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Lawsuit: Cops Storm House, Beat Occupants, Kill Parakeet

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PARAKEET
JACK GUEZ via Getty Images

Your police outrage of the day comes courtesy of the NY Daily News:

City cops barged into the home of a Staten Island mom without a warrant, beat up her family and callously killed her pet parakeet, according to court papers . . .

Lugo’s son Edwin Avellanet was taking a bag of garbage outside when cops stopped and questioned him about an orange construction cone placed in front of their Corson Ave. home to save a parking spot, according to lawyer Jason Leventhal.
The cops demanded to see identification and Avellanet, 26, refused, stating that he had done nothing wrong. A cop grabbed Avellanet by the arm, but he was able to break free and retreat into the house, according to the suit . . .

Additional cops arrived and swarmed throughout the house looking for Avellanet.

“They threw me like a piece of garbage on the floor,” Lugo said.

Another son, George Lugo, and family friend Luis Ortega were struck in the head repeatedly with a baton and suffered severe facial injuries, according to the complaint filed Nov. 29 in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Lugo’s daughter, Alba Cuevas, has asthma and was having difficulty breathing due to the pepper spray cops used. She ducked into a bedroom to catch her breath and was arrested. Criminal charges against Ortega, Lugo and Cuevas were later dismissed and sealed, according to the suit. Avellanet, the subject of the cops’ initial stop-and-question, was not charged.

This is only the plaintiff's side of a lawsuit, so keep that in mind. Still, the photos accompanying the article certainly suggest the family was roughed up. And the fact that the criminal charges were dropped would seem to indicate that whatever the police thought was going on inside, there either wasn't any evidence of criminal wrongdoing, or it wasn't a particularly serious offense.

These were also NYPD cops. Last year, officers from the same department last year shot and killed unarmed Ramarley Graham, also after hastily storming his house, also without a warrant.

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Filed by Radley Balko
 
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