‘Just Unspeakable’: Florida Deputies Bust Down Innocent Black Woman’s Door Twice and Forced Her Outside Her Home In the Nude In Front of Multiple Officers and Her Children

The same Florida sheriff’s department that has come under fire for shooting and killing a Black Senior Airman with the U.S. Air Force last month has been sued for twice breaking into the home of a Black woman and forcing her outside naked where they handcuffed her, leaving her standing in front of her home in full view of her two children.

LaTanya Griffin was not even listed on the warrant served by Okaloosa County sheriff’s deputies when they used a battering ram to break into her home before dawn on two occasions in 2019 and 2020, rousing her out of her sleep and ordering her at gunpoint to walk out of her home in the nude, according to the federal lawsuit filed by Griffin last month.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office is also the same law enforcement agency whose deputy fired multiple times at a patrol car containing an unarmed handcuffed Black man in November 2023 after being spooked by an acorn falling from the tree and striking the patrol car. That deputy, Jesse Hernandez, has resigned.

Florida Deputies Bust Down Innocent Black Woman's Door Twice and Forced Her Outside Her Home In the Nude In Front of Multiple Officers and Her Children
Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Eden (Photo: YouTube screenshot/WKRG)

Griffin’s lawsuit is the latest black eye for the law enforcement agency in the Florida Panhandle that oversees a population of 212,000 people. The family of Airman Roger Fortson, who was killed last month in a questionable incident, will likely also file a lawsuit after retaining attorney Benjamin Crump. The deputy in that case, Eddie Duran, has been fired.

In Griffin’s case, deputies were searching for a man named Tony Streeter, who was wanted on charges of drug trafficking, firearms offenses, and arson, according to Northwest Florida Daily News. Streeter has since been convicted and is serving a 30-year sentence, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. 

It is not clear from the lawsuit or the press releases issued by the Department of Justice what Streeter’s connection was to Griffin’s residence, but the only charges she ever faced from the two raids were two misdemeanors stemming from the second incident: possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. But those charges have been dismissed. Online court records show the only other brushes with the law Griffin has had in the past have been over traffic violations and eviction, but those were mostly civil matters.

Griffin’s lawsuit names Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden and a now-retired deputy named Grady Carpenter, who oversaw both raids. A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office told McClatchy News that Aden was not sheriff during those two incidents and, therefore, unable to comment.

However, Kevin R. Anderson, the attorney representing Griffin, told McClatchy News he is being sued in his “official capacity” and not in his “individual capacity.

“To know an individual is unclothed or totally naked, not once, but twice, and then you just kind of bring them out of their dwelling into a public area for people to have access to their appearance….it’s just unspeakable,” Anderson told McClatchy News.

The lawsuit states the first incident took place on Aug. 29, 2019, and the second incident took place on May 28, 2020. Deputies used battering rams in both incidents, rousing her from her sleep and ordering her outside naked, where she was forced to stand in front of multiple officers, including local, state, and federal officers, for a “substantial amount of time” in front of her 14-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter.

“The seizing Okaloosa sheriff’s deputies eventually placed a tank top t-shirt over the plaintiff’s head, providing partial covering, but not concealment of her genitalia,” the lawsuit states.

Griffin is seeking damages of more than a million dollars.

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