NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It was a terrifying confrontation for a Queens woman and her daughter.
She says in the early morning of March 5, police officers burst through her door looking for evidence in a drug dealing case, but they didn’t find any.READ MORE: COVID Vaccine In New York: Walk-In Appointments Offered To All New Yorkers Over 50 At City-Run Sites
Now there are growing calls to ban these so-called “no-knock warrants.”
Surveillance video shows a crowd of police bashing down the door with a battering ram and hollering “Police, search warrant” as they enter.
“This is where they used the battering ram. This is how the door split from them doing the damage,” said Tijuana Brown, 53, showing CBS2’s Alice Gainer her damaged front door after police executing a no-knock warrant entered her home around 6 a.m. March 5, looking for drugs and guns linked to her nephew.
“How did you get the warrant? They said an informant told us narcotics is sold from your home,” Brown said.
The NYPD released a statement about the incident.
The officers lawfully executed a search warrant that was supervised by the Queens District Attorney’s office and reviewed and signed by a criminal court judge. The warrant was supported by a showing of probable cause to believe there was ongoing criminal activity at the location. It was based on investigative evidence gathered due to complaints from the community about drug sales and firearms at the location, that alleged the situation was getting worse. Additionally, the subject of this warrant is currently on parole for a violent robbery in which the victim was stabbed and has a history that includes a conviction for carrying an illegal firearm.
Their search turned up just a small amount of marijuana.
“No drugs were ever sold out of here?” Gainer asked
“Never. Never. So now you have my house listed as a narcotics house,” Brown said.
When police left the home, “He said “Sorry for the inconvenience,'” Brown said.READ MORE: 18-Year-Old Saadiq Teague Arrested After Being Spotted With AK-47 At Times Square Subway Station
Andre Brown, 36, was arrested for possession, but the case was dismissed.
Tijuana Brown says a newborn and other family members were also home at the time.
“I’m constantly jumping now when I hear noise. I don’t sleep straight through the night anymore,” she said.
She says she also felt disrespected at the precinct when she went to get more information so she could fill out forms to be reimbursed for all the damage.
“What the police department needs to do is to learn how to speak to people with respect. Everybody is not a criminal,” Brown said.
She contacted her local councilwoman and the incident came up during a public safety committee hearing last month on police reform.
“One of my constituent’s homes was turned upside down,” said Councilwoman Adrienne Adams.
“Before a warrant is executed, it is reviewed. Is the information credible? Is it fresh? What is the purpose of going through that door? Do we have a no knock capacity, because many warrants do not,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea.
A bill proposed in the state late last year would restrict the issuance of no-knock warrants and raids by limiting them only to instances when human life is in jeopardy and prevents the use of old information, among other things.
“Please, to anyone considering legislation, invite us to the table before decisions are made because we also have to think of safety of officers going through the door on very dangerous circumstances,” Shea said.MORE NEWS: Valerie Cincinelli, Ex-NYPD Officer Accused In Murder-For-Hire Plot, Pleads Guilty To Obstruction Charge
As for Brown, she says so far she’s spent $1,500 of her own money on repairs. She plans to hire a lawyer.