E.D.Mo.: Policy of using SWAT team to enter without announcing in every drug case states a failure to train claim

Plaintiff’s unarmed decedent was shot and killed by the St. Louis PD SWAT team in a no-knock drug raid of the wrong house. Plaintiff stated a claim that the affidavit for search warrant omitted critical facts that undermined probable cause. (Plaintiff also alleged some officer planted drugs to attempt to justify the search.) The warrant provided for no-knock because they all do. Plaintiff, however, stated a failure to train claim against the city because there was no justification for a no-knock with a flashbang at the time of execution. Clark v. City of St. Louis, Mo., 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178774 (E.D. Mo. Sep. 30, 2022).* (This is just a horrible case on its facts: A man asleep in his own house, unarmed, shot to death when the flashbang woke him up. They also are alleged to have knowingly let him bleed out before calling an ambulance.):

However, I have found that the Plaintiffs have sufficiently claimed that The City’s alleged policy of using the SWAT team on virtually all drug-related search warrants regardless of whether the use of such force is reasonable in the execution of each warrant may be found to be unconstitutional. If that is the policy of The City, by extension, The City is not training or supervising its officers to determine whether the use of the SWAT team is reasonable for the execution of each warrant. As a result, Plaintiffs have asserted sufficient facts to assert a claim for a failure to train or supervise on this ground.

This entry was posted in Excessive force. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.