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Woman's home ransacked during police raid; officials question who should pay for costly repairs

1 month 1 week 5 days ago Wednesday, February 08 2023 Feb 8, 2023 February 08, 2023 8:42 PM February 08, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Mia Monet

BATON ROUGE - After a search warrant is performed by law enforcement, who should be responsible for the damage left behind?

Right now, property owners are left to pay the bill. This policy recently affected Erica Rayford. She and her husband were out of town on December 30. In the middle of her trip she looked at her phone and saw a sight like never before. 

“When l looked on the camera I seen a big truck ripping off my door and tearing up my window,” Rayford said.

Several Baton Rouge police officers were there to execute a search warrant. Officers were looking for evidence related to a rape they suspected her grandson committed.

The search happened while nobody was home, but officers did not know that when they found the master bedroom door locked. Family members quickly rushed to the house. Rayford spoke to officers on one of her relatives phones. 

“I told them please don’t tear it up because they told me that they needed to go in and they were going to treat it like a hostage situation."

While officers were inside, family members say they heard loud noises. 

“We found out that they were breaking the glasses after they searched the house. And they were putting flash bangs into the house as well. Treating it as if it was a hostage in the house." 

Rayford says officers turned the house upside down: rooms were left a mess, doors had huge holes in them, three different TVs were broken and unusable.

“The front of the whole house, no windows, they were all broken into from the flash bangs that they shot in from top and bottom on some. The rooms were ransacked, mattresses burned, the curtains are even burned."

This incident led Metro Councilman Cleve Dunn to ask BRPD and the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office to give the council information on how many times similar incidents have happened and whatif anythingit costs taxpayers. 

Rayford says she can not afford the damages that were left behind.

“I definitely don't want anyone else to have to go through that. If you do your job, we understand, but you don’t have to be excessive,” Rayford said. 

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