UPDATE: In early 2021, this case was settled with the City paying plaintiffs substantial damages. Soon after, BPD also amended its policies to clarify officers’ obligations to ensure they are at the right apartment. The revised policies are here (See Section 3.5 A and B).
The ACLU of Massachusetts, with the law firm Pollack Solomon Duffy LLP, has filed a lawsuit in federal district court on behalf of a Boston area family whose home was wrongly invaded before sunrise on November 27, 2018 by a Boston Police Department SWAT team.
The officers did not have a warrant for the home and did not knock before entering the apartment. Rather, they used a battering ram to break down the door, trained guns on and handcuffed the parents, Jean and Verlande Regis, and their 15-year old child, and ransacked the home with two younger children also present.
After several minutes of this treatment, a supervisor entered and announced that the officers were in the wrong home. They had failed to go to the address that was listed on the warrant and failed to follow specific directions to the correct home.
The complaint alleges that the defendants violated the family’s civil rights and caused harm to the family. The complaint also alleges that the Police Department has failed to develop policies to reduce the risk of officers entering the wrong home and has failed properly to train its officers.
The complaint seeks a court order directing the Police Commissioner to adopt new policies to prevent this from happening again, as well as financial compensation for the emotional distress the family suffered during the incident and has continued to suffer since the incident. The complaint also challenges the BPD to respond to a public records request related to the incident and BPD policies.