Constitutional Law

Death certificate posted on door does not deter police from raids seeking dead man, suit says

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James Jordan Sr. has been dead since 2006. But even though his death certificate is taped to the front door of his widow’s apartment in Brooklyn, the New York City Police Department keeps raiding it looking for him, a federal lawsuit alleges.

There have been four such raids so far this year, leaving the home in disarray and upsetting Jordan’s surviving family, says his widow, Karen Fennell. Her lawyer, Ugochukwu Uzoh, said Jordan’s son, James Jr., and a friend were arrested during one raid last year for possession of a pocketknife, but the case was later dropped, according to the New York Daily News and the New York Post.

Karen Fennell says she is mystified about why the police are so focused on finding her husband, a security guard who supported eight children and was last arrested in 1996 for jumping a turnstile. James Jordan Jr., who is 31 years old, had no criminal history prior to the pocketknife case.

“They tell me to be quiet or they’ll lock me up,” she told the Post, referring to the police. “So they go through my entire house, turning out drawers, looking in closets, harassing my children and asking them terrible questions.”

Her suit was filed Monday in federal court in Brooklyn.

The city declined to comment when contacted by the newspapers.

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