DALLAS (CN) - Dallas police used "overkill" to execute a search warrant, smashing nearly every window in an empty house and saturating it with tear gas, the homeowner claims in court.
John Blanton, of DeSoto, sued Dallas, its Police Department, Police Chief David Brown and several unknown city, state and federal agents in Federal Court. He claims the violent raid left his home uninhabitable.
"Plaintiff was not home at the time of the search," the 10-page complaint states. "From physical evidence viewed shortly after officers left, it is clear that officers broke almost every window in plaintiff's residence and launched tear gas or other unknown noxious substances into the house. Nearly everything of value in the house was affected by the application of tear gas and other unknown noxious substances."
Blanton claims he spent $40,000 and six months of "continuous effort" to make the home habitable again.
"In addition, unknown officers spoke with plaintiff's neighbors, implying that plaintiff was a major drug dealer," the complaint states. "No controlled substances, drug paraphernalia or any criminal instruments or evidence of any kind was found during the raid."
Blanton claims the federal search warrant was issued on or about Feb. 14 after Drug Enforcement Administration agent Kyrus Branch asked for it. Blanton says the warrant indicates it was a task force operation that possibly involved several state, federal and city agencies, but he does not know the identities of the officers involved.
"Plaintiff does know that Dallas Police officers were involved in executing the warrant because officers from that agency left documents at the house on decontamination proceedings and how to file a claim for damages with the city of Dallas," the complaint states.
Blanton blames the city for failing to properly train and supervisor its police officers.
"The officers' actions in executing the search warrant, which constituted a clear case of 'overkill,' evidenced that they had not been properly trained and supervised and that they were not overly concerned with how the would be viewed by their supervisors."
Dallas officials could not be reached for comment Monday evening.
Blanton seeks actual damages for violations of his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizure and negligence. He is represented by John Nation in Dallas.