Police Invade Home, Assault Family, Because Man Wouldn’t Show ID

I’m waiting to see the formation of “Police Against Police Brutality”. Until some loud voices within law enforcement start condemning the atrocities committed by their co-workers, they are essentially aiding and abetting the violation of individual’s rights against unreasonable search and seizure. Cops should not be surprised by the rising distrust of police officers, when they fail to condemn abuses perpetuated from their own ranks. Unless police are willing to purge their organizations of thugs and criminals, they should not expect cooperation or respect from the innocent public. After all, we are just trying to get home to our families at the end of the day.

But in an incident occurring Labor Day Weekend 2012, New York City police seemed more interested in displaying their “authority” and how big their… muscles are, than “protecting and serving” until they could return to the safety of their home at the end of their shift. But there is no safety in the private residences of the streets they patrol. A man, Edwin Avellanet, was approached by officers while taking out the trash at his mother’s  Staten Island home. They asked why there was an orange cone in the street, and he told them it was to reserve a parking spot. After asking the man for his identification, the man acted within his rights  protected by the Fourth amendment to refuse to show the officers his ID. The man then ran back into his mother, Evelyn Lugo’s home, rightfully fearing what the officers would do next. According to the Daily Caller:

Police pursued him, broke down the door of Lugo’s house and entered without a warrant. The officers then attacked the other people in the house, according to Lugo’s lawsuit. Several members of the family were pepper sprayed and beaten with clubs, causing bruises, welts and other injuries.

But the cruelest and most senseless act of violence was reserved for Lugo’s pet parakeet, Tito. Officers overturned Tito’s cage, knocking the pretty green bird out into the apartment. Lugo’s daughter, Anna Febles, begged the police to be careful with Tito. Instead, they smashed him.

“I screamed, ‘The bird!’” said Febles in a statement. “And he said, ‘F— the bird,’ and he, like, stepped on it.”

…“I was hurt on the inside, in my heart,” said Lugo, reacting to the death of her bird and the injuries to her children, grandchildren and friends.

After the home invasion and assault on the family, the police officers charged them with various crimes, which were eventually dropped, because obviously the police were the only criminals in this instance. This traumatic incident has caused depression and anxiety for the homeowner and mother of ten, whose family and friends were assaulted and beaten by police after they smashed several first floor windows, and kicked down the door.

According to the NYDailyNews, more police arrived and swarmed the house before violently throwing Lugo to the ground, and arresting her daughter who had ducked into another room after suffering an asthma attack brought on by the cops’ pepper spray. Luis Ortega, who is pictured below with injuries inflicted by the police officers, was also originally charged, before all charges were dismissed and sealed. It is these arrests which form the basis of the lawsuit for malicious prosecution, as well as unlawful search and seizure, and excessive force. No warrant was obtained by police before entering the house. The incident was entirely based on Avellant’s refusal to show ID, and subsequent retreat into the home.

Luis Ortega after police beating

Luis Ortega after police beating

While police today get away with crimes unthinkable to civilians, they should be held to a higher standard than the public, because of the power they have. There is no indication that the officers involved were even punished internally, let alone charged with breaking and entering, assault and battery, and destruction of property. I would also add intimidating a witness based on the fact that their victims were charged with crimes. And after being convicted, judges should come down on police officers more heavily than the general public because of the trust they have betrayed. But instead we live in a world where police can hide behind their badge and uniform to remain criminal thugs at large. And if people like this aren’t punished, is it any wonder that police attract to their ranks those who want to beat, abuse, and harass?

If you are a police officer who does not violate people’s rights, you should be more outraged than anyone. Your criminal co-workers are placing you in the same category as thugs with badges, and you need to take a stand against these atrocities, or accept that you are complicit in crimes disgusting for gang members, never-mind police.

10 thoughts on “Police Invade Home, Assault Family, Because Man Wouldn’t Show ID

  1. All cops are criminals to various degrees because honestly, and simply put, they enforce illegal laws/codes against the citizens/our liberty & the Constitution/Bill of Rights. So everything else they do outside their normal scope of responsibilities is cake. Cops have no real power except for which we “give” them by cooperating, tolerating & complying with their tyrannical actions/words. They’re nothing but tools for the political power.

  2. First let me say I enjoy your blog and that I am happy to read about the consertive values that you promote and support. As for this post, while I agree with much of what you say I would point out those of whom you speak are a very small minority of the over 1M law enforcement officers from across the country. As with teachers, church leaders and any other career field with large numbers of employees who posess some power over others we will have those who abuse those powers. As such we will also have those who defend these subjects especially in cases that do not involve child abuse. That was not always the case with respect to child abuse in the church and in particular with the Catholic Church. Lets hope that has changed.

    There is without question a “thin blue line” that clouds the decision to act against another police officer especially in what cops would consider boarderline bad conduct. Smacking a mouthy perp in the inner city who has a long and violent history may be seen as something hardened cops might look the other way on. Beating that same subject may not get the same pass. In a small town swearing at a resident might get you suspended and beating a subject would surly get you fired and charged. We also have to remember many of these cops (especially in larger cities) have been involved in and have seen things the general public will never see or understand. Fellow cops assaulted and killed, dead and grossly abused children, women beaten and raped, elder abuse, folks shot in the streets and every other horrific crime and abuse one could imagine. Working in those conditions tend to make cops aggressive as a way of self preservation, however they should never cross the line and become abusive or assaultive. If they do they should be called out by their peers and charged if need be. In fact many have and a google search returns countless officers who have been jailed for crimes while on duty.

    So again, I agree with you but we need to remember this is a very small number and the vast majority of officers are law abiding folks who go to work every day like you and I do but spend that time under considerable stress and pressure. These are the folks who come to our aid when we are turned over on the highway when we are “just trying to get home to our families at the end of the day”. They are the folks who run into schools when madmen are spraying bullets at children, they are the folks who track down and arrest the gang member who shoots a little baby in a stroller, who render first aid to our family members until the ambulance arrives, arrest child molesters, theifs and drunks who kill innocent families and individuals. They run into burning buildings, get shot at and assaulted and they are disliked by many whom they serve. They resolve our neighborly disputes, keep traffic in check, cross our kids for school and help with community projects. They also take their gun and uniform off and coach baseball, mentor kids, cook dinner for their own kids, go to church, pay their mortgage, deal with personal and family issues etc. Is there any room or excuse for those who abuse their power or those who protect them, no. But let’s not let them tarnish the reputation of these men and women as a whole as they do us a daily service that many would not last a week doing.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting Mike. I personally know good police officers, and absolutely would not want them to take the brunt of the small number of power abusers. The tone of this piece comes down to the fact that people with power have a greater responsibility not to misuse that power. In the incident here I think it is clear that the police did not feel threatened, and in fact acted in an un-lawful way that increased the likely-hood of them not getting home that night. My issue is with their lack of punishment for what these particular police officers did. I know many police see horrors, but again, this cannot be used as an excuse for them to brutalize innocent people. In fact, if a police officer has been involved in something that makes him emotionally or psychologically unstable, he should not be given the power of the badge until that is cleared up. I understand that it is a minority of police that abuse the public, however police differ from teachers, clergy etc. in that they have arrest powers and a monopoly on force. Their standard must be higher than anyone without the force of the government behind them.

      That being said I could have focused more on the fact that this seems to be a trend among NYC police officers especially, and there are countless local officers who do indeed come to our aid when we need it. I do appreciate the risks they take, but stop short of praising security at the detriment to liberty.

      Thank you for contributing to the discussion, and thanks for reading, I appreciate it.

      • Thank you and again here I agree with the majority of your positions. I’ll be looking forward to the next topic.

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