This might come as a bit of a shock, but police raids don’t always go as slickly as they did on, oh say, S.W.A.T.

The CATO institute has an interesting mapping tool—not unlike our own—where you can look up botched police raids in your area like:

Leticia Lopez

October 15, 2002—WA

Police strom Lopez’s home and handcuff her in front of her 8-year-old son after getting a tip from some homebuyers who saw a propane burner, cooking pot, and other items in the woman’s backyard they said suggested a methamphetamine operation.

After police handcuff and detain Lopez, they discover that the burner and pot were leftover from a steak cookout a few days earlier, and the chemicals the officers and informants had mistaken for meth ingrediants were paint solvents.

After the raid, Lopez begins to have anxiety and panic attacks, and is admitted to a hospital for treatment.


Erdman Bascomb

February 17, 1988—WA

In February 1988, police in Seattle, Washington conduct a late-night drug raid on the home of 41-year old Erdman Bascomb after an informant tells them there’s cocaine inside.

Police knock on Bascomb’s door, wait just a few seconds, then force the door open with a battering ram. Officer Bob Lisoski confronts Bascomb in the darkened apartment, mistakenly believes Bascomb to be holding a gun, and shoots him dead. Bascomb was holding only the remote control for his television.

Police found no drugs or weapons in Bascomb’s home. In 1995, a federal jury found no wrongdoing on the part of Seattle police, and awarded Bascomb’s family no damages.

Police Chief Patrick Fitzsimons, who had retired by the time the case made it to trial, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that “Police work requires a lot of high-risk situations and split-second decisions. Our officers are well-trained and exercise their best

Check it out here.