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Fullerton PD Apologizes for Drawing Weapons on Pastor's Family One Year After Botched Narco Raid
Better late than never? A year after the Fullerton Police Department raided the wrong home in a narco bust, Acting Police Chief Kevin Hamilton issued a formal public apology to the wrongfully-raided Nordell family at a City Council meeting.
"This is a very rare circumstance," Hamilton said. "I'm here to apologize to the Nordell family for the Police Department."
Hamilton also announced that he was investigating the incident and promised to report his findings to the Nordells, according to the Orange County Register. From now on, Hamilton said that all police must verify the address before raiding the home (one attendee at the City Council meeting suggested that detectives use Google Earth). And if police do raid the wrong house, they have to let the police chief know and write up a report — no more waiting until some innocent citizen complains (and complains and complains).
Last October, detectives raided the home of Chuck and Robyn Nordell with their guns drawn in what was supposed to be a drug bust. They quickly realized that they had raided the next-door neighbors of the man that they were looking for.
The detectives left quickly, but the incident left Robyn shaken — especially when she didn't hear from the police department after the fact. She wanted a formal apology and, more importantly, she wanted to learn how the Christian school teacher, her pastor husband and her children could have ended up on the wrong end of a drug bust.
She was disappointed when she finally received a police report four months later detailing the incident. It left out any mention that the police had drawn their weapons on the Nordells.
"When we got that report four months later, I cried. I couldn't believe it — there was no mention of the weapons. I felt less secure at that point than before I had read that report," Nordell told the City Council earlier this year.
Now that the Fullerton PD has apologized and outlined a procedure to make sure that this doesn't happen again Robyn Nordell has decided to accept the police chief's apology: "I'm really pleased with the way Capt. Hamilton has handled this in the long run. We accomplished our goals that we set out to do."
In case you hadn't noticed, the Fullerton Police Department has been under quite a bit of scrutiny lately, after some of its cops were charged with beating a homeless man and one cop was accused of sexually assaulting 12 women.
Overall, at least eight Fullerton officers are on paid administrative leave, according to the Orange County Register.
Here's a video of the Nordells' earlier statements to the Fullerton City Council: