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UPDATE: 06:37pm, January 7, 2012. Annapolis Mayor, Joshua J. Cohen has issued the following statement regarding the raid on Alderman Kirby’s residence.
First and foremost I commend our police officers for their professionalism in executing these drug warrants. Annapolis is enjoying three straight years of record low crime rates, due in no small measure to the tremendous efforts, day in and day out, of our police department. Often when a warrant is served, an uninvolved individual who is not a subject of the warrant may be present. It is unfortunate that in this instance, the uninvolved individual was a leader in the community and member of the City Council. I want to emphasize that Alderman Kirby was not a subject of the warrant, was not in any way a subject of this investigation, and that his presence was unanticipated by the police department. Despite the fact that this experience was highly unwelcome and unpleasant, I commend Alderman Kirby’s understanding and continued strong support of our police department’s efforts to reduce crime and keep our communities safe.
UPDATE: 06:28pm, January 7, 2012. We jsut got off the phone with Eric Lipsetts, the attorney representing Alderman Kenneth Kirby. Lipsetts issued the following statement on behalf of Alderman Kirby:
On January 5, 2012 a team of Annapolis Police Department officers executed two “no- knock” warrants on apartments in the 1200 block of Madison Street. The target of the warrant was apparently someone named Kenshasa Jones. The police recovered drugs and drug paraphernalia from one of the apartments and arrested Kenshasa Jones and two other persons.
Alderman Kenneth Kirby happened to be in the other apartment, the leaseholder of which is his niece.
When the police entered, he was watching television. Alderman Kirby was not the target of the warrant, was not doing anything illegal, no evidence of any illegal activity was found in the apt, and the alderman was not charged with anything.
Being confronted with a group of armed shouting men is extremely harrowing. Alderman Kirby discussed this matter with Chief of Police Michael Pristoop and understands and appreciates the dangers that police officers face when carrying out operations like this.
He also emphasizes that, even with those dangers, the police must treat innocent residents with dignity and respect. Alderman Kirby intends to discuss what occurred further with the appropriate officials.
UPDATE: 05:40pm, Janauary 7, 2012. We contacted Mayor Joshua Cohen via twitter this afternoon and questioned if the police were aware that the Alderman was in the apartment. We also asked if they had communicated with the Housing Authority of Annapolis City (HACA) prior to execution of the warrant. “My understanding is that Alderman Kirby had just moved there within the past week or two so it’s understandable that APD was unaware,” said Cohen.
We also spoke with Alderman Kirby’s attorney who will be releasing a statement to us shortly.
UPDATE: 04:30pm, January 7, 2012. The Annapolis Police Department has now released a statement regarding the raid which took place on January 5, 2012.
On January 5, 2012 Annapolis police officers executed two search warrants at apartments located within the same building in the 1200 block of Madison Street. The warrants were based on numerous complaints of drug activity within the building, a confidential informant identifying a PCP dealer using the building to distribute drugs, and an overwhelming odor of PCP within the building. The warrants were reviewed and signed by a judge indicating there was probable cause to execute the warrants based on the detective’s statements.
One warrant was executed at an apartment within the building. Inside officers recovered a bottle containing PCP, a plastic bag containing marijuana, two marijuana cigarettes and narcotic packaging material. Three people were arrested. Kyle Hobbs was charged with possession of marijuana. Kenshasa Jones was charged with possession with intent to distribute PCP, possession of PCP, and possession of marijuana. Jakyle Smith, the resident, was charged with possession with intent to distribute PCP, possession of PCP, and possession of marijuana.
The second warrant was executed at a second apartment within the same building. Upon entry officers encountered a male in the living room and secured him and the apartment. The subject was identified as Alderman Kenny Kirby. A search of the apartment did not produce any evidence of narcotic activity and as a result Alderman Kirby was not charged.
Chief Michael Pristoop spoke to Alderman Kirby after the incident and the Alderman told the chief that officers were professional and polite to him. “Based on what I’ve been told and reviewed, our officers did a good job and acted properly.” Chief Pristoop stated.” The warrants were executed according to law and police policy, and officers were well-behaved. Our officers were not targeting an individual but a residence and had no idea Alderman Kirby was living there. I’m just glad no one was hurt. I encourage our officers to continue efforts in making our City safe for everybody.”
UPDATE: 11:42am, January 7, 2012. 12 minutes after Eye On Annapolis published this information, the Police Department responded that they will be issuing a statement shortly.
According to the blog, Annapolis Political Scene, a sitting Alderman’s home was raided Thursday night by the Annapolis Police Department. The post states that the raid was another case of mistaken doorways and the police had the wrong location and the wrong person.
There was no mention of this raid in the daily police report issued by the Department.
We are trying to get the additional details, but so far, emails to the Mayor, City PIO, and the Police Department have not been returned. We have learned from a source close to the incident that the Alderman in question was the Ward 6 Alderman, Kenny Kirby and that while being restrained, he may have been kicked by an officer.
We contacted Kirby by phone this morning an he declined to comment on the specifics of the incident other than to say that an incident did occur and any questions needed to be referred to his attorney, Eric Lipsetts. We have sent an email to Lipsetts.
This article will be updated as more details become available.
In June of 2007, Annapolis Police also raided the wrong home. According to n NBC4 report (no longer an active link):
Annapolis police raided the wrong apartment Wednesday night, using flash grenades and kicking a resident in the groin area before they realized their mistake.
A police spokesman said something must have gone amiss in the briefing beforehand.
Silvia Bernal, 30, told The (Annapolis) Capital that about 15 officers burst through the front door of her apartment while she was cooking dinner. She said the officers kicked her husband in the groin area while she fled into a bedroom.
Police spokesman Hal Dalton says one resident barricaded the door with his body, but police were able to get in after a noise flash device was used.
Dalton says as soon as officers realized that they were at the wrong apartment, they offered immediate medical assistance, even though they saw no injuries.
Officers were supposed to have raided a different apartment on Primrose Avenue. Dalton says the incident is under review.
Dalton says when a warrant was served at the correct address, no one was there and no contraband was found.
NBC 4 reported that three people said they were roughed up by police.
Spa Cove apartment manager Latisha Marshall said there is a large dent in the front door. And she said there are two large black stains from the flash-bang grenades police deployed.