Nashville officers' powers restricted after forcing open door of wrong house

Nashville officers' powers restricted after forcing open door of wrong house
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Three police officers in Metro Nashville have had their police powers restricted after forcing open the door of a family's home looking for a suspect who no longer lived there.

Interim Police Chief John Drake said Wednesday the officers executed a warrant at the home around 6 a.m. Tuesday in pursuit of a teenager wanted in a property crime investigation, CNN reported.

The officers announced themselves before using a battering ram to force the door open, Drake said. 

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"In all candor, this shouldn't have happened," Drake said. "This mother and her children should not have been subjected to this type of behavior from a police department."

The police later learned the teenager had not lived at the address for several months.

The three officers were reportedly operating on "stale information," Drake said, adding that body camera footage from the incident "greatly disturbed" him.

According to the footage, a young woman can be heard inside, asking, "What is going on?" before she yells, "I don't have any clothes on!"

The woman also said there were children inside the home. Drake said the family had been living there for at least four months.

"Even as the mother approached the door and you can hear her comments, having communications with the officers, we can't come to the conclusion on why they couldn't have given her a little more time at 6:05 a.m.," he said.

Drake said the officers could have used traditional surveillance practices to ensure the person they were looking for was still at the property, adding that he has drilled deescalation tactics into the department.

The incident has led to a change in department procedure in which search warrants must be approved by a deputy chief at the executive level, Drake said.