Friday, April 29, 2011 at 1:23 p.m.
Here's the full text of Sheriff Al Lamberti's statement in which he apologizes to Judge Ilona Holmes:
"This past Sunday the Broward Sheriff's Office responded to a report of a home burglary in progress from a concerned citizen who provided incorrect information regarding the home address. On scene, the deputies continued to receive incorrect information from the citizen and, based upon this information, believed they were at the correct address.
A report of a burglary in progress at a residence is an extremely dangerous and tense situation for law enforcement, which requires an assertive response. The Broward Sheriff's Office is evaluating the circumstances of this incident to ensure that appropriate response procedures were followed.
We deeply regret that Judge Holmes and her family went through this experience and understand that this incident, resulting from a series of unfortunate events, may have been traumatic for them."
How about "was traumatic for them," Al. Couldn't take that leap?
It's really not quite an apology, but the sheriff's "deep regret" at least acknowledges an ounce of contrition. Let's hope they really do look at what happened here -- because the fact is that the raid was nonsensical. Not only was the proper location of the house miscommunicated between the neighbor and deputies but the lead officer had seen that a man was casually doing dishes in the kitchen of the home before all the gunplay occurred. That should have really lessened the need for such an "assertive response." The whole thing made no sense. If nothing else, this story should serve as a reminder for all law enforcement officers -- not just those involved in the incident -- to make damned sure they aren't engaging in folly before they aim guns at a family and treat them like criminals when all they've done is enjoy Easter dinner.