Evansville asks US Supreme Court to review SWAT raid ruling

November 5, 2015

The city of Evansville has asked the Supreme Court of the United States to review a federal appeals court's ruling in a lawsuit filed over a SWAT raid.

The Evansville Courier & Press reports attorneys for the city filed the appeal on behalf of Police Chief Billy Bolin and 11 officers named in the lawsuit.

Louise Milan alleges in her lawsuit that police used excessive force in a June 2012 SWAT raid on her home.

Police said they mounted that raid because they believed someone in the house was behind online threats against police.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in August upheld a lower court ruling that found Milan could proceed with her lawsuit. The court found that Evansville police had "committed too many mistakes" to be shielded from liability.

“Precipitate use of flash bangs to launch a search has troubled us before, leading us to declare that ‘the use of a flash bang grenade is reasonable only when there is a dangerous suspect and a dangerous entry point for the police, when the police have checked to see if innocent individuals are around before deploying the device, when the police have visually inspected the area where the device will be used and when the police carry a fire extinguisher,’” Judge Richard Posner wrote in the appellate decision.  

“The police in this case flunked the test just quoted. True, they’d brought a fire extinguisher with them — but, as if in tribute to Mack Sennett’s Keystone Kops, they left it in their armored SWAT vehicle,” the judge concluded.


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