Woman, daughter suing Center Police, sheriff over search warrant

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Shelbyville woman and her daughter are suing Center Police and the Shelby County sheriff following the service of a search warrant at their home.

According to the complaint filed in federal court, the officers served the warrant on June 5, 2012.

Beatrice Cartwright, 76, and her daughter, Bertie Cartwright, 55, were at the home when the "catastrophe occurred," according to the complaint.

"The Defendants needlessly terrorized Plaintiffs. In fact, Plaintiff Beatrice Cartwright was too scared to cry and prayed," according to the complaint.

The complaint states one of the officers pulled her arm back too far and she had to later be treated for injury.

It also states the officers trashed the house and even broke the mother's bed. The pair had to sit on the cold, wet steps for a long time, according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs' attorney, Curtis Stuckey, alleges the use of force was a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, which prohibits law enforcement from depriving citizens without taking steps to ensure fairness.

The complaint does not state whether the officers found what they were looking for or if the Cartwrights were arrested. County records show they had never been booked in the jail.

Stuckey declined to comment on the case. Sheriff Willis Blackwell said he would not comment on the case, because Center Police had obtained the warrant and he just went along with them to serve it. A call to Center Police Chief Jim Albers for comment had not been immediately returned.

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