Updated 02/20/2008 04:41 PM
PD, chief, village receive notice of claim from Jaliek's parents
GREENWICH, N.Y. - The Greenwich Police Department, Chief George Bell, and the village received a notice of claim Tuesday morning -- a precursor to a lawsuit -- after Jaliek Rainwalker's adoptive parents Stephen Kerr and Jocelyn McDonald say police entered their home on February 7th without a search warrant.
Washington County DA Kevin Kortright said he does not want to discuss the case on camera, but he did say he does not believe the department acted unlawfully.
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He made a statement saying, "I have worked with the Greenwich Police Department for many years and the officers have always acted lawfully. I have faith that the department and the chief did what they needed to do to obtain evidence without breaking the law."
Meanwhile, Chief George Bell continues to defend the actions of his department.
He said, "I believe we handled ourselves within the color of the law that day when we entered 11 Hill Street."
Bell said his officers did enter the home before the search warrant was issued, but they did not do anything illegal.
"There was no searching done until the search warrant was in our hands and signed by the judge."
Bell also said Stephen and Jocelyn were home when police got there, but they were not detained by police. Their lawyer said the couple was illegally detained the day police seized the evidence from the home.
"It's just another thing that Stephen and Jocelyn...it just shows where their intent is. It's not about finding Jaliek. It's about throwing up these smoke screens all around the case," said Bell.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey McMorris who is representing the couple said they have one year to decide whether or not to go ahead with a full fledged lawsuit. He said his clients have felt that since Day 1 police have been trying to convict Stephen Kerr of a crime, and he adds that McDonald and Kerr believe Jaliek is alive and still hope he comes home safely.