ST. LOUIS • A search warrant unsealed Thursday afternoon contradicts the claims of a St. Louis family that police raided and damaged the wrong house and held the occupants for two hours after they should have realized their mistake.
The family filed a lawsuit in St. Louis Circuit Court Wednesday that says that police searched the wrong house during a March 2014 raid in the Mark Twain neighborhood. The suit says police broke down the door, broke a window to toss in flash-bang grenades and, once inside, chased down and handcuffed the occupants.
The suit says police ransacked the house in the 5400 block of Geraldine Avenue despite being told that their target lived across a vacant lot.
The suit was filed by Leon Walker Jr., his domestic partner of 25 years, Wanda Jean Millbrook, and her two adult sons.
The Post-Dispatch sought access to documents associated with the warrant, and a judge unsealed them Thursday. Those documents say police had been watching the Walker-Millbrook house and had been told by an informer that the house was being used for drug dealing by gang members. Two men in the house had drugs and guns, the documents claim.
Lawyer Bevis Schock denies the police claims but acknowledged that police found guns and a small amount of marijuana in the Walker-Millbrook house. He said no one in the house has been charged in connection with the raid.
In the warrant for the other house, police accused the occupant of being a heroin dealer. They seized one baggie of heroin, one baggie of marijuana and a cellphone from that house.
There are no charges listed in online court records for Walker, the Millbrooks or the target of the raid on the other house.
The family’s lawsuit also claims that a building inspector accompanied police and performed his own warrantless search.
The suit names St. Louis Detective Ronald E. Vaughan, building inspector Hershell Wallace and the city of St. Louis.
It seeks a court order that would bar police from using “full tactical raids” without reason, and an order that would bar the building department from conducting simultaneous, warrantless inspections.