Woman Awarded $3.8 Million in Verdict Following SWAT Team’s Erroneous Search of Her Home Due to Misguided Find My iPhone App Information

Woman Awarded $3.8 Million in Verdict Following SWAT Team's Erroneous Search of Her Home Due to Misguided Find My iPhone App Information

Woman Awarded $3.8 Million in Verdict Following SWAT Team’s Erroneous Search of Her Home Due to Misguided Find My iPhone App Information

Bollywoodfever, March 4: A 78-year-old woman, Ruby Johnson, was awarded a $3.76 million jury verdict after suing two officers for a wrongful SWAT team search of her home, sparked by a misplaced Find My iPhone app trace for a stolen vehicle.

This landmark case, adjudicated in a Denver state court and publicized by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, marks a significant application of Colorado’s new legal provision that permits individuals to challenge police for breaches of state constitutional rights.

Woman Awarded $3.8 Million in Verdict Following SWAT Team's Erroneous Search of Her Home Due to Misguided Find My iPhone App Information

The incident, dating back to January 4, 2022, unfolded when Johnson, a retired U.S. Postal Service employee and grandmother, was startled by a SWAT team demanding entry to her home.

The team was acting on a warrant mistakenly issued based on the approximate location provided by the Find My app for a stolen truck containing firearms, drones, cash, and an iPhone.

The app led the owner of the truck to Johnson’s residence, prompting the police action.

The lawsuit highlighted the inaccuracy of the app’s location data, which Detective Gary Staab failed to clarify when obtaining the search warrant, resulting in a severe violation of Johnson’s privacy and safety.

Despite her cooperation, the police forcibly entered her garage and attic, causing significant property damage and emotional distress.

This case was propelled by a comprehensive police reform bill passed in 2020, following George Floyd’s murder, enabling Colorado residents to sue police officers directly for violating state constitutional rights—a shift from the previous necessity to pursue such claims in federal courts, where qualified immunity often hinders accountability.

The legal battle underscored the psychological and emotional impact on Johnson, who felt her sense of security shattered in the home where she single-handedly raised her children.

The ordeal led to health issues and forced her to relocate, highlighting the broader implications of police actions on individuals’ lives and well-being.

Source: APNews

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