Denver to pay grandma $3.76 million over 'Find Me' error

Police who mistakenly raided an elderly woman's home for a stolen truck and gun using Apple's Find My feature cost to the City of Denver $3.76 million in compensation and damages.

Denver police attempting to recover a stolen truck containing guns, ammo and cash in January 2022 used Apple's Find My technology on another iPhone to locate the vehicle, but targeted the wrong house in a fairly large area to raid. in an attempt to catch the thieves.

As a result, 78-year-old grandmother Ruby Johnson received a significant award from the jury in the resulting lawsuit.

The city will pay $3.76 million in damages, even though the defendant officers — Detective Gary Staab and Sgt. Gregory Bushey — were sued as individuals. Denver police previously cleared both men of any wrongdoing, but jurors disagreed.

“We are concerned about the lack of training or changes in policy and hope that the amount of the fines sends a clear message that the police department must take the constitutional rights of its residents seriously,” Johnson said. Attorney Tim McDonald told CNN. A Denver District Court clerk said the city has not yet filed an appeal of the verdict.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the case on Ms. Johnson's behalf, noted that the raid was based on “an alleged location ping from the Find My iPhone app made by officers.” Police relied on a “Find Me” ping from an iPhone 11 that was likely still in the stolen truck, but the area identified included parts of six other properties in four city blocks.

The ACLU and the jury found that the two police officers who ordered the raid had no reason to target Ms. Johnson's home. The officers are liable for approximately $1.25 million each in punitive and compensatory damages. .

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