HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Botched Raid Leaves Family In Shock
Pubdate: Fri, 20 Sep 2002
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 The Province
Author: Salim Jiwa, The Province


Police 'apologize' For Invading Their Home During East-end Drug Search

Rowena Liu says she was scared to death when a small army of police 
officers put a gun to her head and handcuffed her in a botched marijuana 
raid on her 86-year-old father's east-end home.

The police left an hour later after searching every room in the house -- 
and then told the 43-year-old Vancouver woman that someone had apparently 
supplied the wrong information.

Her elderly dad was so shaken he has barely eaten in more than 24 hours 
since the raid, Liu said yesterday as she took a reporter around the neatly 
kept home.

"Does it look to you like marijuana was being grown here?" she asked.

Vancouver Police Const. Sarah Bloor has acknowledged that officers were 
acting on information and obtained a warrant to search the home and had 
made a mistake.

She also confirmed they entered the home with guns drawn.

"We apologize to the occupants," she said, adding that the police will 
formally apologize to the family.

Bloor said officers had "reasonable and probable" grounds to believe the 
information was accurate and obtained a court warrant on that basis.

Liu's question? "How come they don't obtain enough information before they 
come bursting into people's homes? Why pick on us if you don't have the 
right information? Can they search just because someone reports something?"

The family plans to complain to the police.

Liu said she was sitting in the downstairs living room of the home with her 
dad after returning from lunch with him when she saw squad cars piling up 
outside the home, which is owned by Liu and her brother.

A niece who is an acupuncture student looks after the elderly man. Liu said 
she visits daily to make sure her dad is OK.

"I don't live here. I had come to take dad for lunch and we were sitting 
here when I saw all these police cars outside," said the mother of two, who 
works as a housekeeper. "So I parted the drapes and I looked out and said 
to my dad, 'How come there are so many police cars outside.' "

Liu said the officers were arriving with their hands on their guns and one 
put his gun against the window where she was looking outside.

"They were banging on the door and I went and opened it," she said. "They 
put a gun to my head and handcuffed my hands behind my back and ordered me 
to sit down. They were very rough and they ordered my dad to sit down too."

Liu sat handcuffed for more than an hour downstairs while officers rifled 
through their possessions.

"Then they came downstairs and one policeman said someone reported there 
was marijuana growing here," she said. "He said we are sorry, we did not 
find any marijuana but someone reported that two days ago."

They handed her a copy of the court-ordered search warrant and a calling 
card and left.

"My dad . . . has not eaten much since this happened, Liu said. "I did not 
sleep at all last night."
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