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Davis landlord files complaint regarding ICE raid | Crime

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Davis landlord files complaint regarding ICE raid
Crime

DAVIS, CA - Davis landlord Linda Clark believes federal agents used excessive force when they burst into a home where her tenants live.

Clark's grandson, Tylor Murray-Clark, 19, was in the Oak Avenue home when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents burst in at 6 a.m. on April 26.

"I saw the gun in his hand and there were other people running around with guns.  I was scared," Murray-Clark said.  "A man in a uniform pointed his gun at me, told me to turn around and put my hands above my head."

Murray-Clark was herded into the living room with the rest of his roommates, but he explained it wasn't easy.

"Most of the people here didn't even speak English," Murray-Clark said. "They were terrified out of their minds because people were banging on their doors and rushing into their rooms."

Most of the international students from Vietnam thought they were being robbed.

A search warrant shows ICE agents were conducting an investigation into child pornography. 

"They told us they were looking for someone who went on a child pornography website," Murray-Clark said.

His grandmother and landlord, Linda Clark lives next door. She was shocked to find out agents used a battering ram to enter some rooms. 

Clark said locks were broken, a door was destroyed and one tenant was hit several times on the back of his head while laying face down on the floor.

Clark believes everyone in the home was traumatized including one expectant mother. 

"She was pregnant and miscarried three days later before returning early to Vietnam," Clark said.

Apparently, agents seemed focused on something that happened in March 2010.

"Most of the tenants were not here a year ago," Clark said. "There was only one person still living here who was here a year ago."

Clark added that tenant never had internet access. However, agents apparently confiscated his computer and several other items.

Clark has filed a complaint accusing ICE agents of excessive force.

ICE released a statement: "ICE is aware of the allegations made by the property owner regarding agents actions during that enforcement operation."  ICE added, "The circumstances....are currently under review."

When asked about residents rights during a law enforcement raid, defense attorney Bill Portanova said "some cases simply do not require a SWAT entry."

Portanova explained agents may seem heavy-handed, but they do it to keep themselves safe. They also want to maintain an element of surprise so potential targets don't dispose any evidence.

"The fact that somebody's hurt, excited or disturbed by police work does not necessarily make it wrong. It's the nature of the work," Portanova said.

Clark said she would like to be reimbursed for about $1,000 worth of damage to her property. 

"I think they should go after child pornography," Clark said. "They had a legal search warrant. What I'm objecting to is the way in which they conducted the search."

By Karen Massie kmassie@news10.net 

Crime

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