A US mother is suing the city she lives in after two police officers illegally entered her home and arrested her while she wore only a towel, with her frightened daughter recording the incident.
Esmeralda Rossi was in the shower when her daughter told her police were at her front door in Chandler, Arizona.
The mother put on a towel and opened the door to two officers who told her they were responding to call about an argument with her estranged husband, ABC15 News reported today.
She told them she was getting her phone so she could record any conversation and closed the door after one of the police, Officer Doug Rose, became aggressive.
Seconds later the officers entered her home without a warrant.
“It made me very uncomfortable,” Ms Rossi said.
“So I closed the door. I turn to go into my living room, and I probably get about five steps in; and all of a sudden, I just hear boots running in after me, telling me stop or I’ll arrest you.”
With Ms Rossi’s daughter recording, Officer Rose walked up to Ms Rossi in her kitchen.
Holding her own phone and her towel up with her hand, Ms Rossi recorded as Officer Rose confronted and lectured her before he started making the arrest.
The officer slapped handcuffs on the mother, making her drop her towel and leaving her naked in front of the other male officer and her daughter.
“I felt helpless. I felt violated. And honestly, I felt molested,” Ms Rossi said.
In the confronting video Ms Rossi and her daughter both scream in terror as Officer Rose manhandles the woman.
He berated her for 20 minutes about his authority before making her daughter remove the cuffs.
She was never changed, but the police report states Officer Rose felt the mother was trying to agitate him.
Ms Rossi admitted she became agitated after the officers entered her home unlawfully.
Lawyer Marc Victor said the mother “had every right to be upset” with the police after they entered her home illegally.
“Any one of us would be upset if a police officer barged into our homes without permission,” he said.
Chandler Police internal investigators found Officer Rose, since retired, had entered the home illegally and also failed to document Ms Rossi’s arrest, her release and the fact she was naked.
The other officer was cleared of any wrongdoing.