Elderly Couple Can Sue SFPD, Federal Agents Over Missing $200,000

Categories: Law & Order
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A judge this week ruled that an elderly couple could sue the San Francisco Police Department and other federal agents over what the couple claims was an illegal raid on their San Francisco home.

According to court documents, Malaquias and Cayetana Reynoso were inside their home on June 18, 2009, when officers with the SFPD and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives forced their way into the house and held them at gunpoint for five hours while they searched the property.

The couple -- both were in their 70s at the time -- claim the officers refused to let them go to the bathroom unattended or take their medication. When the officers left, Malaquias Reynoso said he noticed $200,000 in cash had "disappeared" from his bedroom during the search.
   When he confronted the officer, the cop allegedly pointed a gun Malaquias Reynoso's head and said "go back in that house or I'll blow you [sic] head off."

Agent Megan Long, the ATF, and the U.S. government asked the court to dismiss the couple's complaint, but U.S. District Judge Susan Illston refused, noting that, as the Reynoso's claimed, officers took the money without reporting it as part of the search. She also disagreed with the defendants who claimed the Reynosos failed to state a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to court documents.

"Defendants knew that plaintiffs, who were in their seventies, had no criminal record," the judge wrote. According to the complaint, the search resulted in Malaquias suffering a 'complete physical and mental collapse, necessitating his being carried off to a hospital.'"

Illston, however, dismissed claims of "unreasonable force" and unlawful seizure of property under the Federal Tort Claims Act, finding that the federal defendants had immunity.

Matt Dorsey, spokesman with the S.F. City Attorney's Office, told SF Weekly they aren't too worried about these allegations.

"No findings have been reached about any of the factual allegations, and the city is confident it will prevail at trial with respect to claims against the San Francisco Police Department," Dorsey said.

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6 comments
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Joe ThePimpernel
Joe ThePimpernel

The LEOs took the money without including it in the manifest.

In other words, they wanted there to be no record of their having taken it.

If you can't connect the dots from there, you must be one of Eric Holder's people.

Christopher Neal
Christopher Neal

"...when officers with the SFPD and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives forced their way into the house..." Sounds to me like a violation of the fourth amendment which protects us from illegal search and seizure, which reads as follows: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

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Outrageous!  Crooked cops?  Never!

Paladin
Paladin

Why was there a search warrant, signed by a judge, for this elderly couple's house since they "had no criminal record"?  Methinks there may be more to the story so I would hope that people would not jump to judge...............oh, wait..........I forgot that this is San Francisco for a moment, so all things connected with government or enforcing the law must be instantly presumed evil or corrupt.

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