Teen injured in raid sues local law enforcement agencies

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Aug. 12, 2009, 5:25am

Mark Lanier

GALVESTON – While Kenneth Ramsey's home was being raided in June, law enforcement officers lobbed a small grenade into the house and unknowingly hit the man's teenage daughter as she slept on the couch.

Sharon Ramsey's personal injury lawsuit accuses the Dickinson and League City Police Departments and the Galveston County Sheriff's Office of violating 15-year-old Rachel Ramsey's Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution.

"The defendants violated the constitutional rights of Rachel Ramsey," the complaint states. "As a result of the regulation, custom, or usage of the defendants, the defendants subjected or caused to be subjected Rachel Ramsey to the deprivation of her rights secured by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guaranteed her that her 'right…..to be secure in [her person] against unreasonable…..seizures, shall not be violated."

The suit, which also names Rachel Ramsey as a plaintiff, was filed Aug. 6 in Galveston County District Court.

According to court papers, various officers in the midst of executing a warrant during the early hours of June 20 approached the residence of Kenneth Ramsey, Rachel Ramsey's father, and released a grenade on the assumption he was by himself.

They argue that the projectile wrongfully struck the teen.

"This grenade landed on Mr. Ramsey's 15-year-old daughter, Rachel Ramsey, who was sleeping on the couch, causing her serious and permanent bodily injuries," the original petition says. "Rachel Ramsey was injured directly from the defendants' use of force that was excessive to the need and objectively reasonable."

The suit does not elaborate on the reason behind the warrant.

Sharon Ramsey claims the alleged incident inflicted physical pain and mental anguish upon her daughter as well as impaired and disfigured her.

Consequently, the plaintiffs seek compensatory damages and a jury trial.

Houston attorneys W. Mark Lanier and Judson Waltman are representing the Ramseys.

Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor is presiding over the case.

Case No. 09CV1393

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