Police Abuse

No Knock Raid Over Alleged Animal Cruelty Leads to Lawsuit by Man Who Just Wants His Dog Back

Lawsuit claims a local politician may have conspired with a cop to target the resident, a bar owner, because of a judgment he had won against the pol earlier.


via brightestyoungthings.com

With Washington, D.C., being one of the safest cities in the countries, its local police force has the resources and the time to prioritize executing a no-knock warrant over alleged animal cruelty, perhaps even at the behest of spiteful and petty local politicians. It's what Mark Thorp, the owner of two bars in D.C., says happened to him.

In a lawsuit filed Monday, Thorp claims three Washington police officers raided his home with a "defective" warrant alleging animal cruelty. Thorp says when police found no evidence of animal abuse in his home they began to field test capsules for the presence of illegal drugs, and also seized his pet Doberman, Vaughn. Thorp's lawsuit names the D.C. government, one of the cops who participated in the raid, and the Washington Humane Society as defendants and Thorp says he just wants his dog returned to him.

In his lawsuit, Thorp also suggests the raid was conducted at the behest of a local advisory neighborhood commissioner, Kathy Henderson, against whom Thorp won a $141,000 libel judgment after she testified falsely about his faux dive bar, Jimmy Valentine's, and made malicious comments about it on the Internet.  While the lawsuit alleges Henderson conspired with the D.C. officer named as a defendant, Ramey Kyle, to get Thorp's home raided.  As The Washingtonian reports:

Although Henderson is not named as a co-defendant in the new lawsuit, Thorp's complaint does make note of a rental property she owns in Columbia Heights that has been documented as an asset that could potentially be seized by US Marshals in order to make restitution. But according to [Thorp's lawyer Matthew] LaFande, one of the other big reasons Henderson is not back as a defendant this time is to spare any potential courtroom theatrics.

"I have a $141,000 judgment against her," he says. "I refuse to provide her with another soap box to stand on. There's no remedy I can obtain from her I didn't obtain in a previous lawsuit. At the moment, we just want the dog back."

While Washington's violent crime rate has gone down over the last seven years, to a rate of 1177.9 incidents per 100,000, it's still higher than many cities of a similar size, like Boston and Denver, although it's lower than the rate of 1405.2 per 100,000 for Baltimore, a city close to Washington geographically and in size.

h/t Derek D.

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  1. This assumes the dog is still alive…

  2. Huh, I was waiting for the factoid that the dog was shot by cops in the animal cruelty raid. I guess even that would be too much for the cops.

    1. No, it wouodn’t be. But the DC cops aren’t necessarily competent enough to kill a dog on purpose…..

  3. A no-knock warrant for animal cruelty? There is absolutely no justification for such a warrant; there is no way a suspect can get rid of evidence of animal cruelty (the supposed reason those warrants exist). He should have sued the judge, too.

    1. I was under the impression that all warrants were no-knock now because it’s so much fun to bust into peoples’ home while brandishing military gear.

    2. Actually, the ACLU should be bringing this case to court, Pro Bono.

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    1. At the possible risk of coming off looking dumb, I wonder about posts quite similar to this one, posts that keep appearing, posts that are in no way connected to the matter or subject being discussed. Maybe the earnings claimed, are legitimate, maybe not. Either way, they strike one as being “way out in left field”, non germane, disconnected, “freedom of speech” notwithstanding.

  5. If it isn’t Second Amendment rights that D.C. government trashed, it’s something else, it seems.

  6. The information that this and the other stories were based off of was a suit immediately filed by the owner after he was “arrested.”

    This was not a warrant for suspected animal abuse in DC. The owner was raided AND arrested on INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE. The dog was seized as part of the raid. The suit was quickly filed by the owner at an attempt to quickly spin the story and gain public support because he owns two businesses. One of which is a known front for drug dealing. While the owner himself is a known drug dealer. Get your facts straight before wasting good energy and putting it in the wrong direction.

    1. You seem to have inside information. Do you have sources for this information? Do you have proof he is a known drug dealer. He’s got about $100K to fund libel suits against people like you if you aren’t telling the truth.

      1. I’m with Tommyboy. ‘Facts’ without sources are BS.

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