Raleigh Family Asks for Review of Swat Team, Other Police Actions

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The parents of a 31-year-old Durham man are not giving up on a dispute with the Raleigh Police Department. They believe their son is a “marked man,” even though the two misdemeanor charges against him have been dismissed. The family filed complaints with the RPD Internal Affairs unit and state authorities; to date, they have seen no results.

The conflict began in September 2011 when the son traveled to the police precinct in order to retrieve a number of firearms that were taken by police during a domestic dispute. According to the son, the department refused to return two rifles and other equipment. Police claimed he became angry and raised his voice to the evidence room clerk. As the son was driving out, he waved his middle finger out the window of his SUV.

The next incident occurred only an hour later, when a SWAT team stormed the parents’ property, with guns in hand and wearing armor, and tossed a flash bomb into the yard. When the family came to the front yard, officers ordered them to the ground and, according to the family, pointed guns at their heads for a full 48 minutes. Finally, the police arrested the son.

When the parents went to the precinct to complain about the SWAT team, they saw a poster of their son that named him as a dangerous and armed person — even though the two charges, both misdemeanors, had been dismissed. The parents filed additional complaints about the poster.

A police department spokesperson stated that the poster was up because of the son’s alleged threat back in September, and because he is again in possession of weapons. The son claims he uses the guns to protect his business.

His father said the idea of his son waving a gun out the window of his car in front of a police station was absurd. “That’s just crazy,” he said. “Unarmed black men get shot in this country.”

Source: News & Observer, “Family claims Raleigh police, SWAT team are out of control,” Thomasi McDonald, April 3, 2012