Civil Liberties

Boise Police Break Down Door, Use Flash Grenade at Wrong Apartment Complex

It's a good thing no one got hurt.



Boise police carried out a wrong-door raid on an apartment complex last week. They eventually apologized for terrifying the residents but maintained that a shock-and-awe approach was justified because their suspects had a history of "violence toward officers."

Around 2:30 a.m. last Thursday morning, officers hurled a flash grenade and broke down a door at Parkhill Apartments in Boise, Idaho. They had the wrong address, according to

"This error is rare and certainly regrettable," stated Eugene Smith, deputy chief of Operations for the Boise Police Department. 

At the time, police said they were serving a search warrant in the wake of reports about suspected drug deal and thefts in the area. Police said their prior investigation had identified a possible suspect and several associates, including those with a criminal history of drugs, firearms and violence toward officers. But after they stormed into the apartment complex, police said they realized the address was incorrect.

By then, police had already begun question two people inside one of the apartments.

The police department is reviewing the chain of events that led to the error, and has promised to pay for any necessary repairs to the apartment complex. That's all well and good.

Of course, the police didn't intend to ambush a bunch of innocent people in the middle of the night, break down their door, throw a grenade, and brandish military-style assault weaponry at them. Rather, the police intended to do all those things to a bunch of criminal suspects.

At least no one got hurt—although it's easy to imagine something going wrong, even if the police had assaulted the correct address.

Hat tip: Radley Balko