NEWS
Louisville Couple Files Lawsuit Against Cops for SWAT Team Raid Over Weed Smell
The 14-person tactical unit didn’t find the cannabis grow operation they expected, but did cause severe emotional and physical damage to the Kentucky home and the family inside of it.
Published on November 1, 2019

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This month last year, Louisville couple Ashlea Burr and Mario Daugherty were at home with their 14-year-old daughter when a fully outfitted team of police commandos knocked down their door, threw smoke grenades, and interrogated the family about a non-existent cannabis grow room they thought was hidden. Now, the couple wants to hold the police department accountable. 

According to a new report from WDRB News, Burr and Daugherty have now filed a lawsuit against Louisville Detective Joseph Tapp and a handful of SWAT team members claiming that there was no probable cause for the raid that they say “very easily could have resulted in the death of a parent or child for no good reason.”

On October 26th of 2018, Detective Tapp filed a search warrant for Burr and Daugherty’s home, claiming that he had repeatedly smelled marijuana outside and suspected that there was a growing and distribution operation going on inside. Without any other evidence to support his hunch, Tapp was able to get the warrant approved and amassed a SWAT team ready to knock down the door.

But when the heavily-armed team crashed into the home, pushing all three family members to the ground and pointing loaded guns in their faces, Detective Tapp and his fellow officers quickly discovered that there was no cannabis in the house. When Burr and Daugherty were able to see the warrant, they noted that neither of their names were anywhere on the paper.

Gallery — Photos of Cops Smoking Weed:

“It’s not only a constitutional violation, but it’s absolutely ridiculous and unreasonable that this could ever happen in a city like ours,” attorney Josh Rose, who represents the family, told WDRB. "It is completely unreasonable to execute a warrant that vaguely mentions someone potentially smoking marijuana at a residence with a SWAT team of 14 officers, exploding devices, forced entry, and assault rifles, particularly when no investigation was done to determine who lived in the residence."

Both Burr and Daugherty are African American, and their lawsuit makes allegations that the Louisville police department has made a habit of seeking baseless warrants and unjust charges against black residents. Neither Detective Tapp nor a spokesperson for the Louisville Metro Police Department have made a statement attempting to justify the 2018 raid. 

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Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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