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Friday, 21 August 2020

Three Nashville cops are 'decommissioned' after raiding the wrong home and bursting through the door with their guns drawn at 6am as a woman and two children slept inside

Three Nashville police officers have been decommissioned after raiding the wrong home and breaking down the door of an innocent family during a botched investigation early Tuesday morning.  
Lieutenant Harrison Dooley, Sergeant Jeff Brown, and officer Michael Richardson, were suspended on Wednesday, The Metro Nashville Police Department said.   
The three are under investigation after executing a search warrant at an Edgehill apartment at 6am while a woman and two children slept inside.
Police Chief John Drake said officers did not give the family enough time to answer the door and failed to exercise due diligence in confirming that the person they were looking for lived at the apartment. 
Lieutenant Harrison Dooley
Dooley, officer Michael Richardson (pictured ) and Sergeant Jeff Brown (not pictured) have been decommissioned after Tuesday's raid. Brown's photo was not released due to his undercover work,
Lieutenant Harrison Dooley (left) Sergeant Jeff Brown (not pictured) and officer Michael Richardson (right) have been decommissioned after Tuesday's raid. Brown's photo was not released due to his undercover work, police said 
Azaria Hines said she was sleeping unclothed when officers barged in with guns
Azaria Hines said she was sleeping unclothed when officers barged in with guns
Officers caused extensive damage to the door of her home after using a battering ram to gain entry
Officers caused extensive damage to the door of her home after using a battering ram to gain entry 
Three Metro Nashville police officers with guns raid wrong home
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'No innocent family in Nashville, anywhere, should be subjected to what the mother and her two children went through on Tuesday morning,' Drake said in a news release. 
'They were awakened by a team of officers who banged on their door and ultimately knocked it in with a ram.'
The woman who lives at the home has been identified as Azaria Hines, who told News 4 Nashville she had been sleeping unclothed after finishing a late shift at work when officers barged in with their weapons drawn.
Her 15-year-old cousin Kanani and three-year-old nephew Jaiden, both of whom she has custody, were also awakened by the raid and ordered to go outside, she said. 
'I'm furious because they came up in here and woke up my kids with rifles,' Hines told the news station. 'They had the wrong apartment.'
She said and her kids have been left traumatized by the incident which she said she thought was a dream. 
'These things can't continue to happen because people are losing their lives,' she said. 
'I'm not a criminal. Like I was literally scared in my own home. I'm not really comfortable there.' 
Hines said her 15-year-old cousin Kanani (pictured) and three-year-old nephew Jaiden, both of whom she has custody, were left traumatized by the raid
Jaiden Hines
Hines said her 15-year-old cousin Kanani (left) and three-year-old nephew Jaiden, both of whom she has custody, were left traumatized by the raid
Police said a mother and her two children were awakened by a team of officers who banged on their door and ultimately knocked it in with a ram
Police said a mother and her two children were awakened by a team of officers who banged on their door and ultimately knocked it in with a ram
Officers arrived at the home around 6am Tuesday after executing a search warrant
Officers arrived at the home around 6am Tuesday after executing a search warrant 
Officials said officers did not give the family enough time to answer the door before barging in
Officials said officers did not give the family enough time to answer the door before barging in
Police officials said officers had used a Nashville public housing agency database to find the home of a 16-year-old they were investigating.
However, the database had not been updated since 2018 after the agency determined that providing housing information to the police violated privacy laws.
'There appears to have been a lack of confirming through other means, including surveillance or checking with human sources,' Drake said. 

'We have to be better than that, and I absolutely assure you, we will be moving forward.'
Drake also said the officers did not appear to give the woman who lived in the home sufficient time to come to the door before ramming it open at 6.05 am.
In footage of the raid, the mom was heard telling officers: 'Wait, what's going on? I've got kids in here.'
Video also showed the extensive damage to Hines's door after police broke it down. 
'I hope the police department, I hope that everyone can be a little more kinder and be a little more cautious when it comes to things like this, because everybody is not a criminal,' Hines said.  
The incident comes amid nationwide calls for police reform following the death Breonna Taylor, who was killed during a botched police raid in Louisville, Kentucky earlier this year. 
Cops wrongly targeted Taylor's home during a late night drug investigation on March 13, barging into the apartment and shooting her multiple times.  
A Nashville Police spokesperson said the three cops in Tuesday's raid were looking for evidence related to auto burglaries.
The incident comes amid nationwide calls for police reform following the death Breonna Taylor, who was killed during another botched police raid in Louisville, Kentucky
The incident comes amid nationwide calls for police reform following the death Breonna Taylor, who was killed during another botched police raid in Louisville, Kentucky
While the Nashville investigation takes place, Drake suspended the police powers of Dooley, a 12-year veteran, Brown, a 21-year veteran, and Richardson, a five-year veteran. 
Drake also ordered that all applications for search warrants be approved by a deputy chief of police, rather than by the employee's supervisors, in the future.
The local precinct commander met with the current resident of the apartment and apologized to her on behalf of the police department, according to the news release. 
Police said they will continue outreach to the woman and her children.

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