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Kids 'Traumatized' After SWAT Team Mistakenly Raids, Ransacks Home

Police in Michigan raided a home looking for cocaine, drug money and weapons. The man they were looking for was a prior tenant of the rental property and had moved out a year earlier.

Kalamazoo police had a warrant to search a rental property for cocaine, drug money and weapons, but the suspect in their investigation hadn't rented the property for about a year. (Screenshot: WWMT Channel 3)
Kalamazoo police had a warrant to search a rental property for cocaine, drug money and weapons, but the suspect in their investigation hadn't rented the property for about a year. (Screenshot: WWMT Channel 3)

By Beth Dalbey

Kalamazoo, Mich. – Two children were left traumatized when a SWAT team looking for drugs busted through the back door with weapons drawn, handcuffed and searched their parents, and then admitted they had the wrong suspects after three hours of interrogation.

Police had a warrant to search for cocaine, drug money and weapons, but as it turned out, it was issued to a man known as “Chum” who had rented the house on Southwood Terrace about a year before, Jeremy and Becky Handley told WWMT, Channel 3.

When the SWAT team busted through the back door of the family’s home last Thursday, “I thought it was somebody either trying to rob us or hurt us,” Jeremy Handley said.

The couple’s frightened children – Aurora, 8, and Brenden, 7 – scrambled to a closet, where they hid until the police ordered them to sit in the bed.

“We were staying quiet, because we thought they were bad guys coming in,” Brenden told the TV station.

Before acknowledging the mistake, the SWAT team ransacked the home, emptying drawers and cabinets, and pored over the family’s papers and documents. The search revealed nothing out of the ordinary and police apologized after about three hours of interrogation, Becky Handley said.

The couple said that if police had done more research before conducting the raid, the whole thing could have been avoided. They want police to pay for a new door and for counseling for their children, who they say have been having nightmares since the raid.

Jeremy Handley said he wants his children to respect police officers and to not fear them, but the incident has scarred them.

“It makes me sad and scared,” Aurora told the television station.

Kalamazoo police declined to comment when approached by WWMT, saying the investigation is ongoing.

Canton May 07, 2014 at 06:44 PM
I hope the family sues the chief of police and the judge who signed the warrant into bankruptcy. Oh wait, I bet they are both immune from being sued. How convenient.
Brian May 08, 2014 at 08:49 PM
Canton, the city isn't. Can you say lawsuit?
knee jerk May 09, 2014 at 10:12 AM
Someone should conduct a survey with the premise:" Are you more likely to be assaulted by a police officer than killed by a drunk driver"? If the survey turns out yes the public should be allowed to conduct "LEO" stops, much like "DWI or DUI" stops to weed out the troublemakers.
Steven Oathkeeper May 12, 2014 at 03:12 PM
whoops sorry jackasses if no one does anything about it we can do what ever we want hahaha.

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