San Diego couple were acquitted by a jury after enduring a questionable paramilitary-style raid on their property
A federal lawsuit was filed earlier this month on behalf of two seriously ill medical marijuana patients, Deborah Little, 61, and Dennis Little, 66, a couple from Ramona, California whose home was raided in October 2012 by the San Diego County Integrated Narcotics Task Force (NTF).
The paramilitary-style raid, including police brandishing assault rifles, found a modest garden of 29 plants, which the Littles say was entirely for personal, medicinal use. The couple was tried in March 2014 on possession of marijuana for sale and unlawful cultivation of marijuana, but the court dismissed the cultivation charge and they were acquitted of possession by a jury.
"This case is an example of a phenomenon that has gained national attention recently: military-style SWAT tactics used in everyday law enforcement," said Nathan Shaman, the attorney representing the Littles in their civil lawsuit. "More and more we are seeing law enforcement treat our citizens as enemy combatants."
"The Littles' situation provides a stark reminder that even harmless, law-abiding, seriously ill people can be and are terrorized by their own police force," Shaman said. "We hope this will send a message to law enforcement that their egregious, unconstitutional behavior will not be tolerated."