Squatter says DPD targeted them, smashed windows in drug search

- The people inside a Detroit house say they did nothing wrong, but police say officers had every right to be there.

Cell phone video shows Detroit police officers smashed through the window to get inside a suspected dope house. Investigators say that inside drug use and suspected distribution was going on.

The people inside the house say they were unfairly targeted.

Officers went inside without a warrant Monday morning after receiving several narcotics complaints about the home and several others nearby

But the people who were inside, say they were not doing anything illegal and police had no right barging in.

"If I would have broken into somebody's house like that, I would have been shot," said Samantha Sayranian. "And if I would've been shot, nobody would have cared."

Sayranian recorded the video that is now making headlines. She says her boyfriend has been living there for four years and he is thinking about taking legal action.

"What they did last night was basically bust up a private residence in a very unprofessional manner and cause a lot of fear to lawful residents of that home," said attorney James Galen. 

But Detroit police Sgt. Michael Woody said the city owns the house near Tacoma and Reno, near E. State Fair and Schoenherr.

"It doesn't matter if he's been there two years, four years, the city owns that home," Woody said. "He is illegally squatting. The people in that home are illegally squatting."

And because it is a Land Bank Authority house, Woody says police did not need a warrant, adding officers have been to the house few times before. And when officers arrived Monday, they saw a man run inside, shut the door and refuse to let police in.

"We tried to talk them out," Woody said. "They would not come out and that's when the video actually turned on and picked up the officers going through the front window."

Sayranian disagrees.

"If you watch the video you can clearly see my boyfriend was standing there with the front door wide open," she said. "Nothing was barricaded at all."

Once inside police say they kicked everyone out of the home confiscated drug paraphernalia and issued tickets. Sayranian says otherwise

"If you find drug paraphernalia in the house you're going to make an arrest," she said. "Nobody was arrested, nobody was given tickets."

"What gives police the right to come up and bust out windows and bring baseball bats on a scene like that," Galen said. "Nothing, that's lawlessness."

But police say they had every right to go inside the house and did it to improve the quality of life for law abiding Detroiters living in that neighborhood.

"When you talk about illegal squatters, the narcotics, whether it's paraphernalia and or the actual sale and distribution of narcotics," Woody said. "The good citizens of that neighborhood deserve to live in a peaceful neighborhood."

Anyone who enters that house will be arrested on sight, Woody said.


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