NYPD Sued For Doing This To An Innocent Family

Under “nuisance abatement” we find another drug war police abuse that deprives people of their homes without charges or trial.

Like asset forfeiture, another drug war police abuse that recently made news occurred in Brooklyn to the family of Austria Bueno. According to Raw Story,

Bueno’s ordeal began before she even got to the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City. Police say a confidential informant purchased crack at her future apartment twice in January 2015. A subsequent search turned up crack, weapons and $21,500.

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Why should that have anything to do with Bueno’s family? Tenants are not supposed to be punished for the crimes of previous occupants.

It turns out that the police can get a court order without allowing the residents to protest their innocence!

On Dec. 11, a Friday, Bueno returned home after picking up her sons — ages 6 and 15 — from school to find a stack of legal papers and two neon-colored stickers taped to her door saying anyone who entered would be arrested. She was told to come to court the following Tuesday.

That night, the Bueno family slept at a hotel for $208. The following three nights, the family slept on the living room floor of her mother-in-law.

Bueno said she missed three days of work, resulting in a reduced paycheck. Her husband also missed work, and her youngest son was unable to attend school one day because he couldn’t retrieve a clean school uniform.

Bueno’s suit alleges that the NYPD did not even bother to contact New York City Housing Authority to find out if their targets still lived in the home they were asking a judge to close — despite filing the request 10 months after the search. The NYPD still claimed the apartment “is currently being operated, occupied and used illegally.”

A police spokesman declined to comment.

Bueno called 911 that first night and went to the police station the next day, explaining the situation. The police refused to help her. They told her that she had to appear before a judge on her court date. Until then, her family was homeless.

The judge let her back into her home, but the police attorney dragged the case out for three months. Why? To try to get the family to sign a waiver so the police would not be held responsible for what they did to them.

I’m glad Bueno is suing. I hope she wins big. But how did such a situation ever arise in this country? The entire story should be set in a banana republic police state.

But maybe it is.

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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