A family is demanding answers after police raided a California home with guns drawn and carrying shields while there were children inside.
Police were looking into illegal fireworks connected to the home in the small town of Ripon in San Joaquin County, just east of San Francisco, KCRA reported.
“Over the PA, they were saying, ‘Come out with your hands up with no weapons,” Nicole McCurdy told the outlet.
She was in the home with her 3-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter.
“I want to know why they had to use, why they had to point guns at me and my children,” she said. “I would have answered the door.”
The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s office released a statement regarding their operation Friday.
“The search warrant stemmed from an ongoing investigation of an illegal fireworks operation that was connected to the home. Deputies had to take necessary precautions due to knowledge of criminal history and firearms in the home,” the statement said.
The sheriff’s office had reportedly received complaints from county residents and said that “the video and images being circulated also don’t depict the professional interactions deputies had with both the adults and children once they rendered the home safe.”
The McCurdy family throws a Fourth of July party annually that ends with a fireworks display, and each year buy items with the “safe and sane” seal required by the state for lawful fireworks.
Was this police response inappropriate?
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No: 12% (10 Votes)
According to California’s Office of the State Fire Marshall, the “safe and sane” designation applies in general to fireworks that neither fly nor explode. The McCurdys said that they believed they had been ordering and storing the fireworks as required by state law.
“For the last three years, we’ve gotten the fireworks from the same place, online, same types of foundations and none of the big ones,” McCurdy said.
But then, the police arrived.
Ripon permits use of the state-approved fireworks, which can be sold from June 28 through July 6, KCRA reported.
Officers reportedly engaged one of the family dogs with “less lethal” force, and offered veterinary care for it following the incident. The family declined the offer, and told KCRA that they “disputed many of the details” in the written statement.
Sheriff’s office representatives declined to be interviewed, but said they would release their own footage of the incident.
McCrudy’s husband, Michael Schirmer, was not home, but saw the footage of his wife and the children via their Ring home security video system.
“You can’t help them,” Schirmer said. “It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to watch. And every time I see it, it kills me.”
“I think there could have been a much easier approach. I think they used far too many resources,” he added.
“They could have just knocked on the door and came right in.”