Militarization of police
Each year brings an estimated 40,000 armed police raids of homes in the United States, many of them based on scant evidence or fraudulent police assertions. Research conducted by Civil Rights Corps staff and backed by a subsequent Washington Post investigation found hundreds of raids in Washington D.C. in which police cited no evidence of illegal activity in their warrants, instead basing their militarized home invasions only on officers’ knowingly false and misleading “training and experience.” Not only are these raids costly and ineffective—the vast majority do not find what officers swear under oath they believe they will find—they are traumatic and devastating for the families whose homes are invaded.
Over 99% of such “training and experience” home raids in D.C. happen in the homes of black families.
Civil Rights Corps represents seven D.C.-area families whose homes were illegally invaded by the police. Police have strip-searched our clients in front of their loved ones, pointed guns at naked children, and handcuffed disabled individuals. Through our seven lawsuits against the District of Columbia and many of its police officers, we hope to lay the groundwork for systemic changes in the long-overlooked process of obtaining home search warrants, while vindicating the right of people to be free from unwarranted police violence in their homes.
You can read our Complaint in S.H. et al. v. District of Columbia et al. here, our Complaint in Lane v. District of Columbia here, and our Complaint in Pitts v. District of Columbia here. Please also read the Washington Post's article and editorial about the systemic problems highlighted by our cases.