3 More Accuse Little Rock Police of Conducting Illegal Raids
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Three more people alleged Wednesday they were targets of an unconstitutional drug raid conducted by Little Rock police and are joining a lawsuit against the department and the city.
Juanglecio Boykins, Candice Caldwell, and Derrick Davis said that police obtained “no-knock” warrants based on false information, echoing claims made last week by Roderick Talley. Police used explosives to enter residences for all four and search for drugs.
Talley alleged that police lied on a search warrant affidavit, saying they witnessed an informant purchase cocaine from him. But Talley wasn’t home at the time of the alleged drug purchase, and he had video evidence from a security camera, which he played to reporters, to show the informant lied. Police obtained a “no-knock” warrant and used explosives to blow up his door and search his apartment. They found no cocaine but arrested him for a small amount of marijuana.
After the charges were dropped, Talley brought the issue to Little Rock police’s internal affairs department but they did nothing. He ultimately filed his own lawsuit against the city before finding legal representation in civil rights lawyers Ben Crump and Michael Laux.
City attorney Tom Carpenter has said the department’s policies comply with state and federal civil rights law, while a police spokesman has declined to comment.
Boykins, Davis, and Caldwell told similar stories to Talley’s. Boykins said the police actually raided his mother’s house, where he was sleeping for the night, although they arrested him for a small amount of marijuana and a gun. Boykins said he typically spent a night or two a week at his mother’s house but suspected that same informant in Talley’s case only knew his mother’s address, not his primary residence.
After Davis was arrested, police mistook him for a fugitive from Texas — despite a decade or so age difference — and held him for more than two days before his wife brought his background check from work and cleared him.
Like Talley, Caldwell had a security system which captured the raid. In a video shown to reporters, Caldwell, who said her mother had died only days before, hears explosives in the floor below and screams. She begs police not to shoot her dog as they enter her room. Later, she asks an officer who is guarding her why they used explosives.
“I would have opened the door if you all had knocked,” she says to the officer.
“Right, but that’s not exactly how a ‘no-knock’ search warrant goes,” he responds.
Caldwell said the officers were looking for methamphetamine and $100,000, neither of which they found. She and her lawyers say the officers did smash a thermostat — which she thinks they mistook for a camera — and caused about $7,000 in damage to the house she was renting. Her charges were eventually dropped as well.
Attorneys Crump and Laux said they expect more people will come forward in the coming weeks
Hannah Grabenstein, The Associated Press