The drug war marches on …

  • Police in Mesa County, Colo., have apologized to a family of seven after launching a predawn SWAT raid on their home in search of meth. Police broke down the door, smashed several windows and stormed the place with guns before realizing that they had the wrong house. Instead, they found a couple and their five children, ages 3 to 12.
  • In Alabama, a grand jury is considering whether to indict three men after one of them shot a deputy in the knee during a violent pot raid on their house.
  • In Indiana, authorities are investigating what happened to $1,700 that was seized after a drug raid in which a suspect was shot and killed. According to the warrant for the raid, the deputies were looking for a syringe. The suspect killed himself after killing the deputy.
  • From the courts: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit recently overturned a lower court and granted qualified immunity to a police officer who was in charge of making sure a raid team hit the correct house. It didn’t, and in the course of the raid, reopened a surgical wound in the man they wrongly raided. The appeals court ruled that there is no clearly established law requiring police officers to make sure they have the correct address before breaking down a door and storming a house with guns.
  • Also from the courts: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has upheld the jury verdict in favor of the police officers who severely wounded a bystander with flash grenade during a Chicago drug raid. The wounded woman was suing the police over her injuries.
  • One of the lawyers who represented members of the Duke lacrosse team has joined the legal team of Julian Betton. I wrote about the raid that permanently maimed and nearly killed Betton here at The Watch as part of my series on police shootings in South Carolina. Surveillance video contradicts claims made by several officers who participated in the raid (which was over two alleged sales of $50 worth of pot) that they knocked and announced before breaking down Betton’s door.
  • Kenneth Probus is out on bond while awaiting his trial on charges of attempted murder of a police officer. Probus shot a Shively, Ky., officer in the legs as the officer tried to break down Probus’s bedroom door. Probus, a former firefighter and Marine who served in Afghanistan, has claimed he didn’t know the raid team were police officers. They were apparently in street clothes, one wearing a University of Louisville hoodie. Probus even called 911 after the exchange of gunfire. Police appear to have been serving a warrant for Loretta Harris, who also lived at the house. She and Probus have been charged with drug trafficking, although it’s unclear whether police found any drugs in the house. Probus had no prior criminal record.
  • The Florida prosecutor who was reviewing the police killing of an unarmed man during a marijuana raid has removed himself from the investigation, citing a close relationship with the family of the deputy who shot the man.
  • Lawyers for Christina Korbe are asking a federal judge to shorten her 15-year prison sentence. Korbe shot and killed an FBI agent during a drug raid on her home. Korbe’s husband was a drug dealer, but Korbe was upstairs at the time of the raid and claimed she didn’t know the raid team were police. She, too, called 911 as the raid transpired.
  • Finally, this is a bit older, but I missed it when it happened: In April, Volusia County, Fla., paid the family of Derek Cruice a $500,000 settlement. Cruice died after a deputy shot him in the face during a 6 a.m. marijuana raid on Cruice’s home. Cruice was unarmed at the time, wearing only a pair of basketball shorts. The deputy was cleared in the shooting.