WAUKEE, Iowa — A central Iowa city will pay $70,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman after officers broke down her apartment door and arrested her when she refused to let them in without a warrant.
Angela Renze’s lawsuit said her privacy was invaded and she was wrongly arrested after Waukee police forced their way into her condo while responding to a report of loud screaming in the building in July 2015, The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/2rzBoQx ) reported.
Officers were told by dispatch that a man who’d been associated with the condo in the past was wanted by Des Moines police. Renze said the man is her ex-boyfriend.
But she said she was dating the man at the time, and she testified she was alone in her apartment when officers knocked on the door. Renze said she asked officers to leave if they didn’t have a warrant and offered to meet them in the building’s entry way, but they broke down the door instead.
The 44-year-old was jailed for interference with official acts. A magistrate later ruled she wasn’t guilty because there weren’t signs of danger or violence that justified the officers’ acts.
“It was not reasonable to break through the defendant’s door, only to storm into her home en masse, make no effort to check her condition or render aid, and then to immediately begin conducting a warrant-less search,” wrote Dallas County Magistrate Leslie Clemenson.
Renze agreed to drop her civil rights lawsuit against the Waukee Police Department and the officers as part of the settlement. Under the deal’s terms, the police department and the officers “deny that they have done anything improper or illegal concerning the incident.”
Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com