Court Allows Suits To Proceed Against Connecticut SWAT Team Accused of Excessive Force

Aaron Homer

In 2008, a botched SWAT team raid in Connecticut led to two innocent men being shot - one fatally. Today, lawsuits against the police departments can go through, a federal judge has ruled, because the departments used "excessive force" and thus cannot claim "qualified immunity," Huffington Post is reporting.

The events of May 18, 2008, played out as follows: Ronald Terebesi and his friend, Gonzalo Guizan of Norwalk, were watching TV at Terebesi's home in Easton. A 21-member SWAT team, consisting of members from the Easton, Monroe, Trumbull, Darien and Wilton police departments, acting on a tip from a stripper that she had seen a "small amount" of cocaine at the home, burst through the door, throwing flash-bang grenades. In the commotion that ensued, Terebesi was shot six times - by Monroe police officer Michael Sweeney, but survived; Guizan died in the shooting. Only a small amount of drugs was found.

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Terebesi filed suit, claiming that the police used excessive force in executing the warrant. He claims that he was hit on the head with a gun, and suffers from PTSD - Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - as a result of the botched raid, and that his civil rights were violated.

Terebesi's lawyer, former FBI agent Gary Mastronardi, told The Connecticut Post:

"It was the most blatant overuse of police power I've ever seen."
"We have overcome all their attempts to throw the case out; now it's time for the police to face the music and for a jury to decide whether Terebesi is entitled to money damages."

Do you think that police officers should be immune from liability for their actions when carrying out SWAT raids? Let us know in the Comments.

[Image courtesy of ctpost.com]

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