Buffalo City Hall Pays $110,00 Settlement
(NY) – Buffalo City Hall just recently settled a lawsuit that stemmed from a 2013 incident. In June of 2013, detectives raided a home of a suspected drug dealer. Unfortunately, they made a mess out of their warrant. Detective John C. Garcia dealt with the confidential informant, requested the search warrant, and was even the person using the battering ram to enter the apartment during the police raid. The apartment owner, Adam Arroyo, was not home and no narcotics were found, but when the detectives initially entered the apartment they saw a pit bull.
Detective Joseph M. Cook, who was part of the raid team and designated as the “shotgun” man, shot the pit bull, leaving the “dog dead, with blood flowing from three shotgun blasts.”
26 Dogs Murdered in Three Years
Mr. Arroyo filed a federal lawsuit against the Buffalo Police Department. In turn, the City of Buffalo has been trying to get the case dismissed. Depositions were taken. When Detective Cook was deposed, he stated,
“I made the judgment call at that time that the dog could be a threat to myself or someone on that team, and I shot the dog.”
Notice he says the dog “could be a threat.” Mr. Arroyo claims the dog was on a leash so that she wouldn’t tear up the house while he was out. Detective Cook says the dog was not on a leash. Regardless, Detective Cook does not say the dog charged them. He doesn’t say she made any aggressive move toward them. He doesn’t even say she growled or barked at them. He just thought she could become a threat so he decided to kill her.
Someone who desires to kill an animal is very concerning, but what is even more concerning is that Cook “did not dispute during the deposition that he had shot 26 dogs over roughly a three-year period.” Why did the Buffalo Police Department allow this man to continue killing pets?
Faulty Search Warrant
The 4th Amendment ensures, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Detective Garcia’s informant told the magistrate that she never went into the apartment. She said the drug dealer kept some of his drugs hidden outside. She also said that he was a Black man, which Arroyo is not. When Detective Garcia requested the search warrant, he never bothered to check to ensure there was only one upper apartment. Just so you know, that’s a basic function. It turns out there was a front and back apartment. As you can see, it’s required that the location be particularly described. This was a major failing in procedure and the judge was right to refuse to throw out the case.
Mr. Arroyo may have won, but nothing was done about Detective Cook, the animal killer officer. Detective Garcia retired in 2019. To this day, he refuses to admit he messed up the warrant even though the multiple problems with it are obvious.