8News Investigates: Wrongful Raids by Petersburg Police

PETERSBURG (WRIC) – For the past year, 8News has been investigating accusations made against the Petersburg Police Department.

Three residents on different occasions accused police officers of raiding the wrong home.

However, the spokesperson for the police department tells us they've investigated those claims and taken action.

Shlonda Mason is suing the Petersburg Police Department for physical and mental damages after she says police officers kicked in her front door in April 2012, pulled out their guns, and one officer assaulted her 13-year-old son.

According to Mason, police officers did not find anything illegal in her home.

“While they're searching my home, I can hear them saying ‘man, we messed up big. We messed up big time.'”

But Petersburg police say they had the right home..

They investigated and found other policy violations and disciplinary action has been taken.

Cathy Magana claims officers had the wrong house when officers raided her home looking for stolen electronics in August 2012.

The search warrant shows police didn't find anything criminal but Petersburg Police Spokesperson Esther Hyatt says the internal investigation regarding Magana's home shows police officers did not raid the wrong home.

Back in May, 8News spoke with Christina Russo, who was seven months pregnant at the time.

Russo says Petersburg police officers raided her home looking for documents, pawn tickets and electronic devices, but they did not find anything.

She has also filed a written complaint to the city.

The spokesperson for police states Russo's home was wrongfully raided due to a clerical error.

An internal investigation was conducted, which resulted in disciplinary action.

The police department also sent this statement.

“The Petersburg Bureau of Police takes great pride in protecting the citizens of this city and strives for 100 percent accuracy with their investigations.”

Over the past three years 250 search warrants have been executed, resulting in numerous arrests.


Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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