Police Raid Wrong House, Kill Couple’s Dog
James Joyner | Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Police Raid Wrong House, Kill Couple’s Dog In what’s becoming an all-too-common story, a D.C. area couple had their dog killed by police who were at the wrong house.
An Accokeek [Maryland] couple is demanding an apology after Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Deputies burst into their home and killed their dog - all because deputies went to the wrong address.
Pam and Frank Myers were tucked away in their home Friday night watching a movie when the warrant squad pounced. “All of a sudden I hear, bang, bang, bang, ‘Open the door, police, open the door,’” said Pam Myers. “They wouldn’t let me go to the bathroom which is like seven feet down the hall,” said Frank Myers. “it was terrifying. I can’t sit on my couch at night any more. I’m looking over my shoulder the whole time,” said Pam Myers.
The Myers say the deputies knew immediately they had raided the wrong home. They say it could have ended with an apology, until the couple heard two shots from the yard. “And I said, ‘You just shot my dog,” said Pam Myers, through tears. “I just wanted to go out and hold her a bit. They wouldn’t even let me go out.” The couple’s five-year-old boxer Pearl was killed. The deputy says he feared for his life. They say the dog would bark but was no danger to the deputies.
ABC 7/NewsChannel 8’s Brad Bell reports that a search of court records shows a warrant for a suspected drug dealer who lives two doors away at 14610 Livingston Road. The address is clearly displayed on that house.
“It’s just not right that people have to worry about - police have their jobs to do, but the house is marked over there. All they had to do was go look,” she said. “I want the sheriff to apologize to my family for killing their dog.”
According to a WTOP radio report, the police have apologized. Obviously, it’s rather late for that.
Just for kicks and mulling over here's the 4th amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seizedI just keep hearing about these cases--where people are begging the Officers of the Law to let them get their dogs and the dogs are just coldbloodedly shot dead. There was a case in Cookeville Tennessee a few years ago--again of innocents mistaken for criminals.
And sometimes it's just stupidity on the part of the people in charge. Two years ago or so, in Hendersonville, Tennessee--an animal control officer was having trouble getting a stray into her truck so she called the local police--the officer got scared the dog was going to get away and shot him. The dog was scared (a chow mix that turned out to be lost not a stray and 10 years old). Someone had left the gate open and he had wandered off to be killed by two people inept at their jobs.