An elderly black woman is suing the city of Fort Worth, Texas, after police allegedly forced her and husband out of their house at gunpoint and zip-tied them for hours as they ransacked their home during a botched drug raid.
Nelda Price, 69, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of her and her husband John Price, also 69, accusing the city of violating their fourth and 14th Amendment rights against unlawful search and seizure.
The pair were relaxing at home in their pajamas after having dinner on March 11, when Fort Worth Police allegedly smashed their door open and entered with their guns drawn.
Nelda Price, 69, is suing the City of Fort Worth after police ‘unlawfully’ raided her home on March 11. Cops allegedly barged in, damaging the door (pictured) while serving a search warrant for a drug investigation
At the time, Price and her husband John (right) – who died five weeks after the incident – were relaxing in their pajamas. They were restrained with zip ties outside the house where they were forced to wait for hours, according to the lawsuit
According to the complaint, multiple officers ‘pointed their guns at Mr. and Mrs. Price and shouted at them to get their hands in the air and commanded they walk toward them.’
The couple was restrained with zip ties and moved to their front yard, where they were allegedly kept for hours in public view as cops ransacked the property.
Terrified and confused, Price said she repeatedly asked why they were raiding her home, but officers refused to answer her questions.
‘Officers then began to question both Mr. and Mrs. Price if they had any aliases, and if a Mexican boy brought a package to their home,’ the complaint stated.
After the episode, the couple was allowed back inside the home, where they found a broken light fixture and their door damaged due to the raid.
They also found a copy of a search warrant on the table revealing cops had been searching for methamphetamine as part of a narcotics investigation.
‘If they had done proper police work … they would have known that they had it completely wrong,’ the couple’s attorney, Kay Van Wey told the Star-Telegram.
The couple was eventually let back inside their house where they found a copy of a search warrant on the table revealing cops had been searching for methamphetamine as part of a narcotics investigation
Price claims at no point did the police explain why the couple was forced from their home at gunpoint
Van Wey said no items were seized during the botched search and it wasn’t until ‘several hours later’ that another officer arrived at the scene to tell the cops the Prices were not suspects.
The lawsuit alleges police caused ‘extensive property damage’ as well as ‘unexpected medical fees’ for Mr Price, who had suffered a medical episode during the raid.
The elderly man was overdue for his heart medication and had pleaded with cops to allow them to grab his medicine – which they allegedly ignored.
John Price, 69, suffered a medical episode during the raid but his pleas to grab his medication were ignored by cops, the lawsuit claims
An ambulance was eventually called for Mr Price who was treated on the front lawn while cops continued with their raid inside, the lawsuit claimed.
‘At no point did any Fort Worth Police officers explain why Mr. and Mrs. Price were forced from their home at gunpoint or why it was necessary to detain Mr. and Mrs. Price in handcuffs even as Mr. Price was suffering a medical emergency,’ the suit stated.
Police also refused to let the Prices change out of their nightwear or ‘remove them from public on-looker and neighbors, therefore subjecting them to shame and embarrassment.’
In the days and weeks following the raid, the Prices claimed they suffered from ‘progressively increasing stress, anxiety, and anguish over their experience.’
Mr Price died about five weeks after the incident but his cause of death has not been determined.
DailyMail.com has contacted the City of Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Police Department for comment.
Nelda Price, a medical assistant, described the incident as a ‘nightmare’ that she never expected to happen.
Van Wey said the incident was another example of police brutality and a deeper systemic problem within the Fort Worth Police Department. The incident comes amid a year of protests against police brutality across the country
She said she felt compelled to take legal action following the death of Breonna Taylor, who was killed during a botched police investigation in Kentucky in March.
‘I was reluctant to take action. It isn’t in my nature to be the one to take a stand for my rights, but I just couldn’t let this go. After hearing about the police in the Breonna Taylor case being let off so easily, I knew that I had to speak up and stand up for what happened to us,’ Price said.
Van Wey said the incident was another example of police brutality and the systemic issues in law enforcement.
‘The incident speaks to a deeper systemic problem within the Fort Worth Police Department, which is marred by continuous cases of racial profiling, unlawful searches and seizures, unnecessary excessive force, inadequate training regarding the use of body cameras, employing and retaining officers with a history of abuse, and failing to adequately discipline law enforcement for misconduct,’ she said.