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Anotrer SWAT OP gone astray? How will trhis cookie crumble in federal court?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by alan, Aug 13, 2006.

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  1. alan

    alan Member

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    Family of slain Dundalk woman sues Baltimore County police

    Luke Broadwater, The Examiner
    Aug 10, 2006 5:00 AM (2 days ago)


    BALTIMORE - The police never knocked on her door.


    They threw a flash-bang grenade and used a battering ram instead.

    Then they shot the startled 44-year-old Dundalk mother to death in her bedroom without reason.

    That’s the argument laid out in a federal wrongful death lawsuit filed Wednesday by family members of Cheryl Noel, 44, whom police shot and killed during a Jan. 19, 2005 SWAT team raid of her residence.

    The 11-page lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the family in connection with the loss of Noel’s life and the “companionship” and “care” she provided to her husband, mother and two sons.

    “This was a tragedy that should never have happened,” said Terrell Roberts III, an attorney for the Noel family.

    Roberts claims in a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore that five police officers and Baltimore County violated Noel’s constitutional rights by killing her.

    Officer Carlos Artson “made an unreasonable seizure of the person of Cheryl Lynn Noel by shooting and killing her, violating her rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution ...” the suit states.

    At 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 21, 2005, Noel and her husband, Charles, were asleep in the master bedroom of their row house when the heavily-armed Baltimore County SWAT team stormed through her home. According to the suit, officers had found “trace amounts of drugs” in trash cans outside of the home.

    Cheryl Noel feared criminal intruders had broken into her home and grabbed a lawfully registered gun and held it pointed at the floor, the suit states.

    Artson kicked in her bedroom door with his boot and, without identifying himself or telling Noel to drop her weapon, shot her three times, including once after she already had slumped to the floor, according to the suit.

    “The use of a SWAT team to execute a routine drug warrant was excessive and overkill,” Roberts said. “The woman never knew the police had entered her home. She was doing everything that could be expected of a law-abiding citizen to protect her own life. She was shot and killed without any warning that the police were present or to drop her gun.”

    Roberts said his clients “vigorously dispute” arguments that Noel was pointing her gun at the police officer when the officer shot her.

    “Clearly, a third shot was wholly unnecessary and grossly excessive,” he said.

    Baltimore County Police spokesman William Toohey said police did nothing wrong and the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s backs the officers.

    “The State’s Attorney’s Office ruled that the shooting was justified,” he said.

    lbroadwater@baltimoreexaminer.com

    Examiner
     
  2. MrZ

    MrZ Member

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    A drug dealer out of this world?

    Justified imo...
     
  3. the 22 junkie

    the 22 junkie Member

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    Justified? Are you kidding me? Kicking down doors without identifying yourself and shooting american citizens in the name of the war on drugs is NOT justified.
    What planet are you living on? :fire: :cuss:
     
  4. SomeKid

    SomeKid Member

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    Huh. So, home invasion and murder is legal in MD?
     
  5. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    I hope the murderers (that's what they are, folks; trivial laws broken or not, storming into a house and shooting people to death is murder) get life in prison.


    The entire "War on (some) Drugs" is a sham to allow this kind of abuse.
     
  6. cassandrasdaddy

    cassandrasdaddy Member

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    hard penalty

    for misdemeanor possesion. and trying to play her as a pothead is a nonstarter they drug test where she works. they shot the lady who lead the lunchtime bible study and i wanna see if its true that the 3rd short was extra after she was down.
     
  7. carebear

    carebear Member

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    Make that "suspected" drug dealer. Unless you are aware of this woman having been convicted of dealing in this case, prior to being made dead.

    And, I might add, apparently "suspected" due solely of some residue on a trashcan out in a public place. No (published anyway) documented UC buy, no corroberating witnesses, not even any report that any dope was found after the fact.

    You are what we call "suspects" here in America aren't you? We call them "innocent people".

    Soooooo, guess what I "suspect" you of?

    <here's a tip, keep an eye on your trashcan for an "I'm with stupid" tshirt. :rolleyes: >
     
  8. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Look for a large out-of-court settlement and no further fuss. This is not the kind of case they let get to a jury. :banghead:
     
  9. MrZ

    MrZ Member

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    "Justified? Are you kidding me? Kicking down doors without identifying yourself and shooting american citizens in the name of the war on drugs is NOT justified."

    I absolutely agree.

    However, that is more than likely not the case in this example, and I am much more willing to take the word of our men in blue over that of a worthless drug dealer EVERY time. Until proven otherwise.

    Yes, she was an "American citizen". WAS being the key word in that sentance...

    "What planet are you living on? "

    Earth.

    I
     
  10. gc70

    gc70 Member

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    I guess the Baltimore County Police never thought about taking the suspects down quietly and away from the residence. Nah, that would not have been as much fun as a dynamic entry and using some of their fancy training.

    And who were the dangerous, big-time drug dealers that warranted a SWAT raid? Apparently the woman's husband and son and the son's girlfriend, who were charged with misdemeanor drug possession.

    The whole SWAT-as-the-solution-for-everything mentality is way out of control.
     
  11. Liberal Gun Nut

    Liberal Gun Nut Member

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    The shooter should be prosecuted for Murder 2 or maybe manslaughter. The PD should be cleaned out (bankrupted) for the wrongful death. And we should declare victory in the War on Drugs and stop it.
     
  12. Frog48

    Frog48 Member

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    I have a problem with SWAT raids, in general. The police is basically setting people up to get killed.

    Think about it: if someone breaks through your door in the middle of the night, with a gun... your first thought would be that its a home invasion by a criminal. You'd likely grab your (weapon of choice) on your nightstand, because a reasonable person would believe that their home is being burglarized. At this point, a darkly dressed man in body armor would have already put a couple rounds in you before you had the opportunity to drop the weapon.
     
  13. carebear

    carebear Member

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    Grant, Grant, Grant...

    You know they yelled "Police" a second or two before the ram hit don't you?

    She should have heard it through her sleep and immediately known they were good guys. So it is kind of her fault for being armed when they came into the bedroom. :rolleyes:
     
  14. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    "Drug residue on garbage outside the home" does not make one a drug dealer. If she had actually been dealing drugs, I'm sure that would have been mentioned. For all we know, local addicts could have been tossing stuff in her garbage cans as they passed by. I still dont get how they would get from residue to "she must be a drug dealer" for the warrant. I'd love to see the affidavit. It would be funny if it wasnt so tragic.

    Its sad that there are people intelligent enough to read and write but stupid enough to beleive these halfassed attempts to justify yet another horrible SWAT screw up.

    Then again, the sadder problem is that it isnt really a screw up, because any use of SWAT justifies a bigger budget next year, and any raid can bring forfeiture and more money for the department. Why work for a living when you can just shoot people with guns and take their possessions on the flimsiest of pretenses? It's like highway robbery, only in the name of the King. I really have to register my amazement that people havent started to become fed up yet- is the mainstream media really that good at helping cover up?
     
  15. cassandrasdaddy

    cassandrasdaddy Member

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    i heard

    it was based on an anonymous tip
    wonder if tipster is a lil freaked out that he got a woman dead
     
  16. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Member

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    It's going to be hard for Ms. Noel to defend her innocence, what with her being all ventilated and dead, because she reached for a weapon when her door was broken down at oh-dark-thirty. So much for just punishments...
     
  17. brerrabbit

    brerrabbit Member

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    I bet the tipster is gonna be even more freaked out when his name comes out in the civil suit. Might be a good time to get out of dodge considering he probably has pretty much the victims family and the local law enforcement wanting to mess him up.
     
  18. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    I am sure one of the LE apologists will come up with some kind of justification for this action.

    But the bottom line is why was the swat guy not prosecuted?

    If you or I made a mistake and someone died because of it (assuming for the moment it was just a mistake), we certainly would be prosecuted.
     
  19. strambo

    strambo Member

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    Wow, all over drug residue found in a garbage can open to the public. You'd think that would provide PC to warrant further investigation...NOT skipping all reasonable steps and going straight to kick in the door. Just from a financial standpoint, even if they hadn't killed her, a week spent on further investigation is a lot cheaper than kicking in the door, finding nothing and getting sued. Of couse, it's tax-payer dollars and federal "war on drugs" grants probably paid for the flashbangs.
     
  20. Spot77

    Spot77 Member

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    Yup. Just like self defense is the polar opposite.



    "baaah", say the sheep of Maryland. :fire:
     
  21. joab

    joab Member

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    You people realize that you are accepting and presenting as evidence the mere words of a trial lawyer right?
     
  22. Spot77

    Spot77 Member

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    To some degree we are. However I've found The Examiner to be a rather unbiased paper with USUALLY well researched articles. It's a great alternative to the dribble that comes from the Baltimore Sun.

    But besides that, the general consensus is that these midnight SWAT raids have become the norm for what most consider less than worthy crimes, and that the acceptance of these events by the American people is a crying shame.
     
  23. strambo

    strambo Member

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    Well, if the only justification for the warrant (and it will be public record right?) was "trace amounts of drugs" in the trash can...the rest doesn't matter. I am only discussing based on the article (it's all I have and this is a discusion board, not a jury). Yes, there is probably more to the story...I haven't called any cops murderers, but executing a no-knock based on residue is BS....unless they had a lot more, un-mentioned in the article, evidence.

    Furthermore, even if they had lots more evidence...was there anything in the history of anyone in the household to indicate violent, or potentially violent, behavior? I mean they rammed the door in and tossed a flashbang like it was a hostage rescue op. Unless the Lawyer made up the flashbang part too...
     
  24. 1 old 0311

    1 old 0311 member

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    This is wrong on so many different levels. I hope the family cleans the city out, and those responsible ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP are fired. No NOBODY will see jail time. System don't work that way.
     
  25. Hardware

    Hardware Member

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    Maybe they found coffee cans and dryer sheets in the trash can?
     
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