Mayvernie Williams says she stepped out of her home at 15 Chamberlain St. in Dorchester three years ago for a trip to a nail salon - only to find herself held captive in her own car for more than an hour by SWAT cops who kept their guns trained on her even after they realized her address wasn't the one they were supposed to raid.
Williams yesterday sued Boston, Boston Police and 20 unnamed BPD officers for the incident, which she says terrified her so much she soiled herself as she lay, scrunched up across the front seats of her car, on orders of SWAT officers who were after a guy in the adjoining half of the two-family house - 11 Chamberlain St.
In her complaint, filed in Suffolk Superior Court,, she claims that last year, about four months after she had formally filed a complaint with BPD, another large contingent of cops, many again in SWAT uniforms, surrounded her home and car as some banged on her door and then demanded to know where the guy they'd been after in 2019 was - even though, as she told them, she hadn't seen him since the last time they showed up in force to arrest him and that if they had bothered to look, they would have seen her door was still marked with a large "15," which is not the same as "11."
The complaint says that when Williams walked out of her home on the afternoon of March 20, 2019, she immediately found herself in a maelstrom of heavily armed and armor-wearing cops, and that as soon as she got in her car, they swarmed her and ordered her to hand over the key through the window,
Williams says that even after the officers realized she was not the target of the raid - she's over 60, the man they wanted was 19 - they refused to let her out of her car, supposedly for fear she might somehow interfere with their raid, in which they did ultimately arrest the right guy. She says she began to scream in panic and that cops yelled at her to shut up and eventually ordered her to scrunch down across the front seat.
After it was all finished, a police captain did apologize and offer to call an ambulance; Williams says she responded "just let me go." She says she did make it to the nail salon, but was so distraught, she couldn't stay. That night, the suit continues, she went to Carney Hospital, where she was kept overnight because of a racing heart and "extreme anxiety symptoms."
Williams alleges police failed to familiarize themselves with the layout of the correct address and surrounding area and had no probable cause to suspect she was in any way involved in a crime, let alone to "seize, threaten or terrorize" her.
Today, three years later, the suit continues, she still suffers panic attacks, nightmares and other symptoms related to the incident and that she continues to undergo treatment for PTSD.
She is seeking the $68,000 she says she's already spent on counseling and medical care, plus damages for violations of her civil rights, assault, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress.