Idaho family sues police after wrong-door raid

CALDWELL, Idaho — Police in southwest Idaho have filed documents in federal court denying accusations in a lawsuit that they violated a family’s rights in a raid on the wrong residence in Caldwell.

An attorney representing the city of Caldwell, the Caldwell Police Department, Police Chief Chris Allgood and three officers in documents filed earlier this month says officers did kick in the door but followed proper procedures and policies based on information they had in an attempt to find a potential suspect and victim.

Caldwell officials are asking that the lawsuit be dismissed.

KTVB-TV reports that David Johnson and his family filed the 18-page lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Boise late last year seeking monetary damages to be determined for damage to the apartment and for emotional distress. The lawsuit contends that police violated the family’s rights with unlawful search and seizure, false imprisonment and excessive force in February 2013.

Johnson said he and his wife and his adult son were asleep when police came to the door.

“We had no idea. No idea what was going on. Nothing,” he said. “We were sound asleep when it started. We didn’t know who it was, and as I walked up to the door, pieces of the door were hitting me.”

He said he had a gun pointed at him and was handcuffed.

Caldwell officials in court documents said officers acted on a report that led them to believe that people might be at risk, and they kicked in the door to an apartment “to prevent imminent danger to a female or other individuals present.”

But the 16-page document said the information provided by the witness turned out to be incorrect.

But police deny allegations they violated the Johnsons’ rights because their actions didn’t rise to that level. The court documents said that if any force was used on the Johnsons, it “was reasonable and necessary under the circumstances.”

Caldwell officials are asking that the Johnsons pay court costs.

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