Huffpost Politics

Raid Of The Day: Thomas and Darren Russell

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In February 2009, Chicago police raided both units of a flat as part of a drug investigation.

According to a lawsuit later filed by the wrongly raided family, as the police came in with guns drawn, Thomas Russell, 18, asked if he could pen up the family's black Labrador, Lady. They refused. When Lady then came around the corner to greet the officers, they shot her.

The police then held Thomas and his brother Darren at gunpoint while they scoured the apartment apart in a search for drugs. The police found no contraband, although they did find drugs in the other, separate unit in the flat. Despite the fruitless search, the cops then arrested Thomas Russell anyway, for obstructing police. He would later be acquitted.

In August 2011, a federal jury found that the police had violated the brothers' civil rights, and awarded the family a combined $330,000 in damages. After the verdict, a city spokesperson insisted the police had done nothing wrong. "The officers involved in this case were executing a valid search warrant when this incident occurred and were simply protecting themselves."

(The "Raid of the Day" features accounts of police raids I've found, researched, and reported while writing my forthcoming book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces. It's due out in July, but you can pre-order it here.)

Filed by Radley Balko