Minn. police raid wrong house, shots fired
Getting it right: The importance of pre-raid planning
The Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS — Eight police officers who raided an innocent family's house last year, trading fire with the terrified husband, have received medals - and that has outraged the family.
Three officers involved in the Dec. 16 raid, which stemmed from bad information from an informant, received medals of valor from Police Chief Tim Dolan on Monday. The other five got medals of commendation.
Yee Moua said her family is "a mess right now," and her 9-year-old son, who saw the shooting, "still has nightmares and has needed therapy."
Police entered the home expecting to find a violent gang member. Yee Moua's husband, Vang Khang, thought they were being robbed and shot at the officers through a bedroom door.
The officers, members of the Minneapolis Police Department's SWAT team, were wearing protective gear and were not injured. But they returned fire.
Members of the family also were not physically injured, but the house was left filled with bullet holes and broken glass. Two days later, Dolan apologized and started an internal investigation.
"They were outraged and they were hurt. ... To this day this family continues to suffer," said their attorney, former U.S. attorney Tom Heffelfinger.
The investigation found the team had gone there looking for a gang member's guns after an informant gave investigators bad information. Authorities are still looking into how the case was handled before the raid, but Dolan said the SWAT officers themselves have been cleared.
Heffelfinger said the family has notified the city that they plan to file a lawsuit. He questions the timing and motives for the award.
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But Dolan said in a statement: "The officers put themselves in harm's way. They were shot at and shot and deserved to be recognized."