Video: Sheriff Deputies Raid Home To Enforce A Civil Fine

s-OFFICERS-STORM-HOME-largeThis video was posted by a family who says that they were terrified when Georgia DeKalb Sheriff deputies came to their home around 1:30 am and virtually tore down their door. It turns out that this is all about an unpaid civil fine by the mother, Natania Griffin, who was 15 days late in paying $1,000. What is notable is the deputy repeatedly threatening the man while referring to his videotaping them.

It is worth noting that the family did not open the door for an hour and the Department insists that it had a valid warrant for the mother for the unpaid civil fine.

The raid occurred on July 26th and the 19-minute video was taken by 23-year-old Donovan Hall, who posted it on YouTube.

The family says that they were pistol-whipped and kicked and that one officer stood on Hall’s head.

Sheriff Thomas Brown insists that his officers acted appropriately even though he is “disgusted” that they used.

Warning this video includes graphic language and scenes.

Kudos: Michael Blott

39 thoughts on “Video: Sheriff Deputies Raid Home To Enforce A Civil Fine”

  1. Mike Spindell: “This trend towards using police as enforcers for civil debt is merely one feature of our new feudal state. …parallels the imposition of criminal arrests and penalties for infringing on copyright laws.”
    This is a form of psychological terrorism by the state. At one time you pretty well knew who was going to be showing up at your door, when and what for. Not any more. That builds in a heavy load of insecurity regarding your place in society and that insecurity diminishes your position. Throw in tactics more appropriate for an action movie and you have a situation that conditions people to fear and defer to all authority.

    By blurring the jurisdictional lines and missions among law enforcement agencies -and those government agencies and civil players -citizens are being conditioned to say “How high” whenever anyone in any position of authority from any jurisdiction says “Jump”. And if you say “No” you do so at your peril.

  2. There are an increasing number of reports of collection agencies getting arrest warrants for unpaid bills. The person arrested then finds the bond amount to be exactly the same as the bill they owe, plus court costs. Using the criminal justice system and law enforcement to collect something like a medical bill is a waste of resources and appears to be of questionable legality at best, and criminal conduct at worst.

    Fortunately, most of the officers sent on these “collection raids” don’t behave like this. Some debtors have reported the officers arresting them were clearly embarrassed and wanted to make sure the debtor understood they were acting under orders.

    This is wrong on so many levels one hardly knows where to start. Would somebody smarter than me please explain how this practice can be even remotely legal?

  3. This police mentality is the grandchild of CONFISCATION LAWS which encourage and reward police agencies’ taking of items of value to enrich themselves and their departments. Citations are instruments of stealing and is part of the “shearing the public” mentality that is ubiquitous within the ranks.

  4. The United States has been on a war footing for generations. There has always been an enemy. This is the backbone of the police in America, constant crisis=constant threat=whatever force necessary. The boys acted irresponsibly in thinking they could deal with the sheriffs. You cannot deal with the police when they go off half cocked as they did in this occasion. The feeling of empowerment that the boys felt when they videotaped the incident and called 911 is meaningless against this caliber of police action. The police made their point. You have no rights whatsoever. When the police come knocking so should your knees.

  5. I could see an SNL skit, The Civil Judgment Squad, w/ Belushi and Ackroyd breaking in a home to collect a small claims judgment from some old couple. That would be funny because it is preposterous.

  6. Ditto JH and Gene. This trend towards using police as enforcers for civil debt is merely one feature of our new feudal state. Under feudalism anything done by authority to take advantage of the peasantry was what was legal. This parallels the imposition of criminal arrests and penalties for infringing on copyright laws. I was being prescient when I wrote this:

    I was merely commenting on current trends.

  7. Home invasions by police to collect civil fines should result in a prison term for the officers involved and the superior who ordered it. That would quickly put a stop to this kind of abuse.

  8. Welcome to the new militarized police state.

    Jackbooted thugs.

    But it is Dekalb county. Contempt and aggression toward citizens from the police is hardly new there. I live in a backward ass Southern police state myself already and you couldn’t pay me to live in Georgia.

  9. Lets be honest….sheriff….you’re disgusted you were caught on video…..

    Sheriff Thomas Brown insists that his officers acted appropriately even though he is “disgusted” that they used.

  10. Seems like we have a bunch of little boys who like grown up toys. I remember playing cops and robbers when I was seven. These guys don’t seem to have grown up at all. My prayers go out to them and the next family they raid. One of these days they’re going to bust down a real loons door for some petty offense and it – ain’t going to be pretty.

  11. First, why were they permitted to serve the warrant at that time of the morning. I haven’t seen anything suggesting a need to do so. Although there was a significant delay in opening the door, it is hardly surprising that such a delay might occur given the time. Articles indicate family members were scared and so telephoned 911. In any event, setting up cameras to document the officers’ actions seems like a reasonable response given the many documented incidents involving officer misconduct.

  12. I think it is time to inform those cops that there are consequences for their actions with a civil suit against them all. My impression is that the cops are supposed to inform the people in the house that they have a warrant for some reason, and that they must tell them the cause. Then if they had a warrant for the mother, they should ask her to step outside, and make the arrest. This was so over the top that it is outrageous and it is time for a new sheriff to come to town. I am also worried that with the cops acting in that manner, that they could have shot the dog when they entered. These cops need some remedial training at the very least, if not fired outright.

  13. How Cops Became Soldiers: An Interview with Police Militarization Expert Radley Balko

    By Michael Arria

    ” In 2007, journalist Radley Balko told a House subcommittee that one criminologist detected a 1,500% increase in the use of SWAT teams over the last two decades. That’s reflective of a larger trend, fueled by the wars on drugs and terror, of police forces becoming heavily militarized.

    Balko, an investigative reporter for the Huffington Post and author of the definitive report on paramilitary policing in the United States, has a forthcoming book on the topic, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces. He was kind enough to answer some questions about how our police turned into soldiers as well as the challenges of large-scale reform.

    Motherboard: When did the shift towards militarized police forces begin in America? Is it as simple as saying it began with the War on Drugs or can we detect gradual signs of change when we look back at previous policies?

    There’s certainly a lot of overlap between the war on drugs and police militarization. But if we go back to the late 1960s and early 1970s, there were two trends developing simultaneously. The first was the development and spread of SWAT teams. Darryl Gates started the first SWAT team in L.A. in 1969. By 1975, there were 500 of them across the country. They were largely a reaction to riots, violent protest groups like the Black Panthers and Symbionese Liberation Army, and a couple mass shooting incidents, like the Texas clock tower massacre in 1966.” continues…

    (Balko’s latest book: )

  14. What did the castle owners do in olde England when the castle was under siege…pour vats of boiling oil on their head. I would have called the sheriff or state police saying there’s a break in occurring.

  15. Don’t know the background, but the cops attitude towards citizens is pretty clear – contempt and aggression.

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