Family files lawsuit after losing home in fire during SWAT operation

Family files lawsuit after losing home in fire during SWAT operation

A local family is suing the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County because of a SWAT operation that caused a deadly fire at their home. A teen boy died in that fire.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. ā€“ A local family is suing the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County because of a SWAT operation that caused a deadly fire at their home. A teen boy died in that fire. 

This happened in July 2022. APD officers and Bernalillo County deputies were looking for murder suspect, Qiaunt Kelley.

Police say he barricaded himself inside a southeast Albuquerque house. 15-year-old Brett Rosenau was also inside.

Investigators say a gas canister thrown by a deputy started the fire, and the teen died from smoke inhalation.

Now, the Coleman family, who owned the home, along with the ACLU is suing APD and BCSO. They claim the agencies violated their Constitutional rights.Ā 

ā€œI think the, the point of this lawsuit is, essentially, the police shouldn’t be burning down people’s homes. You know, the home is an essential part of our lives, we spend something like 90% of our time indoors, it’s where we go to feel safe, where we connect with our family, and it’s a space that should be protected,” said Attorney Sam Walker. “Well, my primary goal is to get justice for the Coleman family, which means getting them back in their home, getting them compensation for their home, and getting them some kind of justice for the things that aren’t replaceable.ā€

Earlier this year, Brett Rosenau’s family settled with the city for $750,000.

As for Kelley, police arrested him during that SWAT situation. He is now charged with homicide and aggravated battery.

Right now, everything is on hold while he undergoes a competency evaluation.