The family of a man who was killed by a SWAT team carrying out a search warrant of his home received a $450,000 payout, approved unanimously by the Hallandale Beach City Commission.
The 34-year-old man died 11 days after the raid, which took place May 8, 2014. Officers had a search warrant for his home in a narcotics investigation and ended up shooting Bowe and his dog during the raid.
The family filed the wrongful death lawsuit in federal court two years ago, alleging the raid had a “series of errors resulting in unnecessary confusion and chaos among the officers.” By settling the lawsuit, the city does not admit to any liability, and the officers were officially cleared of wrongdoing during an internal department review.
An amended complaint filed in April 2017 by Howe’s family accused police of violating Howe’s Fourth Amendment rights by not knocking before entering, by using excessive force against Howe and his teenage son, and by falsely arresting that son. Officers showed up at Bowe’s back door at 6 a.m. on the day of the raid, first shooting his pit bull (twice) who had been chained up outside. The dog did not have a history of violence and was restrained with the chain. The complaint calls the decision to kill the dog a “compromise to the safety of the raid.”
The team then barged into the home, through a stun grenade and shot Bowe in the lower chest area with a shotgun before dragging Bowe’s teenage son out of his bed and handcuffing him before dragging him outside.
You have rights against unreasonable searches and seizures
Warrant or not, all police officers must follow the Fourth Amendment and preserve suspects’ rights at all times.
For more information about legal steps you can take if injured by a police officer during an arrest or a search and seizure process, speak with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.