A botched police operation at the home of a 77-year-old grandmother has caused her to sue Denver police for an unspecified amount, according to reports.
Ruby Johnson says a SWAT team of eight officers in full military gear raided her home in an attempt to find a stolen truck containing four semi-automatic handguns, a tactical military-style rifle, a revolver, two drones, an iPhone 11 and $4,000 in cash.
The raid began after Johnson was startled to hear a blaring bullhorn and an armored truck parked on her front lawn.
But it was later discovered that detectives ordered the raid at the wrong home. They say the home invasion was triggered by an incorrect ping from the Find My iPhone app.
According to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by the ACLU, “the hastily undertaken and outsized operation was based on a manifestly deficient search warrant and turned up nothing.”
The suit continues: “Officers combed through Ms. Johnson’s home for hours and found no evidence of anything even remotely connected to any criminal activity. The illegal search succeeded only in leaving the innocent Ms. Johnson traumatized.”
The complaint further states that police violated Johnson’s right to be “free of unreasonable searches and seizures” and “lacked probable cause that evidence of crime could be found.”
“On the authority of the illegally issued warrant, Denver police arrived at 77-year-old Ms. Johnson’s home, where she lives alone, with an overwhelming and intimidating show of unnecessary force,” the ACLU said in a statement.
The filing names Gary Staab, the lead detective who ordered the raid, as the defendant.
“Both Ms. Johnson and her home of 40 years carry wounds from that day that have not healed. Johnson no longer feels safe in her own home. She developed health issues due to the extreme stress and anxiety the unlawful search caused her,” the complaint reads.
Johnson is seeking an unspecified amount in damages and has requested for a jury trial.