- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) - Three police officers in southwest Idaho accused of illegally busting down the door of an apartment are appealing a federal judge’s decision that there is enough evidence to go to trial.

The Idaho Press-Tribune (https://bit.ly/1jvzRH3 ) reports that Caldwell officers James Davis, Chad Hessman and Josh Bridges filed the appeal Friday.

According to court documents, the officers were investigating online threats allegedly made by William Gerst, but entered the wrong apartment guns drawn without a warrant and without announcing their presence. David, Connie and Aaron Johnson - who all lived in the mistaken apartment and were detained by the officers - have filed a lawsuit claiming their rights were violated.

In April, U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale ordered there was enough evidence to move the Johnsons’ case to trial. The order was later upheld by U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge in September.

In Lodge’s order, police officers were investigating Gerst because of Facebook posts threating to beat a woman because she took $25 from him. Gerst also posted a photo of a naked woman covered in blood who looked like she was dead.

After knocking down the Johnsons’ door, Caldwell police realized Gerst lived in the apartment next door and arrested him. Police did not find an injured woman, but did find marijuana and a bong.

The Johnsons’ argue that police used excessive force and did not have enough evidence to justify an emergency entrance to a private residence without permission.

The case will not go to trial until the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reviews the officers’ appeal.


Information from: Idaho Press-Tribune, https://www.idahopress.com

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