Couple suing CPD for entering home without warrant, holding them at gunpoint
A couple has filed a lawsuit against the Chattanooga Police Department, accusing officers of illegally entering their home and losing their internal affairs complaint on purpose.
The complaint, filed on Friday, states the officers didn't have a warrant when they kicked in the door and forced the couple and an employee with the Department of Human Services outside before realizing their mistake and leaving.
The 34-page complaint spells out what the couple said happened inside their S. Seminole Drive home in February 2018.
It states Dale Edmonds, who had been shot in the shoulder during a domestic dispute three days earlier, and his wife were meeting with a DHS employee when three Chattanooga police officers burst into the home with guns drawn, without a warrant.
"He was a victim of domestic assault before he was shot and then three days later, as we spell out in our complaint, phasing people forcing their way into the home, according to Mr. Edmonds and his wife, at gunpoint. So you can imagine how he would feel," Edmonds' attorney, Robin Flores said.
Flores wrote in the complaint, the officers "manhandled" Edmonds, despite his injury, and forced all three people outside with their hands up.
After several minutes, the complaint states the officers said they made a mistake and left.
A couple weeks later, Edmonds filed a complaint with CPD's Internal Affairs Unit.
When he didn't hear anything for three months, he checked on its status only to learn his complaint was lost.
After not hearing anything, he checked on the second complaint's status and learned it had been lost again but then the complaint was found on a captain's desk.
Edmonds said he contacted the department several times asking for the names of the officers involved and was told last week they would release the names February 16, 2019, two days after the statute of limitations expires for Edmonds to file a lawsuit.
"What we've alleged in there is that there's a pattern with the city where certain behaviors appear to be condoned or they're not treated as severely as some others," Flores added.
A spokesperson for Chattanooga police declined to comment citing the lawsuit and open internal affairs investigation.
The couple is asking for $1.3 million in damages and a jury trial.
Flores said once each officer is served with the complaint, they will have 30 days to file a response.
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