Lawsuit Alleges D.C. Police Pointed A Gun At An 11-Year-Old Girl In The Shower

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

A family in Washington, D.C., is suing the city and a police officer for allegedly storming their home while searching for drugs, which weren’t in the residence to begin with.

The lawsuit alleges that “nearly 20 heavily armed (Metropolitan Police Department) officers” stormed into the home of Shandalyn Harrison after 10 p.m. on April 18, 2013, pointing guns at an 11-year-old girl who was naked and in the shower at the time. Her siblings, ages 3, 7, and her 19-year-old uncle, Sterling Harrison, were allegedly corralled at gunpoint in the living room while the officers searched for marijuana.

No illegal substances were found in the home, according to the lawsuit, which was posted online by the organization Equal Justice Under Law.

The Metropolitan Police Department conducted the raid, which reportedly violated municipal ordinances, because Mordsen Box, the 11-year-old girl’s estranged father, was pulled over 13 days prior by Officer Taylor Volpe, who was also named in the lawsuit. 

Volpe reportedly found 5 ounces of marijuana in Box’s car during the traffic stop. Before that, police had sought him at a residence he shared with his girlfriend, Shandalyn Harrison, but the authorities were allegedly made aware that Box was no longer living there, The Free Thought Project reported.

Volpe was accused in the suit of seeking a warrant to raid the residence despite reportedly not having any evidence that there was illegal activity in the home.

The lawsuit being filed against Volpe and MPD seeks unspecified damages for “the violations of their constitutional rights that occurred as a result of the MPD’s violent nighttime home invasion.” It suit alleges the family suffered significant emotional harm as a result go the MPD’s actions.

“The home invasion was traumatizing and humiliating to the young girls, to their teenage uncle, and to their mother. It is now difficult for them to feel safe in their own home.”

Though the lawsuit was filed in August 2014, its unclear where the case stands.

Sources: The Free Thought Project, Equal Justice Under Law

Image: Andrew Magill/Flickr