The latest misstep by Attorney General Eric Holder’s U.S. Dept. of Justice could be any American’s nightmare.
U.S. Marshals from Justice’s fugitive division were looking for a child-rape suspect in Sarasota. Naturally the officers were eager to find the suspect.
However, in their zeal, they busted the wrong house, terrifying a 59 year old nurse and her boyfriend who had finished dinner just before darkness set in.
The couple’s nightmare began when Louise Goldsberry went into the kitchen to do the dishes. Goldsberry told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune “she had looked up from the sink to see a man ‘wearing a hunting vest.’”
She said the man “was aiming a gun at her face, with a red light pinpointing her.”
Things went downhill from there.
Goldsberry, after dropping to the floor while she was screaming, managed to crawl over to get her own gun.
Goldsberry recounted what one man said, demanding they open the door:
The actual words, the couple say, were, “We're the f------ police; open the f------ door.”
Events that unfolded after that could have resulted in a tragedy.
The couple finally realized the man was with law enforcement.
The authorities were looking for a child-rape suspect rumored to be in the area. No tips the marshals received involved Goldsberry’s home. She was implicated in no way whatsoever. There was a tip about the complex where Goldsberry lived.
Why did the marshals storm her house and handcuff both Goldsberry and her friend?
She didn’t open the door automatically as other residents in the neighborhood had done.
Marshal Matt Wiggins said, “She sure shouldn't be going to the press.”
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution limits federal powers in order to protect rights “against unreasonable searches,” particularly when there is no warrant.
No media have asked AG Holder for a comment about the errant bust, but he has been occupied with social issues and speeches lately.
President Barack Obama hasn't commented on the case either, although he often does comment on matters related to criminal justice.
The officers did catch the suspect. He was in another part of town.
(Filed by Kay B. Day/July 20, 2013)
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