Flint family sues Michigan State Police over April 2021 raid on their home

A Flint family filed lawsuits in federal and state courts on Monday against Michigan State Police for a raid on their home in April 2021.

During the raid, MSP soldiers broke down the front door of the house and held the family until officers realized they had been given incorrect information in a murder investigation.

The search warrant for the home was obtained, in part, on information provided by a confidential informant.

In June 2021, MSP spokeswoman Kimberly Vetter said that after searching the home, officers determined that “the informant knowingly provided false information to investigators”.

“What it really was was sloppy police work,” civil rights attorney Bill Goodman said. “This is policing work that wouldn’t have happened in the white community.”

At a news conference at a Flint church on Monday, family attorneys argued officers acted on racist assumptions in the decision to search the home.

A Michigan State Police spokesperson declined to comment on the lawsuits.

The lawsuits seek unspecified financial and punitive damages. Attorney Goodman also said the two women and three children who were at home during the raid suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It’s still very hard for them to talk about what happened to them,” said Reverend Aaron Colston, a family member.

A family attorney said state police paid to replace the family’s front door.

The family is also calling for a broader investigation into the raid itself, although to date they have not received a request for review by the US Department of Justice.

A main point of contention is whether MSP used a “No-Knock” mandate.

In the past, Michigan State Police have maintained that a verbal warning was given before the front door of the Garfield Street home was knocked down. The family says there was no warning.

There is a bill to ban the use of “no-knock” warrants in the Michigan legislature, but its future is unclear.