A Miami federal judge is throwing out a lawsuit claiming six federal agents used excessive force in the armed raid to seize Elian Gonzalez at the home of his Miami relatives four years ago.
The 14-page order comes from Judge Marcia Cooke. It concludes the agents who conducted the raid were legally immune to the lawsuit, and she found no constitutional violations.
The lawsuit notes the April 2000 raid team broke down the front door unannounced, sprayed irritating gas, held people at gunpoint and shouted obscenities. A famous Associated Press photograph showed a frightened Elian in a closet, shrinking away from an armed marshal dressed in SWAT clothing during the raid.
The boy, who is now ten, was returned home to Cuba with his father after the raid.
The suit was the sixth filed over the raid, including three by people at the house and three by a whistle-blowing immigration agent who claimed an anti-Cuban bias at the Miami office of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service. The agent reached a settlement. None of the cases have gone to trial.