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Florida Woman Sues Sheriff, Claims Deputies Forced Her Out of Home Naked Twice During Warrant Executions

A Florida woman has filed a lawsuit against the sheriff of a department recently scrutinized for the fatal shooting of a Black Air Force senior airman. She claims deputies twice forced her out of her home naked while executing warrants.

LaTanya Griffin, who was neither arrested nor charged during these encounters, is seeking over $1 million in damages from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. Her suit alleges that her Fourth Amendment rights, which protect against unreasonable searches and seizures, were violated when deputies compelled her to exit her home unclothed on August 29, 2019, and again on May 28, 2020. Her attorney states she was not the target of the warrants.

Filed in federal court Monday evening, the lawsuit names Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden and retired deputy Grady Carpenter as defendants. Carpenter is accused of overseeing Griffin's "naked seizure" during the May 2020 incident. Aden and Carpenter have not yet commented.

Griffin, 46, had previously sued the sheriff's office last August over the 2019 incident. That suit claims deputies used a battering ram to enter her home, ordered her to remain naked at gunpoint in front of officers, the public, and her children, ages six and fourteen.

Defendants in the earlier suit include Aden, Carpenter, and deputy Raphael Brown, who also have not commented. The sheriff’s office lawyers defended the deputies’ actions as “established, reasonable, and generally accepted police procedure,” stating they acted in good faith within their employment scope. This suit remains in the discovery phase, according to Griffin's attorney Kevin Anderson.

The new lawsuit alleges the May 2020 incident was similar to the 2019 encounter, involving an arrest warrant executed at dawn at Griffin’s home. Carpenter is accused of failing to prevent the violation of her rights. The suit details that her children observed her naked detention for a significant time, and she was eventually partially covered with a tank top.

Anderson stated that Griffin, humiliated by these events, has since moved to northern Florida. He described the deputies' actions as "abhorrent" and claimed they took no steps to preserve her dignity, treating her "like an animal."

Griffin's ordeal extended beyond her home to the roadside and a law enforcement vehicle, causing her significant emotional and physical distress. She is seeking damages for medical care, lost earnings, and relocation expenses.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office is already under scrutiny following a deputy's fatal shooting of Air Force Senior Airman Roger Fortson on May 3, and for another incident where a deputy, mistaking an acorn hitting his vehicle for a gunshot, fired at a police SUV with a handcuffed Black man inside. The deputy resigned following this incident.

Anderson called for the sheriff's office to be investigated by an external agency, ideally the Justice Department, citing numerous instances of misconduct and misuse of force.

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