03/28/2013 10:50 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Raid Of The Day: Lewis Caldwell

Note: 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.

On March 6, 2003, six NYPD police officers dressed in riot gear broke down the door to the home of Lewis Caldwell. Police handcuffed Caldwell, a lung cancer patient, and forced him to the floor at gunpoint.

Caldwell's wife returned home from work to find her home filled with police officers and police dogs. She pleaded with the officers to release her husband from the handcuffs, citing his medical condition. They kept him restrained for more than an hour. Caldwell said police were "laughing and joking" while searching his apartment. They found nothing incriminating. They had raided the wrong home.

When the Caldwells filed a complaint, they said a lieutenant called to tell them the raid was completely justified, and "there's nothing you can do about it."

Source: C. Virginia Fields, "Report and Recommendations on the Execution of No-Knock Warrants: In the Aftermath of the Death of Alberta Spruill," Office of Manhattan Borough, June 2003.