Martinez Family Lawsuit: $1.8 Million Award After Police Raid on Wrong House

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When our original article was published, the Martinezes were represented by attorney Qusair Mohamedbhai, who was working with David Lane's law firm. Since then, Mohamedbhai has become a principal in a new enterprise, Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC, with Lane and associate Kathryn Stimson seeing the case to its conclusion. However, Mohamedbhai's 2011 account of what happened remains on point.

Back then, he described the Martinezes as "a family Mexican band. They've even done fundraising for other law enforcement, like in Adams County. They're good people. Nobody's got criminal records."

According to Mohamedbhai, "the Martinez family moved into a house at 1263 Stuart Street in December of '08, about a month before the incident went down. The police were, I suppose, working on stale information about the former tenants presumably being into drugs and prostitution and some bad stuff. But those guys had been gone for a while. According to the landlord, the house had stayed empty for five or six weeks prior to the Martinez family moving in.

Cut to January 27, 2009, just past 11 p.m., when members of the District 1 Special Crime Attack Team, better known as SCAT, arrived at the Martinez home. "They had no warrant, no application for a warrant, nothing," Mohamedbhai told us. "They come in hard, kind of expecting to come into a drug den. The father [Daniel Martinez Jr.] opens the door a crack and cops rush in and engage three of the Martinez family -- the father and three of the kids [Jonathan, age sixteen at the time, Nathan, nineteen, and Daniel III, 21]. They punched first, asked questions later. One of the kids [Jonathan] got his head put through a window, and another one [Nathan] got punched so hard that he was launched into the air and staggered back. Then two of them got body slammed outside."

Once everyone was cuffed, Mohamedbhai said the officers assembled everyone on a couch inside the house -- "and they look around and realize they're in a little family house, not a drug den. Then they ask everyone for their socials, and they've all got them; they're all citizens. So they trump up this story that the kids attacked them once the police came in the house upon consent. That's their version -- that the dad let them in and the kids started swinging on these huge cops."

Mohamedbhai insisted that this last descriptor wasn't hyperbole. "One of the cops is six-five, another one is six-four. And Jonathan Martinez, he's something like 120 pounds."

Continue for more about the $1.8 million jury award to the Martinez family.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts