The victims in one of the sadder police abuse scandals last year finally have been cleared of all unfounded charges, and now it's time for them to CASH THAT CHECK: Kevin and Lisa Henderson have filed a civil rights lawsuit against Howard County and three of its police officers for $5 million.
This... this is one heck of a lawsuit. If true!
The Hendersons' story spread like hotcakes in January 2008 after a Howard County SWAT team entered their Columbia home, late at night, brandishing a warrant for a major drug-dealing operation -- for some other home down the street: "a nearby house the police raided later that evening more closely matched the warrant’s description, and contained marijuana, a pair of scales and large sums of money." All they found drug-wise in the Hendersons' home was some pot and a bowl belonging to their house guest, who was immediately arrested for possession.
Oh, and the cops also shot their dog and beat them all up.
But the first occupant the police encountered was Grunt, a 12-year-old “rottweiler/lab mix” [...]
The officers made a noise to attract the dog, then shot it “point blank,” the suit states. Although the dog was still alive, the officers let it suffer for hours before allowing Mr. Henderson to take it to a veterinarian where, at a cost of $550, it was put to sleep, the Hendersons allege.
Meanwhile, “Officer Pete” handcuffed the Hendersons’ sons, Brian and James, according to the suit. When James continued to ask why the police shot his dog, “Pete” pulled the safety off his “Submachine gun” and pointed it at James’ head and threatened to “blow your [expletive] head off” if he kept talking, according to the suit.
The same officer allegedly took Kevin Henderson to the floor. Even though Henderson told “Pete” that he is disabled — diabetes and neuropathy in his legs — the officer “twisted his boot” on Henderson’s calf, “causing a tear in his skin,” the complaint says.
“Pete” also handled Lisa Henderson roughly until one of his colleagues said, “Pete that’s enough,” according to the suit.
Oh, and then four days later, when the Hendersons went to file a formal complaint, the police arrested them for possession. (They have since been acquitted.)
If everything in this suit is true, then why are they asking for a mere $5 million?