Fuck you.” Is that about it?

  11. Bastards

  12. OT: Self-Identified Libertarian Politician Brings Gravitas to Politics

    The Indian Trail councilman who wrote his resignation letter in Klingon wants to beam up to Capitol Hill. David Waddell is running as a write-in candidate for U.S. Senate.

    1. Indian Trail? Klingon? Racist!

    2. Hey, maybe I will vote this year!

  13. I’ll finally know that we’re moving towards some type of enlightenment once again in this country when I can ask a random sampling of 20 12 year old kids the question ‘What do the police do?’, and at least 15 of them answer ‘Shoot dogs and people, well sometimes they only beat people up, but they always shoot dogs.’

  14. How do you get the address wrong?

    I understand something like going to the address that is written on the warrant and *THAT* address is the wrong address… but going to the wrong house when you’ve been given the right address?

    Stoned pizza delivery people don’t even do that.

    1. Must be a government problem. I get mail from the next street over all the time.

      When the USPS bothers to deliver our mail.

      1. Being literate and numerate is not a requirement to be a USPS worker.

    2. Because they’d have to pay for such a mistake.

  15. Re: the update – Ed, it’s Friday afternoon already and everybody’s gone home for the weekend. Try back Monday. Monday is, of course, their busy day so try back Tuesday. Wednesday at the latest. That will be after they’ve had a departmental spokesman make a statement to which nothing further needs to be added and then it will be old news. Why are you flogging this dead horse?

    1. Monday is a holiday, so non-essential personnel are not in the offices.

        1. VJ Day?

  16. Good news: N.J. cop in Obama rant speaks out and resigns
    http://www.mycentraljersey.com…../13728599/

    “I don’t want to give a black eye to law enforcement,” Recine, 59, said Thursday in an exclusive interview with MyCentralJersey.com. “People are saying some really nasty stuff about cops. I don’t want all officers painted with the same brush.”

    How fucking noble of you.

    1. Technically, the guy was right. Obama and obviously everyone in the federal government now completely disregards laws. With the way the cops are following suit also, and the proliferation of vague laws making everything potentially a crime, won’t be long before most people follow suit. Maybe the anarchists will win after all.

      1. I didn’t get the impression that he said it was a criticism, but as a “Well, he’s doing it so so can I!”

        Oh, so he resigned to collect his 80k/year pension and to find a job with some other LEO group.

        1. I didn’t get the impression that he said it was a criticism, but as a “Well, he’s doing it so so can I!”

          Yes, I get that. But technically, he is right that Obama doesn’t follow the law, so why should anyone?

          1. Then technically we don’t need police at all and he can go fuck himself.

            1. With a rusty Ebola virus-contaminated crowbar.

  17. …”suggested I call back, again, in an hour.”

    The person with whom you spoke; did they have an East Indian accent?

    1. My suggestion:

      Call back every half hour. On the second. So they know when the phone rings who it is, what you want, and that you won’t stop. Ever. Until you get what you want.

      Make sure you ask them if they are planning to use the illegally seized evidence to bring charges against the victims of their crimes.

      1. My suggestion: send pro lib with a camera and his law degree to get some answers. Reason should cough up the dough for his gas and hat tip him.

        1. look, gas and lodging is reasonable (hehe) but a hat tip? NEVER!

    2. Your call is very important to us…we are experiencing heavy demand… please stay on the line for the next available operator…your call is very important to us…

      1. I always love that my call is so important that they can’t be bothered to have enough staff to take it during normal business hours.

    3. When I asked her to clarify that there was only one PI officer on shift a day after cops were accused of injuring two young children during a wrong-door raid she said yes and when I pointed out how improbable that sounded she kind of laughed. I think she sees how insane it is that this guy is dodging me or whatever.

      1. Give ’em Hell, Ed.

      2. You could ask her what she does for a living.

  18. “Shit! Wrong house. We wanted that one over there. ( points to house where the last of several cars is peeling out)

  19. You say “tragedy”.

    I say “omelette”.

    Mmmmm, tasty, tasty omelettes.

    1. It’s a tragedy when there is no one to blame.
      This wasn’t a tragedy. It was a travesty.

      1. +1 Nicholas Angel

  20. Those kids are lucky there were no toy guns in sight.

    1. Seriously, they’d be dead.

  21. So where’s the “if it saves one child” justification for firing every single one of the officers who took place in that raid?

    And “I was just following orders” won’t cut it. I’m a lowly engineer, and every time I sign off on something, I’m putting my name and reputation to paper saying “I didn’t find any mistakes with this and take full responsibility.”

    Why don’t we require every cop on the SWAT team to physically put eyes on the warrant and read it before executing it?

    1. Engineering is super-corrupt, that’s why you have to pass licensing exams and can’t get your job via patronage anymore.

  22. Dig the head first dive through the window. So 70’s…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAHvsCb-6vU

    Note the quaint non armored truck and the total lack of roided out freaks.

  23. FTA: Records show officers did seize some marijuana, cash and a gun.

    Armed robbery and assault charges all around, then, right?

    RIGHT?

    I crack myself up.

    1. Not just assault, but two counts of aggravated assault on a minor under fifteen. That’s usually frowned upon. Unless you’re a cop of course.

  24. Called ’em back yet Ed?

    1. All just a misunderstanding. Move along.

  25. Ah, finally got through to a flack. What I noticed about the flack’s maunderings was that he seems to be “sure” about a lot of things he has no evidence for, and he has no information about things that should.

    I’d also be curious to see a copy of the search warrant, and independent confirmation that this was the right address.

    1. It was the correct address and it was a correct address

      It was DOUBLY correct, what more do you bigoratti need?!

    2. It was the correct address and it was a correct address

      Yes, the address was a correct address, as in we’re sure it wasn’t a fake address.

      And of course, conveniently, EVERYTHING is part of a larger on-going investigation.

      Sorry, but if your people fuck up royally, even a legit larger investigation is now officially fucked. Might want to restrict your larger investigations to competent personnel only.

  26. “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.

    Then, why was it reported otherwise? Where did that information come from?

    1. Eh, media reports concerning acts like this are sometimes inaccurate, especially those reports made to be posted on the Internet ASAP before all parties can be interviewed.

      I’m not saying the police department has it “right”. It’s just within the realm of probability that the first reports were inaccurate.

      1. Oh, for sure.

        Still, I’m more likely to believe a sketchy early news report than a lying cop, lying through his lying teeth.

    2. It’s only the wrong address if they exit with no booty. Aaaaargh.

      Perhaps the physical address matched the warrant and the warrant was wrong. So many opportunities to be “correct.”

  27. why cant everyone police themselves the way the pigs do w/ internal affairs?

    -FFM

    1. Last time I got a ticket I gave serious thought to telling the judge I had investigated myself and determined I wasn’t speeding (I probably would have done that, except it would probably get me in trouble with the bar association)

    2. It’s funny how they portray that on TV. Not really.

  28. I’m going to assume it would be easy enough to find out if the warrant correctly states this address, making it supremely stupid for the Miami PD to lie about it.

    1. Sorry, the hard drive crashed. Tenth time today!

    2. I’m willing to assume that they are telling the truth here and the warrant was all legal and proper. It is still a totally evil thing to do to break into someone’s house to search for drugs. The laws are completely immoral in the first place, so I am just as outraged about a right-door drug raid as I am about a wrong-door drug raid.

    3. It may be easy to determine what the address on the warrant is, but whether it is the correct address depends on the meaning of “correct”.

  29. There is a bit of what I consider to be a myth surrounding the “If they want to play army for real” line that is thrown around often during these type of stories. I’d like to counter that myth:

    Based off my experience, I would gather that there is a significant percentage of LEO’s that have, or are playing army for real. In my 10 years in the Marine Corps Reserves, at least 75% of the SNCO’s in my unit were either LEO’s or prison guards. The rest were mostly in the construction business. Many of their buddies on the force were either current or former military. It is insane how many cops are reservists, but there is a damn good reason for it.

    Most cops get to double dip as reservists big time. On drill weekends, when they are clocked in as Marines, often they are also getting comped for LEO duty. That 2 week exercise reservists go on once a year? You bet your ass they get their LEO pay (and don’t burn vacation days). But the biggest kicker is when they deploy. Most get some fraction of their LEO pay, plus (being reservists who live off base) a big boost with BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing).

    The LEO’s I deployed with were making metric f*ck tons of money out in Iraq. Retirement points accruing for both the Military and LEO side of their work.

    1. I’m a POG, which means all of these guys were POG’s too (though a few had 03XX experience in their active duty days). These guys didn’t get to shoot at anyone out in Iraq. That is the case with a vast majority of military personnel that deploy. So, those guys “playing army for real” really get a better chance at playing army back at home as an LEO. Only they get to go home every night and don’t have to worry about the occasional mortars being lobbed at them.

      Of course, they aren’t making nearly as much money either. Life is tough for those military/LEO’s. Almost as tough as the Lance’s, Corporals, and Sergeants that come back from deployment, get tons of money from the GI bill, and collect unemployment at the same time??.

  30. Any time there’s a warrant there’s an element of surprise and chaos and things happen

    Why? Why the fuck why?

    What the fuck is gained by creating chaos and surprise?

    1. Dude, it’s fun! It’s a rush! There’s nothing quite like smashing down doors, shooting dogs, and assaulting children and old women! It’s awesome!

      Now if there is a chance of any actual danger, we wait them out or lure them into a trap.

      But armed raids on people who are absolutely no threat at all? That’s fucking awesome!

      /cop in a rare moment of honesty

    2. What is gained is blurred lines of responsibility.

    3. Captain Zapp Brannigan: As you know, the key to victory is the element of surprise. Surprise! [pushes button, bay doors open under soldiers]

  31. “Any time there’s a warrant there’s an element of surprise and chaos and things happen …”

    How about this for a concept – if your tactics make shit happen, maybe you should change your tactics?

    You could pick up a guy outside after he gets home. Then maybe you wouldn’t be terrorizing the entire family, likely injuring some of them, and executing the dog.

    You could show up unarmed in pink bunny suit, let the guy know he there is an arrest warrant out for him, and give him 24 hours to surrender to the police.

    You could do that, if your goal was to protect citizens.

    But of course, this is all BS. The raids make perfect sense, if the goal is to terrorize and punish citizens without having to go through a pesky trial, and justify budgets, overtime, and brutality. By far, that’s simplest explanation of why things are like this.

  32. “Major Delrish Moss”

    I am sick of civilian police using military ranking and nomenclature.

    These people are NOT military and should be forced…literally… to drop that nonsense.

    Delrish, take your “Major” bullshit and shove it. Normal, real Americans are not impressed.

    1. Counties don’t use it…and technically they are the highest law in their jurisdiction. (Nothing quite like a fed getting arrested by a county sheriff)

      1. It’s going to be interesting when everything goes to hell, who is going to be on what side. Military on one side, militarized police on the other, city cops versus county sheriffs, etc etc. Just like the Beer Hall Putsch, “executive” branch heavies on both sides of the barricades – “protectors” and “usurpers” going head to head with shiny badges and ordinance. I truly think it will come to that. Of course, eventually, the real hard line will come afterward.

      2. Maybe so, but our county sheriff still wears four stars on her collar.

    2. Minor Delrish Moss

      Doesn’t sound as impressive. How About semi-Major Delrish Moss.

  33. “because those injuries are pretty serious and looking at the pictures as a parent myself, a bit disturbing.”

    But as a homeowner yourself, the idea of breaking into a grown adult’s house and imprisoning him for consensual economic activity doesn’t bother you at all?

  34. looking at the pictures as a parent myself, a bit disturbing.

    “And thank God I’m a member of the cop tribe and not a civilian, so I don’t have to worry about this ever happening to me and mine.”

    Fuck you, cop. If you were really bothered by it, you have ample probably cause to head to the nearest donut shop and arrest the people who assaulted these kids.

  35. REASON is looked on as an example of libertarianism.
    Judging by the posts, here, it is no wonder the philosophy is looked on askance.
    The ignorance displayed is breathtaking and far too involved to go into thoroughly but here’s one clue:
    Is is a safe bet that NONE of the officers involved in serving the warrant had any role in obtaining it and, therefore couldn’t have had any way of knowing, or checking, if the address, which, by the way, was reported in the “update” as being correct, was the right one.
    But, by all means keep it up – you are shining examples of what we DON’T want holding the reins of government.

    1. Ahh, statist projection, a complete lack of comprehension, and a host of logical fallacies.

      You’re the one who is woefully ignorant. The concepts of liberty, proportional force, rational behavior, and plain old decency are all foreign to you.

      As to your “clue”, it’s an absolute certainty that NONE of the PIGS involved had the brains or initiative to double-check anything, or question the stupidity of failed tactics.

      I know, they are just blindly following orders. I actually like going Godwin here and pointing out that the Nuremberg Defense will eventually work out just as well for the pigs as it did for those slime after WWII.

  36. OK, the article needs correction in that I cannot tell what is the most current info.
    Matt, please fix this. If you want cred, make sure it is deserved.

  37. They never stated what the search warrant was for. If what they “found” wasn’t specifically noted on the warrant, it’s irrelevant. Raiding a house with children should be the REAL crime here. That’s inexcusable.

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