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Civil Rights Investigation Sought Over “No-Knock” Raid On Wrong Michigan Home

A Michigan family terrorized by state police raiding their Flint home to erroneously execute a “no-knock” warrant requested a federal civil rights investigation on June 7, 2021, according to a report by MLive.

After the raid on April 21, 2021, Michigan State Police (MSP) paid for damage they caused to the house and promised to seek criminal charges against the confidential informant (CI) who gave them the wrong address.

But that’s not enough for Aaron Dunnigan, whose mother, Renee, was at home with daughter Michelle Colston and Colston’s three young children when over 40 officers from MSP’s SWAT team and the Flint Major Crimes Task Force burst through the front door at 10:45 p.m. Aaron Dunnigan noted that while he and his family are Black, the overwhelming majority of the officers involved were White.

For over an hour, they held Renee Dunnigan, 56, and Coleston, 28, along with her children — ages 3, 10 and 14 — until the officers realized they’d been duped: Their CI had pointed to a car in the house’s shared driveway to misdirect them from the house on the other side, where the actual suspect presumably was.

Still, MSP failed to properly vet the address and car information, said the family’s attorney, Bill Goodman. In addition to his clients’ civil rights concerns, the attorney called on state legislators to ban “no-knock” search warrants, which police can request whenever they think a suspect might flee or resist officers executing a traditional search warrant.

The practice gained widespread notoriety after police executing a “no-knock” warrant based on outdated information broke into the home of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, in March 2020. They fatally shot the 26-year-old Emergency Medical Technician in her bed after a warning shot was fired by her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who assumed the men breaking into the home were criminal intruders.

Under the doctrine of qualified immunity, police enjoy wide discretion in exercising their duties, with courts holding them liable only in situations specifically outlined in previous court decisions. As a result, the only criminal charges filed against the cops who killed Taylor were three counts of wanton endangerment against Officer Brett Hankison for shooting wildly into a neighboring home.

 

Sources: MLive.com, reason.com

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