CAMDEN – Throughout a predawn raid in February 2020, legislation enforcement officers used a battering ram to enter the house of a girl asleep in her Gloucester Metropolis house — solely to search out they had been on the mistaken deal with, a lawsuit says.
Krystal Underwood contends she was secured with zip-ties “whereas semi-undressed” as investigators executed a 6 a.m. no-knock warrant at her dwelling on the 300 block of Walnut Avenue.
However the civil-rights lawsuit says the topic of the warrant, which had been obtained as a part of a drug investigation, lived within the house beneath Underwood’s.
It additionally asserts investigators returned to Underwood’s house on two extra events – “claiming once more that the unique goal of their investigation was in (her) house and/or being hidden or protected by (Underwood).”
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The swimsuit additionally says an officer who took half within the raid later approached Underwood at a neighborhood tavern, “inflicting her additional nervousness and misery.”
It contends Underwood’s experiences precipitated psychological and emotional accidents, requiring the girl to obtain psychological therapy at a neighborhood hospital and to have “follow-up care and rehabbing.”
The swimsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, in addition to restoration of authorized bills for Underwood, who’s now a resident of Jacksonville, Florida.
Defendants embrace the Camden County Sheriff’s Workplace and 11 members of its emergency response group, in addition to the county prosecutor’s workplace and considered one of its narcotics detectives.
“The Camden County SERT Group lawfully executed a search warrant signed by a choose on the appropriate deal with in Gloucester Metropolis,” county spokesman Dan Keashen mentioned Tuesday.
“We’re assured that this frivolous litigation will likely be dismissed as soon as the information are introduced in a courtroom,” he mentioned.
Underwood’s lawyer, Thomas Gossé of Haddon Heights, couldn’t be reached for remark.
He filed the swimsuit in Superior Court docket in Camden in February. It was moved just lately to Camden federal courtroom on the request of the county’s lawyer.
The swimsuit additionally names the constructing’s landlord, Michael Higgins, saying he failed to offer property markings, indicators or numbering for the Walnut Avenue property.
An lawyer for Higgins additionally couldn’t be reached.
Jim Walsh covers public security, financial growth and different beats for the Courier-Put up, Burlington County Instances and The Each day Journal.
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