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Flint family files civil rights lawsuit against Michigan State Police

Attorneys have filed complaints on behalf of a Flint family alleging Michigan State Police officers entered the family’s home last year without warning.
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 1:02 PM EDT|Updated: May. 16, 2022 at 2:47 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - Attorneys have filed complaints on behalf of a Flint family alleging Michigan State Police officers entered the family’s home last year without warning, leaving them traumatized.

The complaints were filed in federal and state courts for the family including a grandmother, mother and three children ages 14, 10 and 3-years-old. The complaints assert a violation of the family’s rights under the Fourth and 14th Amendments to the Constitution and Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act resulting in emotional and psychological trauma.

According to the complaints, several officers entered the family’s home the night of April 21, 2021 without announcing their presence. Authorities gathered the family in the living room, including one family member was pulled out of a shower, the attorneys stated.

Officers were not equipped with body cameras, the complaint stated. Officers left the home after realizing they were at the wrong home, according to the complaint. The family and their attorneys are demanding compensation for this incident and calling for an independent civil rights investigation of Michigan State Police to examine the policies, training and supervision of the agency.

A Michigan State Police spokesperson said they cannot comment pending litigation.

No one in the Colston family had any idea what was about to happen when they were getting ready for bed one night in April 2021.

They had no idea that Michigan State Police were about to barge into their home.

“But next thing they knew, without any warning whatsoever, no knock on the door. No announcement at the door no warning of any kind,” said Colston family attorney Julie Hurwitz.

The family received trauma so severe that some members involved did not speak during the meeting.

“Nobody in our community deserves to have their door battery in at 10:30 at night and held at gunpoint by people that we pay to protect us,” family member Aaron Dunigan said.

The family said at the time of the incident police dragged one family member out of the shower, dragged a 10-year-old that was doing their homework out of their room, and yanked a sleeping 3-year-old out of bed all by gun point.

“I think it’s super important that we understand that when you hold a kid who was three and now for at gunpoint what that has the ability to do to them as they grow up,” Dunigan said.

One family member said how grateful he is the incident didn’t end with one of his family members dead.

“I am so grateful, and I thank god every day. That that is not the story. But that story does exist. And the only way that it stopped existing is if we as a people and as a nation stand up to make changes to the laws that allow this situation to keep happening and time and time again,” Dunigan said.