US Marshals with their guns drawn raided the wrong apartment while searching for a murder suspect in Florida last Friday, forcing a young mother carrying her 3-month-old baby outside at gunpoint, video of the intense encounter shows.
According to WFLA, Kada Staples, 22, was napping with her months-old child when US Marshals demanded she open the door. In the video of the incident, which was caught using a doorbell camera, one US Marshal is seen pointing a rifle at her door while another wields a handgun.
Apparently confused, Staples says, “Hello?” to which the Marshals respond, “US Marshals, open the door.”
“I’m putting my dog in his cage,” Staples says.
“Alright. Tell him to come out with his hands up. We know he’s in there. The place is surrounded,” one of the Marshals warns.
Frantically, Staples responds, “I’m coming! Hold on, hold on, I’m coming.”
“I cracked the door open and they pushed the door open and pushed me and my baby out of the way. They are holding us at gunpoint, screaming, there is a gun about a foot away from her face, ” Staples told WFLA, adding that the Marshals kept repeating, “We know Jamar is in there.”
“With that, they run in my apartment. There’s probably 6 or 7 of them out there with guns. Three or 4 of them run into my apartment and are running around. They are still yelling at me that I’m lying,” the young mother continued.
Staples can be heard crying while surrounded by the Marshals when the officers realize they entered the wrong apartment. “You guys came to the wrong apartment,” Staples laughs uncomfortably, apparently stunned by the ordeal.
Without saying another word to Staples, the group of Marshals slams the door shut and take off down the stairs of the apartment complex.
“No ‘sorry,’ no nothing. They tell me, ‘you’re good’ and another one said ‘you’re fine,’” Staples said.
Staples said she later contacted the U.S. Marshals Service to find out why the officers raided her apartment. She also asked if the service could provide a mental health counselor to help her overcome the anxiety-inducing incident.
She said the man she spoke with on the phone told her to take melatonin and “get over it.”
NBC News reported that a statement from the U.S. Marshals Service said the suspect wanted for homicide was apprehended on the same floor after the wrong door was knocked. The statement also claimed Staples’ apartment “was not a target of the investigation,” and “team members did not make entry.”
The statement offered no apology to Staples and also said that if she had “not made contact with the team through the Ring doorbell, the team would not have had any contact with anyone” in her apartment, despite the video and audio evidence revealing that the officers demanded she exit the apartment at gunpoint.