Brooklyn Couple Suing NYPD for Harrowing ‘No-Knock’ Raid That Resulted in No Charges
Cops say they spotted a small bag of heroin but the case was dropped. Now a lawsuit is seeking justice — and compensation.
Andreiana Hadon says she was in bed when she was awakened at 6 a.m. by a loud boom at the front of her Brownsville apartment last December.
Within seconds, a team of armed police were inside her bedroom yelling at her and her boyfriend, Darryl Mullins, 63, to put their hands up.
“I said, ‘What did I do? Why are you here? Why are you bothering me? Why are you threatening me?’” Hadon, 45, told THE CITY.
Police found no drugs or any other illegal items in the apartment but detained the couple, still in their pajamas, for approximately 20 hours at the nearby 73rd Precinct, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday against the NYPD in Brooklyn Federal Court.
The initial criminal complaint against the couple said that a police officer found a glassine bag “containing heroin” on them in the hallway outside their apartment. Hadon and Mullins were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor, court records show, and given a desk appearance ticket.
But the case was dropped at their second court appearance after the Brooklyn district attorney’s office declined to press charges.
The lawsuit the couple filed in Brooklyn Federal Court against the NYPD alleges their rights were violated and that they were humiliated during the raid and subsequent arrest.
According to the suit, Mullins, Hadon and her 25-year-old son, who also lives in the apartment, were all handcuffed in the living room as cops rifled through their belongings.
“We asked them for a warrant but they never showed us anything,” Hadon told THE CITY.
The NYPD left the apartment a total mess and broke their bed, the suit also alleges.
The police left the son alone at the apartment, but Hadon was chained to a pole by a bench in the station house while Mullins was put in a holding cell, the lawsuit claims. They say they weren’t given anything to eat or drink the entire time.
The lawsuit is seeking “punitive damages” determined by a jury.
Bearing False Witness?
In the criminal complaint, one of the cops in the raid, Det. Eric C. Giuliani, says he observed the couple holding the glassine bag of heroin in the hallway — even though police didn’t encounter them until busting into the apartment.
Giuliani has been named in nine other lawsuits alleging police abuses — including one almost identical case of a 2015 no-knock raid that resulted in dropped charges.
The city has settled those cases for $273,501 in total, according to court records. Giuliani is also the subject of seven complaints to the Civilian Complaint Review Board. Six of those were substantiated, records show.
The detective, who earned $162,000 last year, couldn’t be reached via phone at a Nassau County home listed in his name.
In the 2015 case, a federal lawsuit filed eight years ago by Lydia Pruitt claimed Giuliani and other cops — including one nicknamed Huggy Bear — broke down the door of her Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment.
Pruitt, a retired clerical worker with a heart ailment, alleged the officers showed her a poster of a female suspect who she did not know. They also ransacked her apartment.
The suit was settled for $25,000, court records show.
The latest no-knock warrant by Giuliani and a team of other cops, which resulted in charges that did not stick, comes as a national movement to ban the aggressive police practice has gained momentum.
In New York City, former Mayor Bill de Blasio in April 2021 vowed to review the policy after several raids at the wrong locations, or where suspects were no longer living, were highlighted by the Daily News.
But no public report or suggested changes were ever issued.
Trail of Allegations
The NYPD has long defended the searches where they bust into people’s homes by breaking their front doors down unannounced. They say the element of surprise is an essential police tool that leads to seizure of hundreds of illegal firearms and illicit drugs each year.
In 2020, the last year available, the NYPD executed more than 1,800 such searches, with 800 leading to gun arrests and 667 for narcotics, according to the NYPD.
The searches must first be approved by a judge in secret court proceedings. Sometimes they lead to deadly consequences.
In 2003, Alberta Spruill, a 57-year-old Black woman with a heart ailment, died of cardiac arrest when officers burst through her front door in Harlem and detonated a flash grenade. The police found nothing and admitted the entire search was based on an unverified tip.
All told, at least 94 people throughout the nation died as a result of no-knock raids from 2010 through 2016, according to a New York Times report. Police officers accounted for 13 of the fatalities.
As for the Brownsville case, the couple’s lawyer noted that ex-President Donald Trump has been criminally charged for lying about records.
“But police who perjure themselves still do so with impunity,” said the couple’s lawyer, Leo Glickman, urging Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez to investigate the officers involved in the raid.
“Detective Giuliani had a long trail of misconduct allegations behind him before he falsely arrested and mistreated Ms. Hadon and Mr. Mullins,” he said. “NYPD must police its own and they need to start yesterday.”
The NYPD and city Law Department did not respond to emails seeking comment. The Detectives Endowment Association, which represents Det. Giuliani, declined comment.