Lights & Sirens

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Man sues Tacoma police over improper search of his home

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on Jan. 27, 2011 at 11:08 am |
January 27, 2011 3:06 pm

A man who claims Tacoma police trashed his house while serving a search warrant four years ago is suing the city for damages.

A lawyer for Calvin B. Clark filed the lawsuit in Pierce County Superior Court on Monday.

The suit seeks unspecified damages, but Clark requested $200,000 in a claim filed with the city earlier this year.

Police investigating a drug case searched Clark’s house during the evening of Jan. 24, 2007. They reported in court documents they believed he might have been providing drugs to a street-level dealer they’d been investigating.

Clark later was charged with drug and weapons crimes, but the case was dismissed after Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper ruled police did not have probable cause to search Clark’s house. Culpepper threw out all evidence seized during the search.

Clark wrote in documents accompanying his claim against the city that the episode greatly embarrassed him and that police caused unnecessary damage to his home during their search, including damaging a wall while trying to access a safe.

“I was violated and my character defamed,” he said. “I am a firm believer of the law, but my family was wronged.”

TPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

UPDATE: Police spokesman Mark Fulghum said this afternoon the department does not comment on pending lawsuits.

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