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Old August 12, 2006, 11:14 PM   #1
alan
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Another SWAT OP gone astray? How will this cookie crumble in federal court?

Family of slain Dundalk woman sues Baltimore County police

Luke Broadwater, The Examiner
Aug 10, 2006 5:00 AM (2 days ago)


BALTIMORE - The police never knocked on her door.


They threw a flash-bang grenade and used a battering ram instead.

Then they shot the startled 44-year-old Dundalk mother to death in her bedroom without reason.

That’s the argument laid out in a federal wrongful death lawsuit filed Wednesday by family members of Cheryl Noel, 44, whom police shot and killed during a Jan. 19, 2005 SWAT team raid of her residence.

The 11-page lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the family in connection with the loss of Noel’s life and the “companionship” and “care” she provided to her husband, mother and two sons.

“This was a tragedy that should never have happened,” said Terrell Roberts III, an attorney for the Noel family.

Roberts claims in a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore that five police officers and Baltimore County violated Noel’s constitutional rights by killing her.

Officer Carlos Artson “made an unreasonable seizure of the person of Cheryl Lynn Noel by shooting and killing her, violating her rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution ...” the suit states.

At 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 21, 2005, Noel and her husband, Charles, were asleep in the master bedroom of their row house when the heavily-armed Baltimore County SWAT team stormed through her home. According to the suit, officers had found “trace amounts of drugs” in trash cans outside of the home.

Cheryl Noel feared criminal intruders had broken into her home and grabbed a lawfully registered gun and held it pointed at the floor, the suit states.

Artson kicked in her bedroom door with his boot and, without identifying himself or telling Noel to drop her weapon, shot her three times, including once after she already had slumped to the floor, according to the suit.

“The use of a SWAT team to execute a routine drug warrant was excessive and overkill,” Roberts said. “The woman never knew the police had entered her home. She was doing everything that could be expected of a law-abiding citizen to protect her own life. She was shot and killed without any warning that the police were present or to drop her gun.”

Roberts said his clients “vigorously dispute” arguments that Noel was pointing her gun at the police officer when the officer shot her.

“Clearly, a third shot was wholly unnecessary and grossly excessive,” he said.

Baltimore County Police spokesman William Toohey said police did nothing wrong and the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s backs the officers.

“The State’s Attorney’s Office ruled that the shooting was justified,” he said.

lbroadwater@baltimoreexaminer.com

Examiner
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Old August 12, 2006, 11:33 PM   #2
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Its ok, the cops were able to go home at the end of their shift.
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Old August 12, 2006, 11:45 PM   #3
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Don't worry, a small baggie of drugs will be found - curiously enough the correct size to fit into a tactical cargo pocket - and that will justify the whole thing!
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Old August 13, 2006, 01:10 AM   #4
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It really irks me that cops are out there digging in people's trash to find "trace" amounts of dope. Myself, I have better things to do, and real criminals to catch.
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Old August 13, 2006, 01:21 AM   #5
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She had a gun? In her own home no less. What was she thinking?

Quote:
“trace amounts of drugs” in trash cans outside of the home.
Yeah, that sounds like a reason to break in to a home and kill people.:barf:

Some more info.
http://blogs.salon.com/0002762/2005/01/29.html

Apparently they were druggies and did deserve it.
Thank you Baltimore County police.
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Old August 13, 2006, 01:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
That’s the argument laid out in a federal wrongful death lawsuit filed
Quote:
“This was a tragedy that should never have happened,” said Terrell Roberts III, an attorney for the Noel family.
Quote:
Roberts claims in a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore that five police officers and Baltimore County violated Noel’s constitutional rights by killing her.
Quote:
Officer Carlos Artson “made an unreasonable seizure of the person of Cheryl Lynn Noel by shooting and killing her, violating her rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution ...” the suit states.
Quote:
According to the suit, officers had found “trace amounts of drugs” in trash cans outside of the home.
Quote:
Artson kicked in her bedroom door with his boot and, without identifying himself or telling Noel to drop her weapon, shot her three times, including once after she already had slumped to the floor, according to the suit.
Quote:
“The use of a SWAT team to execute a routine drug warrant was excessive and overkill,” Roberts said. “The woman never knew the police had entered her home. She was doing everything that could be expected of a law-abiding citizen to protect her own life. She was shot and killed without any warning that the police were present or to drop her gun.”
Quote:
Roberts said his clients “vigorously dispute” arguments that Noel was pointing her gun at the police officer when the officer shot her.
So much indisputable evidence from so many unimpeachable witnesses, how could the cops be anything but guilty.
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Old August 13, 2006, 01:28 AM   #7
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How about the other side of the story? This one tells her family's side....other than her husband were the rest of the family in the bedroom too?

Flashbangs and battering rams a well known tactic of criminals
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Old August 13, 2006, 01:35 AM   #8
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What she did or did not do, what her family saw, or did not hear, what the police did or did not say is immaterial.

The police department secured a search warrant based on THE TRASH. If I am the only cop that sees this as wrong as hell, then I am sorry. I am not about to dig through someone's trash to get into their house. If they are not doing anything other than that, they arent that big of a fish to fry, in my opinion.

Real bad guys do stuff to other people, outside of their homes.
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Old August 13, 2006, 01:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Real bad guys do stuff to other people, outside of their homes.
By using this logic then, you would wait until a murder is committed instead of intervening while it is in the planning stage?

I stand behind my previous comment that this is one side of the story told by the family. The cops may be guilty as hell of using poor judgment, but they are still inoccent until proven guilty.
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Old August 13, 2006, 01:53 AM   #10
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If you are honestly attempting to equate the digging in trash cans for a little bit of dope to conspiracy to commit murder, than I have no comment.
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Old August 13, 2006, 02:01 AM   #11
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Ok, no problem child abuse inside the home??
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Old August 13, 2006, 02:22 AM   #12
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Again, I fail to see the correlation with a crime with no victim, i.e., the dope in the trash can, to a crime with a true victim.
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Old August 13, 2006, 04:20 AM   #13
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Again, I fail to see the correlation with a crime with no victim, i.e., the dope in the trash can, to a crime with a true victim.
If there is dope and kids in the house how could you not see that as child abuse. Not to mention if you are addicted to illegal drugs there is no such thing as a legal gun in your posession. I don't believe that is what the cops were thinking in this case, but I'm talking about your comment now and not the article. Or did the neighbor throw their dope in these peoples trash can?
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Old August 13, 2006, 05:26 AM   #14
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DonR101395 said:
Quote:
Or did the neighbor throw their dope in these peoples trash can?
I suppose that's possible. But I'd hope the traces of dope found in the trash wasn't an instance of once. I'm also sitting here wondering why a police department would be going through residential garbage/trash. There had to be a reason for suspicion. They don't have the time and resources to go around town going through everyone's trash, do they?

I'm trying to think this through without the obvious slant from the article, which I can understand. I am not a defender of dynamic entry at a residential address in the middle of the night, but ... if this was not an outright, "Oops, wrong address!" again, then I wonder what the reason was for the original suspicion.
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Old August 13, 2006, 05:33 AM   #15
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Said much better than myself Bud. That was where I was going....or attempting to go with my original post.
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Old August 13, 2006, 07:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
The police department secured a search warrant based on THE TRASH.
No, they found the drug residue during the search the report does not say that the warrant was secured based on that evidence.
Quote:
This one tells her family's side....other than her husband were the rest of the family in the bedroom too?
No, the family had already been secured downstairs before the officers went upstairs to find the woman alone in her room pointing a gun at them.

Do cops routinely do silent take downs after having flashbanged themselves into the house?
Quote:
This one tells her family's side....other than her husband were the rest of the family in the bedroom too?
An informant has been credited
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Old August 13, 2006, 08:04 AM   #17
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I wonder....

What was the husband doing whilst Wifey was defending home and hearth?
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Old August 13, 2006, 08:08 AM   #18
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Quote:
What was the husband doing whilst Wifey was defending home and hearth?
Maybe he was too stoned to hear the flashbangs??
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Old August 13, 2006, 08:40 AM   #19
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"the family had already been secured downstairs before the officers went upstairs to find the woman alone in her room pointing a gun at them."
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Old August 13, 2006, 08:56 AM   #20
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Quote:
At 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 21, 2005, Noel and her husband, Charles, were asleep in the master bedroom of their row house when the heavily-armed Baltimore County SWAT team stormed through her home

Joab this is what the article says. Do you have another source?
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Old August 13, 2006, 09:30 AM   #21
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Yes I do, but I cannot find it. I'll keep looking. My bad for not posting the link, but then I could have mixed stories.

But I did find that she was a government worker
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Old August 13, 2006, 09:36 AM   #22
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"By using this logic then, you would wait until a murder is committed instead of intervening while it is in the planning stage?

I stand behind my previous comment that this is one side of the story told by the family. The cops may be guilty as hell of using poor judgment, but they are still inoccent until proven guilty."

I agree. In this case, the murder could have been stopped by having arrested all the cops before the incident happened, or by throwing a flashbang into their "planning room" session, then shooting each of them three times, just to make sure that they didn't go forward with their murder.
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Old August 13, 2006, 10:09 AM   #23
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I was not attempting to pass judgement on this isolated incident. The family may very well have been big time cartel members, or tweakers. The police may very well have been justified, and I hope they are, for their sake. I was not there, nor do I attempt to pass judegement based on one biased article based on comments by a money hungry attorney.

I was simply making a comment on the degradation of civil rights as a whole, and the depths which we, as police, have gone to to secure a drug arrest. It is a symptom of the larger problem, in my opnion.
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Old August 13, 2006, 10:51 AM   #24
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$100 says that no one hangs for this like they should.
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Old August 13, 2006, 11:01 AM   #25
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Quote:
I was not attempting to pass judgement on this isolated incident. The family may very well have been big time cartel members, or tweakers. The police may very well have been justified, and I hope they are, for their sake. I was not there, nor do I attempt to pass judegement based on one biased article based on comments by a money hungry attorney.

I was simply making a comment on the degradation of civil rights as a whole, and the depths which we, as police, have gone to to secure a drug arrest. It is a symptom of the larger problem, in my opnion.
I'll give you that one lillysdad. That is all I was saying. How about we get the whole story then decide if they should be crucified.
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