LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A lawyer representing a man suing the Little Rock Police Department says the FBI is investigating the force over its use of “no-knock” warrants in drug and weapons raids.
Attorney Mike Laux says the FBI reached out to him as the lawsuit on behalf of Roderick Talley gained national attention. Talley videotaped an explosive raid on his apartment in August 2017.
“As we speak there is an FBI investigation of the Little Rock police department over these matters,” Laux said in an exclusive interview he said came hours after his latest meeting with special agents in Little Rock.
“They seem to be quite interested in learning more about this matter, the pattern that we allege, as part of their corruptions investigation.”
Talley sued the LRPD and the city after discovering the raid on his apartment was based on information from a confidential informant. The man told detectives he had purchased drugs from Talley and the detectives used that information to conduct a tactical entry using an explosive to blast the front door.
In addition to footage of the raid, Talley produced surveillance that discredited the informant’s account. Police allegedly found only a small amount of a “green leafy substance.” Charges against Talley were later dropped.
After Laux and co-counsel Ben Crump took on the case, other people came forward with similar stories. The lawsuit alleges that the LRPD made a habit using questionable information to obtain “no-knock” warrants and didn’t rely on pre-formatted affidavits to bring before issuing judges.
“We were contacted by the FBI late last year,” Laux said. “They expressed interest in interviewing some of our clients.”
In an unrelated move, Laux asked the judge in Talley’s civil case to allow it to be withdrawn with plans to refile it at a later time. He says they have been inundated with people coming forward and are trying to vet each potential plaintiff to present their best case.
“When we first filed, there were upwards of 60 individuals who claim to be victims to varying degrees, of the no-knock raid pattern that we've established,” he said.
“Even since that filing, more have come forward. We're looking at over 100 people at this point.”
A spokesperson for the police department said they were not aware of any investigation, and a representative of Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. referred questions to police when informed of Laux’s meetings with federal officials.
The FBI said they would have no comment.