SWAT Team Raids Wrong Apartment, Terrorizes Family, Blames the Victims

In Pittsburgh, a SWAT team went to the wrong apartment (something that happens all too often these days) and, after smashing their door down and abusing a couple and their four small children, informed them that it was all their fault, because they didn’t have an apartment number on their door.

Among other things, they were according to AP:

  • Rousted out of bed at 6:00 by angry, heavily armed men.
  • Forced outdoors into the snow in below freezing temperatures.
  • Confined within the back of an unheated truck. They were given nothing to protect them from the cold until twenty minutes later and that was just a blanket.
  • Once they were finally released by their captors, the children, who were between and 15 months and 8 years old at the time were forced to walk barefoot through the snow in 20 degree weather. (Cue the grandpa walking to school jokes.)
  • Then the cops were kind enough to give them a number they could call to (eventually) get their door fixed.
  • Instead of saying sorry or expressing any sort “we fucked up bad” sort of sentiment, the friendly neighborhood cops explained that it was all their fault for not having an apartment number on their door (no word on whether that will be included with the new door), because police shouldn’t be expected to check and make sure they’re at the right apartment/house before they come storming through the door to terrorize innocent little children.

Wrong House SWAT Raid WerkmeisterOn the upside, none of the children made a furtive gesture or had to reach for their waistband to pull their pants up. So nobody was mistaken for an armed midget and shot 137 times. Also, they apparently didn’t have a dog. So, nobody had to fear for their life and execute it in front of the children, because it wagged its tail in their general direction.

Not surprisingly, the children are now “wary and timid around police.”

SWAT Wrong Address PittsburghTabatha Werkmeister and Grinage Wilson, the residents of that apartment, along with the four young children, have now filed a lawsuit against the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Police Department seeking unspecified. Contrary to what the police told them that day in January of 2014, they feel that the police have an obligation to ensure they are at the right address prior to smashing someone’s door down and kidnapping people from their own homes in the dead of winter.

Werkmeister’s attorney, Margaret Coleman, took that argument even further stating two issues she has with the cops conclusion that her clients were the ones at fault:

“One is that they’re using the SWAT team much too frequently. In 2013, they used this paramilitary force more than 250 times against civilians,” Coleman told the AP. “The second (problem) is, when you’re going to use the kind of overwhelming force that’s designed to terrorize and overwhelm people, you have to make sure you’re using it against the right people.”

To be fair, that does seem sorta reasonable. I know cops are busy writing tickets and stuff to generate revenue most of the day, but looking up the location of a place you’re going to potentially burn the face off of a child at that day probably isn’t too much to ask.

Of course, if you don’t want a heavily armed gang smashing your door down in the middle of the night and terrorizing your young, innocent children why don’t you try not living in a neighborhood where someone may potentially break a law? And tell your kids to quit being thugs out there on the monkey bars during recess.

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Kelly W. Patterson

a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, who's been very active in local grassroots activism, as well as on a national level during his extensive travels. He's also the founder/main contributor of Nevada CopBlock, Editor/contributor at CopBlock.org and designed the Official CopBlock Press Passes. ____________________________________________________________________________ If you appreciate Kelly's contributions to CopBlock, consider donating to the CopBlock Network and/or visiting the CopBlock Store. ____________________________________________________________________________ Connect with Kelly at these social networks; Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.