January 30, 2009, - 5:00 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
The story of Tasha Flowers is incredible for two reasons: 1) it shows the extent of the chutzpah of squatters and trespassers to lie, file lawsuits, and use the courts to avoid justice and remain in homes where they don’t belong, and 2) it shows how the mainstream media simply doesn’t do its job and merely regurgitates, rather than doing any actual original reporting.
Tasha Flowers, a Detroit single mom, broke into a foreclosed home in a fancy Detroit neighborhood and squatted there with her SEVEN children. When police came to escort her and the family out, it was done nicely and orderly, according to neighbors and witnesses from the Neighborhood Association. But Flowers filed a lawsuit against Detroit Police claiming that Detroit Police beat her and her family (they have no pictures or hospital records, according to reports), and that they came to “her” house the next day to apologize, along with gift cards to Walmart and Target and $100.
First watch this report by FOX 2 News Detroit’s Andrea Isom, which shows what’s really going on here.
But that’s not how the Detroit media–both newspapers, the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit Newsistan–covered it. Posted below are their stories. From the way they “report,” er . . . regurgiatate it, you’d never know that this was a foreclosed home that Ms. Flowers didn’t own, nor did she belong in it, and that she was a squatter. They don’t even report the real reason why police were there–ie., to escort her out. Nope. Both reporters, George Hunter and Zlati Meyer, merely regurgitated what the lawsuit claimed and didn’t do any of their own reporting. Had they done so, as FOX 2 News’ Andrea Isom did, they’d have discovered this woman doesn’t belong in the house. And something’s seriously wrong with the Detroit Police Department’s press people for not telling them about this tiny detail (that the woman was squatting and it isn’t her home).
Even worse, many national media outlets picked up on their phony stories, including the Chicago Tribune, MSNBC, etc., all of whom reported on the alleged Detroit police brutality, and none of whom reported that this woman is a squatter.
Yet another reason why you can’t believe anything you read in the papers.
Cash and gift cards from Walmart and Target stores were allegedly offered as bribes to a 36-year-old woman if she agreed to keep quiet about a group of officers who broke into her home and assaulted her and her children, the woman claims in a lawsuit.
Attorneys for Tasha Flowers filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Wayne County Circuit Court, seeking $15 million in damages stemming from the alleged Jan. 3 incident.
Flowers claims in the lawsuit that several Detroit police officers from the department’s Western District responded to a neighbor’s complaint that she was selling drugs in her home on Shrewsbury. The police rushed into Flowers’ home without her permission and without a search warrant.
“They showed up at my door and pointed a gun at me,” Flowers said. “Then the officers pushed past me into my house and started asking me about drugs and guns. They pushed my daughter, and threw me to the ground and twisted my arm. Then the lieutenant grabbed my 14-year-old son in a chokehold until he was unconscious.”
Flowers said the group of about 10 officers began assaulting her other six children, ages 8 to 17, who she said suffered cuts, scrapes and bruises.
Then, the next day, Flowers said the lieutenant in charge of the officers paid a second visit to her home.
“He said he felt bad about what he’d done, and asked if there was anything he could do to make up for it,” Flowers said. “Then he offered me two gift cards: One from Walmart and Target; and $100.”
Flowers said she turned over the money and gift cards to Detroit Police Internal Affairs investigators.
Cmdr. Brian Stair of the Internal Affairs Section acknowledged that investigators are looking into the allegations.
A Detroit woman and her seven children ages 9-18 are suing the Detroit Police Department for $15 million, because they allege officers attacked them without provocation in their home earlier this month.
Tasha Flowers said Thursday that approximately 14 police officers barged into her home in the 19000 block of Shrewsbury about 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 3 without a search warrant, demanding to know where drugs and guns were. After she explained she didn’t have any, she said they twisted her arm and tried to handcuff her, while her children and two of their friends were there.
The following day, a police officer came back with $25 gift certificates to Wal-Mart and Target, $100 in cash and the promise to bring a cashmere coat because he felt bad about the alleged attack, Flowers said.
“It was awful; it was a nightmare,” she said. “Every time I think about it, I see him punching my kids.”
The officers terrorized the 10 people in the house for close to two hours, court documents indicate.
Sandra Flowers, 13, who suffered bruises to her neck and chest, said officers used the N-word during the attack.
“I saw them beating on them, stomping on them, kicking,” she said.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Wayne County Circuit Court, doesn’t identify any of the officers, except a Lt. Rashawn, because the police department hasn’t released the runs sheets, attorney Karri Mitchell explained.
“It’s under investigation by Internal Affairs,” Detroit Police Sgt. Eren Stephens Bell said Thursday.
Again, proof positive you shouldn’t believe anything you read in the newspapers.