Cops mistakenly raid apartment, can’t just say “never mind.”

This abstract from the New York Law Journal brought back some memories:

Mt. Vernon Loses Immunity Bid for No-Knock Raid Error

A Westchester County judge has ruled in favor of a family whose apartment was mistakenly raided by Mount Vernon police in 2010, defeating the city’s claim of…

I once worked on a federal lawsuit involving a similar situation and told you the story here.

Recently I was talking with a lawyer who regularly represents police officers, about the uneasy relationship between his clients and us citizens. We need them desperately when we need them, and are wary of them when we do not need them. They carry weapons, they carry suspicious natures − it’s part of a cop’s makeup and can save lives. I have a strong feeling that the personal qualities that lead people into the police force are contradictory to the personal qualities we value in our sloppy, non-uniform society.

Cops are action figures, heroes of movies and TV shows, glamorous guys and, in their power and intimacy with violence, quite unlike the rest of us.

But when they make mistakes, they are dangerous to us. The “gee my bad” kind of apology that we offer when we make mistakes is no way acceptable from the police.

Complicated, isn’t it?

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