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Cleveland police cause $9,000 in damage while searching wrong home, lawsuit claims

Posted at 5:03 PM, Nov 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-13 17:03:48-05

A Cleveland woman has filed a lawsuit in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas alleging that Cleveland multiple police officers and a detective raided the wrong home during a homicide investigation of a 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed outside his father's store in 2017.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday, authorities obtained a search warrant for Larissa S. Harris, a suspect wanted in connection with the death of Abdel Latif Bashiti, who was killed on Nov. 24, 2017.

On the night of the shooting, the boy was inside his father's beauty supply store when he and his father heard gunshots outside. Bashiti and his father went outside to see what was going on, and the boy was shot in the torso, according to authorities. The boy later died.

RELATED: Beauty supply store owner's 12-year-old son killed in Buckeye Road shooting

The lawsuit states that on Nov. 28, 2017, Judge Sherrie Miday signed a search warrant for a house allegedly belonging to Harris. According to the lawsuit, police had probable cause to search a home in the 16000 block of Lipton Avenue, as well as a vehicle belonging to the suspect.

It claims the residence that police raided didn't actually belong to the suspect but to a woman who lived across the street, who is the plaintiff who filed the lawsuit against Cleveland police. The lawsuit further states that the house described in the search warrant was that of the plaintiff's house and not the suspect. It claims that the warrant "failed to describe the actual residence that police should have surveilled."

Additionally, the lawsuit said police "failed to conduct an adequate and reasonable investigation and surveillance at any time, prior to obtaining or executing the search warrant, of the residence or property of Larrissa S. Harris."

RELATED: Two adults charged with aggravated murder in shooting that left 12-year-old boy dead

Authorities were given a three-day window to execute the search warrant, court documents said.

"Defendants could have and should have during this three-day period and before, exercised reasonable care and due diligence through investigation, to make certain that they were surveilling and ultimately searching the correct residence," the lawsuit said. 

Court documents said that when police arrived at the plaintiff's house, the residents told authorities they were at the wrong house but were detained and interrogated.

While police were on scene, officers searched the home, destroyed property and unnecessarily interrogated the residents for an "extended period of time," court documents said.

The resident told police that she was taking care of sick family members when authorities arrived at her house, according to the lawsuit. It also states that police caused nearly $9,000 in damage while they were at her residence.

"The police were not commanded to destroy the interior of the residence but they nevertheless did so of their own free will, maliciously, and with wanton and reckless abandon," court documents said.

It also states that the search warrant affidavit for the incident is physically missing from the court file, system and docket. 

The lawsuit seeks $25,000 in compensatory damages as well as punitive damages for causing the defendant "permanent physical and emotional harm including but not limited to post-traumatic stress disorder." 

Harris has a pretrial scheduled on Nov. 28, according to court records.

News 5 has reached out to Cleveland police for a comment on this pending litigation against their officers and detective.