11.29 am, Friday July 20 2012

Family suing after dog shot during bungled raid

10:30 AEST Thu Jul 19 2012
Emily O'Keefe, ninemsn
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A US family is suing the local police force after officers allegedly handcuffed three children and forced them to sit next to their dead dog for an hour in a bungled raid on the wrong home.

The Minneapolis family claim police "terrorised" them at gunpoint during the raid after shooting dead their pet, the Courthouse News reports.

All nine occupants of the home, including the three children, have launched a Federal Court law suit against the Dakota County Drug Task Force, the St. Paul Police force and a Drug Enforcement Administration agent.

One of the family members, Roberto Franco, told the court that the name on the police search warrant was not his but Rafael Ybarra, a man who lived next door when the raid took place in July 2010.

The family says during the raid police officers forced each of them to the floor at gun point and handcuffed them behind their backs.

"Defendants shot and killed the family dog and forced the handcuffed children to sit next to the carcass of their dead pet and bloody pet for more than an hour while defendants continued to search the plaintiffs' home."

One of the children was kicked in the side and another endured a diabetic episode because she was not allowed to take her medication while she was handcuffed, the family said.

Even after police discovered that they were at the wrong home they kept searching the property and found a gun in the basement room of another member of the household, Gilbert Castillo.

Police charged Mr Franco for the illegal possession of the firearm who claims he was then wrongly convicted of the offence.

The parents say the three children were physically and emotionally traumatised by the raid and now needed therapy.

The family is demanding US$10 million for civil rights violations and US$20 million in punitive damages.

Source: Courthouse News.
Author: Emily O'Keefe. Approving editor: Will Jackson.


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