Jury Awards Chicago Family $300,000 For Abusive Police Raid Leading To Shooting Of Family Dog

The family of Thomas Russell III has been awarded $300,000 by a federal jury this week for an abusive raid that led to the police shooting the family dog. We have been following a long line of cases where family dogs are shot by police.

The raid occurred on Feb. 27, 2009 when the police raided the South Side home. They allege that the police put shotguns to the heads of young boys and ultimately shot Lady, the family’s black Labrador. No drugs were found in the search.

Source: Sun Times

36 thoughts on “Jury Awards Chicago Family $300,000 For Abusive Police Raid Leading To Shooting Of Family Dog”

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  2. Betty – that would be most law enforcement officers in every state.

    I agree with the above posters who way this will do nothing to deter future abuses like this because the officers and department involved are paying nothing. One thing I can promise is that those children will forever have a bad taste in their mouths for law enforcement.

  3. Any police officer that would enter my home and not allow me to crate my dog would be a really, really stupid human being in need of some kind of better training or a different job, maybe sweeping floors at a fast food restaurant.

  4. One doesn’t file suit (let alone win) against the Chicago police and expect to continue living anywhere near the city of Chicago afterwards.

    Considering the expenses this family is going to endure just to avoid retribution, a $300,000 reward amounts to little more than a small per diem.

  5. ekeyra,

    Thank you for that link. Amazing, but definitely trying to preclude damages from a lawsuit. The SWAT Team was acting on a false tip, but the presumed
    professionalism is an open question. Did they clearly identify themselves verbally as police? If they didn’t and i had a shotgun i’d have blown someone’s head of to save my family. Then to, the Father, wielding the shotgun may well have been killed. Perhaps it was the fault of the task force, but no kudos for the SWAT Team are appropriate.

    As far as the use of informants go it is a long time police practice, that in many instances has done more harm then good. Most informants are criminals seeking immunity for their own crimes, or revenge upon those they inform on. Their information needs to be judged very critically, but often that is not the case. This to me is just another example of the phony war on drugs, in tandem with the now standard police practice of using SWAT team unnecessarily. The cliche of swatting flies with hammers provides a good analogy here.

  6. If the awards came out of the cops’ pension fund, that might get their attention.

  7. Young boys were traumatized; and witnessed their dog’s life being taken.

    This will have a significant affect in their Life. Only time will tell what effect.

    One may only hope…

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  9. The Wizard sez: “The message will only get thru when the award is taken from the paychecks of the cops involved.”


    Yup. No pain for the city either, since insurance will cover it and the city will not have to explain a thing to the taxpayers. No pain, no change.

    Another solution: If the money came from the law enforcement agency’s budget next year, there would likely be some change.

  10. “I hope this award sends a message to police and swat teams everywhere, that people’s rights can’t be trampled when police are continuing their “war on drugs”.

    The message will only get thru when the award is taken from the paychecks of the cops involved.

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