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"Computer Glitch" Responsible For 50 Raids On Retirees' Home

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the we'll-get-right-on-it-mam dept.

Bug 38

The address of Walter and Rose Martin's Brooklyn home was used by police to test a department-wide computer system in 2002. That decision has resulted in over 50 raids on the Martin's home in the last 8 years. Police come looking for all manner of violent criminals as often as three times a week. NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne says the police have now flagged the Martin's address so no officer will be sent to the home without double-checking the address first. Rose Martin remains skeptical, saying, "It seems like too simple a correction for something that has been going on for eight years."

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Land of the free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31542348)

You guys keep abusing lawyers for stupid pointless crap.

In this case, however, it would seem to be appropriate to sue the hell out of the police department.

Re:Land of the free (2, Insightful)

keeboo (724305) | about 4 years ago | (#31547838)

Sue the police department? What for?
The couple is old and they probably want just to enjoy the rest of their lives, being visited by their grandchildren and things like that.
To sue, at this point, would just be an annoyance to themselves.

Re:Land of the free (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 years ago | (#31548458)

And the best way to achieve that would apparently be to move somewhere else, which'll cost them money.

Re:Land of the free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31558248)

Sue the police department? What for?

Harassment, abuse of power, unlawful entry, etc, etc. A lawyer could probably make a list around 20 items long.

Re:Land of the free (1)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | about 4 years ago | (#31558520)

Negligence, mostly. After the first couple of times, a reasonable person would think to double check this address in the future.

Re:Land of the free (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 4 years ago | (#31564166)

For the loss in the house's value. You'd have to be nuts to move to that place. And they didn't necessarily get it for cheap. The person who lived there before them was being driven insane by this, but he thought he just had a stalker.

Re:Land of the free (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31564270)

Can you hear that? It's the sound of a thousand lawyers ringing. Great work Slashdot you've Slashdotted a real address!

Re:Land of the free (1)

operagost (62405) | about 4 years ago | (#31575412)

Funny how no one suggests that maybe someone should be fired or prosecuted for this. Instead, they'll use hard-earned taxpayers money to make the problem go away.
For comparison, if I had a faulty alarm that called the fire department or police to my house every day, do you think they would brush it off?

Re:Land of the free (1)

keeboo (724305) | about 4 years ago | (#31575742)

Well, I'm not saying they don't have the right to sue (they do have).

My point is that, in their specific situation, the hassle is bigger than the potential benefits.
I think the old couple is better off enjoying their remaining time in peace.

Justice is very important, but if you're the one who got screwed and the process of seeking justice will pretty much only create more inconvenience for you while not giving much back... What's the point?

Unless there's something like: setting an precedent so other people won't suffer like you, you were outraged and it's a matter of principle or something along those lines. -- But it doesn't look like this in that case.

Re:Land of the free (1)

ImYourVirus (1443523) | about 4 years ago | (#31575818)

After so many false alarms they actually start charging you a fee, I know they do at least with business's, you are only allowed so many freebies a year.

Re:Land of the free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31596332)

I'm a police officer in a relatively affluent community. We have several addresses where that happens, nothing more than a business card with "please check your alarm" has ever been done in our town.

Re:Land of the free (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 4 years ago | (#31612396)

For what, how about 8 years of harrassment, and defamation of character, what would neighbors think of you if your house was raided by the cops every few weeks? If I were them I would threaten to sue if it didn't stop. And this flagging the address, what happens should they legitemately need the police?

Re:Land of the free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31558364)

You know, in a sane world someone would get fired for this crap. Why do we need lawyers to do the right thing?

The Dept of Homeland security does not make mistak (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31545574)

Why do all these terrorists go on about the evils of the military police state. These officers are perfectly good examples of caring government officials doing that they are told to do. It is obvious to me at least, that these old folks were up to something nefarious. It is a well know technique to send out false information to the media (truth is malleable) in order to get the criminal terrorists of their guard.

I am perfectly happy letting the military police state take over even more basic functions, like deciding who stays in GITMO, or what medical care I a authorized to receive. People are incapable of taking care of themselves We must have a strong U.S. Government to protect the rights of the week.

-Can I get an amen.

Re:The Dept of Homeland security does not make mis (1)

richardkelleher (1184251) | about 4 years ago | (#31561818)

I love your sarcasm, but your English teachers were probably all happy when you left. I mean really, "rights of the week", who writes that, and for gods sake, to do it in public, what were you thinking!

Re:The Dept of Homeland security does not make mis (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 4 years ago | (#31585588)

I don't understand your complaint. This week, March 21-27, the right-of-the-week is the right to indulge in bad spelling and grammar.

Next week it's eating nachos while wearing unlaundered trackpants.

Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31547066)

This will be our new HQ.

"Open up, it's the police" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 years ago | (#31547228)

Yeah, yeah, who else?

But seriously, how hard is it to wipe your database before going live?

Re:"Open up, it's the police" (1)

sjames (1099) | about 4 years ago | (#31560414)

Or use an amusing fake address like 1313 Mockingbird lane rather than a real one for testing purposes.

Re:"Open up, it's the police" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 years ago | (#31563946)

123 Fake Street. Waitasec, that one existed... but led to an arrest, so it's ok I guess.

Re:"Open up, it's the police" (1)

sjames (1099) | about 4 years ago | (#31563972)

It is a good idea to make sure the "fake" address is actually non-existent :-).

Re:"Open up, it's the police" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 years ago | (#31564910)

Why? It's more entertaining to make it a real one. If you manage to keep an eye on it, too, you also get a good heads-up when someone's coming for you.

Re:"Open up, it's the police" (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | about 4 years ago | (#31575310)

Depending on the integration between the system and their database of city addresses, it was probably non-trivial to test the entire system with a non-existent address. Do you skip testing the address verification, or do you add fake addresses to the database?

Re:"Open up, it's the police" (1)

sjames (1099) | about 4 years ago | (#31579596)

You find the address of that asshole middle manager who thinks he's actually better than everyone else and test with that :-)

Re:"Open up, it's the police" (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | about 4 years ago | (#31575978)

1060 W. Addison

Re:"Open up, it's the police" (1)

Glonoinha (587375) | about 4 years ago | (#31613700)

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Let the cops raid that one a few times, see what happens.
There's a black family living there but they don't take no shit from cops.
He's the kind of man that would say 'Do you know who I am? I'll have your badge!' with enough authority that the cops would back down, I betcha.

It could be worse (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31547276)

The Martins should be glad they're not black or latino.

Re:It could be worse (1)

richardkelleher (1184251) | about 4 years ago | (#31561838)

True, they would both be dead by now, or one dead and the other in prison for life because the cops framed her for killing him after they killed him.

eight years and you haven't sued? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31548066)

sue old lady sue before you die

The computer is your friend, citizen. (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | about 4 years ago | (#31556858)

The computer is happy. :D
The computer is crazy. :3
The computer will help you become happy. :D
This will drive you crazy. <_>

What Happen if (1)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | about 4 years ago | (#31570062)

They actually have a real emergency at their home, is the police going to double check the address before sending someone over?

Now, we can't have bad morale! (1)

SilasMortimer (1612867) | about 4 years ago | (#31572344)

The Computer is infallible, citizens. Now maybe a good round of our fight song will cheer us up!

Sing with me:

Mine eyes have seen the coming of another commie horde...

It seems as if everyone is trying to blame... (1)

krazytekn0 (1069802) | about 4 years ago | (#31596408)

The police. It seems relatively obvious that it was the municipal IT department or the software company that wrote the dispatch system, which is at fault here. But let's all jump on the Police officers' cause that's who gets blamed for everything. Damn Cops! Let's not consider that they probably were dispatched to the address and had no choice but to go. If police officers could just not go to a dispatched call because they thought it might be erroneous based on the address and there was a real emergency there then they would have criminal culpability.
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