A claim of an illegal search of David Neal Mack's first-floor apartment last spring has prompted the East Side resident to publicly complain about ongoing mistreatment by city police and to demand restitution for doors damaged in the search.
Buffalo City Court records confirm that while Judge Craig D. Hannah signed a search warrant for a second-floor apartment at the two-story home Mack owns at 707 Walden Ave., there was no authorization to enter Mack's residence on the first floor.
"We gave authority for the upper floor to be searched," a court spokesman said.
The search for narcotics was carried out by Buffalo police at about 6 p.m. April 23, and for months Mack has been making a case that officers had no authority to enter his apartment. The News began seeking information on the warrant last spring. Court officials just last week located the warrant paperwork and confirmed Mack's assertion that only the second floor could be searched.
"A woman had lived upstairs and opened the door to her apartment when the police knocked," Mack said. "They didn't find anything. Then they came downstairs and busted down my door. My son and a neighbor were in the apartment at the time, and the police found nothing."
He said he has met with members of the police department's Internal Affairs Division and has been contacted by a representative of the city Corporation Counsel office.
"I'm in the process of getting repair estimates for the doors. I've nailed them back together, but they are broken," Mack said.
Mack said he believes the unauthorized search of his home and other recent incidents involving police are a continuation of mistreatment by officers. On Nov. 1, 2006, he said, he was attacked and falsely arrested by police. However, a State Supreme Court jury exonerated the Buffalo Police Department last February in a civil case Mack filed against five officers.
The Nov. 1 incident resulted in the firing of an African-American police officer who intervened when a white police supervisor was arresting Mack. The female officer said the supervisor was choking Mack during the arrest outside his home. A departmental administrative proceeding determined the officer wrongly interfered with the supervisor.
As for the search warrant, Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said that because an internal investigation is continuing, he cannot comment.