Police Abuse

Brickbat: No Keys? No Problem.


Raul Ortiz and his mother have sued the Elyria, Ohio, police department and three officers after they entered his home without a warrant and tased and arrested him. Ortiz's ex-girlfriend had contacted police and told them she previously lived at his house and wanted to retrieve her belongings. When they met her there, Ortiz refused to allow them in. (The landlord later confirmed she had turned in her keys and was no longer a resident.) One of the officers encouraged the ex to kick in the door, and they all rushed in. Ortiz demanded to know why they had kicked in the door, which led to a struggle in which one of the officers used a Taser on his bare stomach as he protested that he had a pacemaker. Police charged Ortiz with five felonies, including three counts of assaulting an officer, and his mother with felony obstruction for demanding to know why her son was being arrested. Prosecutors dropped all charges, but only after Ortiz had spent nine days in jail.