Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Police smash door

kare11 reported Brooklyn Park police were looking for a meth lab, but they found a fish tank and the chemicals needed to maintain it. And a few hours later, when the city sent a contractor to fix the door the police had smashed open Monday afternoon, it was obvious the city was trying to fix a mistake.
At least they realized they made a mistake, and tried to fix it. Did they apologize for hancuffing the occupants, and promise to be more careful the next time?
... Police were executing a search warrant signed by Hennepin County Judge Ivy Bernhardson, who believed there was probable cause the Adams's home was a meth lab. Berhardson, who was appointed to the bench less than a year ago, did not return KARE 11's phone calls.
Don't expect him to.
"Ohmigod," Adams said as she recalled police breaking down her door and flashing the search warrant. "I just kept saying to them, 'you've got the wrong house.' " Police soon realized that themselves. "From a cursory view, it doesn't look like our officers did anything wrong," said Capt. Greg Roehl.
Except break down the door and harrass two innocent civilians on a false report.
Roehl said the drug task force was acting on a tip from a subcontractor for CenterPoint Energy, who had been in the home Friday to install a hot water heater. "He got hit with a chemical smell that he said made him light headed, feel kind of nauseous," Roehl said.
And did he ask what the source of the odor was?
The smell was vinegar, and maybe pickling lime, which were clearly marked in a bathroom Mr. Adams uses to mix chemicals for his salt water fish tank. "I said, 'I call it his laboratory for his fish tanks,' " Mrs. Adams said, recalling her conversation with the CenterPoint technician. "I'm looking at the fish tank talking to this guy."
So he asked, and got the answer. Did he tell that to the police, or just that it made him lightheaded?
Police say there was no extended investigation, just an interview with the subcontractor.
Who apparently did not tell them all he knew.
"Everything this person told us turned out to be true, with the exception of what the purpose of the lab was," Roehl said.
That is a pretty big exception, isn't it? Is it illegal to have chemicals for a fish tank? Do the police normally break down a door of someone with a fish tank?
... CenterPoint energy maintains the home was "unsafe" and it would have "irresponsible" for the subcontractor not to report it.
The residents were safe, at least until the police broke down their door. The fish were safe. Why was the house "unsafe"?

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