“They trashed the house, they broke pictures, they used excessive force when we were down and handcuffed to the couch . . . we heard slamming, laughter, joking around, you know . . . acting like this was a game.”
This was the scene Alante and his roommate, Austin, faced last April during a surprise, no-knock raid of their apartment by the Murfreesboro Police Department. Visibly shaken, Alante describes how it began.
“I had a friend over who went outside to smoke and she was approached by several officers with no warning . . . she was telling the officers, ‘The door is open, the door is open. You don’t have to kick it down.’”
The SWAT team had already lined up in front of the apartment with their battering ram ready. After a couple of strikes to the door, the police burst through and swarmed into the apartment with their weapons aimed at everyone in the house.
“Without a warrant shown, they busted through an unlocked door with machine guns pointed at our faces.” Alante said.
He describes the SWAT officers as being “rude” and “arrogant,” saying that they were joking and laughing as they were breaking and ransacking everything inside.
“They were really rude, they refused let my buddy drink water in his own house . . . they were very arrogant and clearly disappointed on the lack of stuff they found here . . .”
After ransacking and trashing the apartment, the SWAT officers also removed the home security cameras from the residence and took them as “evidence;” a tactic commonly used by police after raids in an effort to prevent video of their behavior from being seen by the public. Luckily, the cameras the SWAT officers stole were IP cameras so the footage remained safe and sound.
After the raid, the Murfreesboro Police finally presented the warrant they were serving on their way out.
The reason for the armed paramilitary response was apparently to search for marijuana that an ex-girlfriend had told the police about after being kicked out of the apartment.
No arrests were made as a result of the raid but a citation was issued for a “small amount of marijuana.”
This is the war on drugs at work. Rest assured that if there is anyone ever possessing any non-lethal plants that are legal just states away, Murfreesboro’s finest won’t hesitate to come knocking down doors with guns blazing.
The Murfreesboro Police Department did not pay for any of the damage they caused during the botched raid.
Police Comics #2 Nm 9.4