When it comes to drug arrests, the police do not always have it right. One particular drug raid in Beach Park went particularly bad when authorities reportedly burst into a home, pointed guns at various family members and placed handcuffs upon the home’s owner.
It was reported that a postal worker delivered a package to that home containing marijuana. Apparently, the name of the person to whom the package was to be delivered did not match that of any individual living at the home. In the process of making the drug possession arrest and ransacking of the home, police found no additional drugs or other illegal contraband.
The warrant in the above matter stated that there was probable cause that the owners of the home were in possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver it. Yet this incident demonstrates that even with a valid search warrant being issued, there is no guarantee that public officials have the correct information or that there will be no mix-ups.
There is dispute as to whether police officials first knocked or immediately broke down the door when this incident occurred. It does appear that the police entered after the homeowner’s son-in-law accepted a package from the postal service. However, the package was never opened.
One particular police official interviewed seemed to believe that criminal activity may have been taking place, but from what has been reported it seems unclear why he is convinced that this is the case. There is obviously a question as to whether any member of the household was involved in any illegal activity concerning this matter.
The burden is upon the prosecution and arresting officers to prove that individuals are guilty of charged offenses. Criminal defense attorneys have the right to demand authorities show such proof or refrain from making arrests to begin with.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “House raid ends with no drugs or arrests, but police say they were on target,” by Robert McCoppin, Oct. 10, 2012