MIAMI -- A Brownsville man's death during a July police raid is now under investigation after questions have been raised about whether officers had the wrong house.
Othello Russell, 50, was literally "scared to death," according to his family's account in a Miami Herald report, suffering a fatal heart attack as a gang task force entered his house demanding whereabouts of grenades.
Police maintain that Russell or one of his brothers signed a "consent to search" form for the raid, which resulted in the arrests of both brothers on illegal firearm possession, but the signature is unclear. Read the full Miami Herald report here.
A neighbor who witnessed the raid said an officer peered inside Russell's screen door, said he saw a marijuana joint, and claimed probable cause to enter, reports CBS Miami. The joint was reportedly never found.
CBS Miami also reports that the only warrant surrounding the raid is the one written the day after, involving the investigation into Russell's death.
Numerous departments were involved in the questionable raid. It was spearheaded by Miami-Dade Police, and consisted of Opa-Locka officers and federal agents. The subsequent investigation into Russell's death is being conducted by Miami Police.
"The officers were there for a lawful purpose, and they were making an arrest, and this gentleman just died from natural causes," John Rivera, President of the Police Benevolent Association told WSVN. "It was one of those real freaky things that happen in life."
Meanwhile criminal attorney Ed Shohat believes the brothers have a case that probable cause was faked.
"They stalked us like animals," brother Charles told Local 10. "They robbed him of his life. They robbed me; they robbed my family."