(Huffington Post) Drug enforcement officers in upstate New York bashed through an elderly man’s front door only to discover that they had the wrong address.
Auburn resident Fred Skinner, 76, says he was eating toast at the breakfast table earlier this month when authorities raided his home in the Finger Lakes region.
“They just broke in,” Skinner told The Huffington Post as a handyman fixed his front door today. “They told me not to move so I didn’t move.”
After turning the residence upside down for approximately five minutes and attempting to handcuff Skinner with guns drawn, authorities realized they busted down the wrong door.
This is no isolated incident or as the police chief explained, “We make mistakes just like everybody else. We try to make sure our information is as current and as reliable as possible.” This is a guaranteed outcome of the unnecessary use of force to serve drug warrants in America. Every system, no matter how precise, has a margin of error. When the margin of error means busting down the doors of innocent elderly people, we should ensure that happens as rarely as possible. These kinds of “mistakes” are only acceptable when the alternative is not pursuing violent, imminently dangerous offenders.
These kinds of no-knock shock-and-awe raids happen in American homes 100-150 times per day. Check out this interactive map from the Cato Institute for some chilling data.