Boston sued in minister's death

April 5, 1995
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BOSTON, April 5 -- The family of a retired minister who was scared to death when drug police mistakenly raided his Boston apartment filed a multimillion dollar suit Wednesday against the city. The Rev. Accelyne Williams, 75, died of a heart attack in the raid in March 1994 and his family has already refused a $600,000 settlement offer.

Attorney Henry F. Owens III filed the suit in Suffolk Superior Court. Owens, who represents Williams' widow, Mary Williams, said the family has tried to settle the case with the city for the past year without success. He said the 'city's value of Rev. Accelyn Williams' life and our value of his life are obviously very, very different.' The suit seeks both compensatory and punitive damages. The suit names Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and top police officials in addition to the officers who took part in the bungled raid. A team 13 heavily armed police officers burst into the minister's apartment with a no-knock search warrant obtained with information received from a confidential drug informant. The shocked minister suffered a heart attack when the raiders wrestled him to the floor. Police later admitted they not only raided the wrong apartment, but were on the wrong floor in the apartment house. Menino's office said it was 'regrettable' Williams' family has decided to go ahead with the suit. 'We had hoped to be able to find an equitable solution for both sides,' he said in a statement.

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