Police officers from Manchester City PD, New Hampshire certainly did not think they would get into legal trouble for arresting a man who recorded their conversation with him. The incident occurred while a search warrant was being executed at the home of the detainee. The attorney fighting on behalf of Mr. Alfredo Valentin says his client suffered significant financial losses because of the high handedness of the police.
Ironically, it was not Valentin who was the accused in the case that led to the issue and subsequent use of the search warrant. Yet, a SWAT team stormed inside his home while he was away at work. One of his tenants, Christopher Chapman was the accused in a drug related crime and the search was linked to this case.
Chapman was in custody in Hillsborough County when the police chose to execute a “no-knock” raid on Valentin’s home. According to the defense counsel, his client only got to know about the procedure when he was intimated by a neighbor.
Officers had already fired incendiary devices damaging property and endangering the lives of those in the house before the homeowner got to the scene. When questioned about the use of this degree of force, none of the officers were willing to offer straight answers. In fact, at one point the defense attorney also claimed that the police did not show his client the search warrant that formed the basis of the procedure.
On its part, Manchester PD is justifying the actions by saying that they are being exceptionally strict when handling drug related offenses and searches given the increasing rate of narcotic crimes in the New England area. Yet, the defense counsel is refuting this explanation by saying that taxpaying citizens cannot be turned into collateral damage in the fight between law enforcement and drug cartels.
Apart from substantial damages to the property, Valentin was arrested for recording the audio conversations he had with the officers on site. As a result, Mr. Valentin lost his job. The police have also failed to provide the incident report for the search citing that this would compromise their case against Chapman.