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New York cops raided widow’s house four times looking for long-dead husband: lawsuit

By Reuters
Tuesday, May 6, 2014 11:21 EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) – A New York woman has sued the city police department, claiming that officers have raided her home four times in the past year trying to arrest her long-dead husband.

The raids continued even after the woman, Karen Fennell, posted a death certificate over her front door showing that her husband, James Jordan, died in March 2006, according to papers filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

“Because of the constant assault and harassment by defendant officers … the plaintiffs are now terrified to live in their own home,” the lawsuit, which was filed last Friday, said. The second plaintiff is Jordan’s son, James Jordan Jr.

The suit, which names the city and 20 unnamed police officers as defendants, charges officials with using excessive force, racial profiling, fabricating evidence and unlawful stop and frisk.

The home was most recently raided just last month, said Fennell’s attorney, Ugochukwu Uzoh.

A New York City Law Department spokeswoman declined to comment on the specifics of the suit, saying in an email, “We will review the allegations in the complaint.”

James Jordan Jr. was arrested during a raid on the apartment last summer and was charged with fourth-degree weapons possession when police found a pocket knife in the home, Uzoh said.

Officers interrogated him about drug and gun activity in his Brooklyn neighborhood, the lawsuit contends. The charges against Jordan were dismissed, the suit said.

Fennell is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages from the city.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Scott Malone and Prudence Crowther)

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