THERE SHOULD BE ZERO TOLERANCE FOR WRONG HOUSE RAIDS. EVERY TIME IT HAPPENS, THE PERSON IN CHARGE SHOULD BE FIRED.
The feds still won’t reveal what an internal investigation determined about a Deputy U.S. Marshal’s raid on the wrong Sarasota apartment, but the nurse terrorized there just got good news.
The U.S. Department of Justice has agreed to pay Louise Goldsberry and her boyfriend $90,000, according to her lawyer, in connection with the botched July 2013 action by the U.S. Marshals Services’s Fugitive Task Force.
The city of Sarasota, which had a police officer assigned to the federal unit, has agreed to pay another $3,000, according to Goldsberry’s lawyer, Andrea Mogensen.
Goldsberry, as you might recall, was washing dishes in her kitchen — after dinner with her visiting boyfriend and a day on the job as an operating room nurse — when she saw an armed man.
He was pointing a gun toward her, through her kitchen window.
Goldsberry screamed, ducked, and crawled to her bedroom. She and her boyfriend were further shocked when another man began banging on the front door, demanding to be let it. He claimed to be a law officer.
From what Goldsberry had seen, that seemed unlikely. While the man at the door cursed and threatened to break in, she grabbed her small pistol from her bedroom and cowered in the hallway, thinking it was a home invasion.
Instead of directing Goldsberry to call 911 to confirm that law officers were at her door, Deputy U.S. Marshall Matt Wiggins kept yelling and then opened the front door, while protected by a tactical shield. He aimed a blinding flashlight and a gun at the panicked woman.
She would have been within her rights to shoot them. And if she had, they’d have made something up to pretend it was her fault. There isn’t nearly enough accountability for this sort of thing. And that lack of accountability produces this sort of sense of entitlement:
Wiggins confirmed afterward that he had threatened to shoot Goldsberry if she did not drop her gun and come out. He told me she should feel grateful he did not do so and, for that matter, grateful that he did not arrest her.
Wiggins said he could not see why she would be complaining to the press when she was the one who disobeyed police orders.
He was a home invader. If he had been shot, it would have been his fault. He should be apologizing most contritely. And since he doesn’t grasp this, he shouldn’t work in law enforcement at all.