Oakland police search warrants investigated

November 7, 2008 11:54:17 AM PST
There are more allegations Friday morning of civil rights violations by Oakland police officers. The attorney for two residents whose homes were ransacked is demanding that police change the way they do business.

This is the second civil rights lawsuit against the Oakland police in less than two weeks, more are expected. They allege the warrants used by police, were based on information from non-existent informants and were rotten from start to finish.

Police executed one of those warrants back in June in Oakland. Officers allegedly got the warrant by telling the judge they had information from informants that there was cocaine inside the house. Police entered and allegedly ransacked the house. Now, police say they found a bag of cocaine in the house. But attorneys say it was never tested, while sources tell ABC7 that the substance was tested and was cocaine.

The attorney contends, after 52-year-old Harold Jackson spent ten days in jail, the DA dropped the charges. And allegedly pretty much the same thing happened to another man's house. Their attorney, Nicole Hodge-Amey, wants answers and money.

"What we're asking for is one - reforms within the department, so that this does not happen again. Any officers who were involved will be held accountable and then damages for the two defendants," said Jason Hodge, spokesman for plaintiffs' attorney.

Police are being tight lipped about the investigation. But they admit there have been problems with search warrants, and they're the ones who discovered those problems.

"We can't comment on an ongoing investigation in internal affairs. I just want to state though for the citizens that we are the ones who discovered this issue in our internal affairs process; this wasn't something that was brought to us. We discovered the problem with the search warrants and we want to be as transparent as possible with the public," said Officer Jeff Thomason, Oakland police spokesman.

Mr. Hodge says the lawsuits filed are only the tip of the iceberg - that many dozens more lawsuits maybe coming. And Oakland police said they might be right. Oakland Police is researching warrants that have been served over the past several years to see if they were put together properly.


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