It looked like a scene out of a movie, where police send in a SWAT team to raid a home looking for a violent offender who’s sitting inside ready to kill whoever walks through the door. They walked up the the home with their shields and automatic weapons drawn, the first officer bashes the door in and the rest storm the home, catching the people inside by surprise and giving nobody a chance to escape. However this wasn’t a movie and they weren’t looking for a violent offender, this was the home of a mother and her two sons and the police had a warrant for roughly $1000 worth of goods purchased with a stolen credit card, and therein lies the problem.
The entire incident was caught on security cameras that the family had placed around the home. They had their vehicles broken into previously and both of Sally Prince’s sons are in to audio/visual components and like to tinker so they wired the home with surveillance cameras which even catch members of the SWAT team trying to remove and cover up the cameras so that the incident wasn’t recorded.
In the interview shown, the mother speaks about the experience and you can see how traumatic it was for her, she’s constantly wiping tears from her face and needs her son, an honorably discharged member of the Army, to sit by her for support throughout and who could blame her? She had a group of roughly 8 heavily armed, masked men kick her door in and raid her home over a warrant for a non-violent offense. She said that police are supposed to be there to “protect and serve” but now she’s afraid of them and fears they’ll come back again.
The police claim they knocked prior to entering the home, however the camera in the front of the house tells a different story. You can see the team approach the home when one of the members hits the side of it seconds before a battering ram is used to smash the door in. What’s worse is that Sally said if they had just knocked that she would have let them in to execute the warrant without resistance.
One detail of the story that should make us all cringe in fear that this could ever happen to us is that her son, Justin Ross has a permit to carry a handgun and he does at all times. He was in the bathroom when the home was raided and drew his weapon when he heard the commotion. Luckily for him, he heard one of the officers announce “POLICE” so he holstered it, then sat down and put his hands on his lap and waited for police to find him. Although just before he heard the announcement he said that one of the cops had tried to kick the door of the bathroom in, had they been successful it could have ended in one or both of their deaths.
The search didn’t turn up anything on the warrant, however two people in the home were arrested on unrelated charges, one for a probation violation and the other for possession of illegal drugs. However neither of the people arrested were listed on the warrant.
The police were pressed about the use of a militarized SWAT style team to execute the warrant and they claimed it was because of the arrest record of the people on the warrant. A look into their arrest records shows that one of the suspects had two assault charges 13 years ago and a domestic abuse charge, and that was it.
Police wouldn’t comment on whether or not Ross’s carry permit was a factor in decided how to execute the warrant and said that they don’t have any written policies they follow when it comes to deciding how to execute them.