Grandmother Gets $3.7M Over False Find My iPhone Raid

In a significant ruling, a Denver grandmother, Ruby Johnson, has been awarded $3.76 million after her home was raided by police based on a false Find My iPhone signal to track stolen goods.

Ruby Johnson, 78, endured the distress of being forced out of her home, clad only in a bathrobe, while law enforcement carried out the raid.

The jury’s verdict, delivered on the 4th of January, 2022, concluded that the raid lacked “probable cause” and violated Johnson’s constitutional rights. The compensation awarded includes $1.26 million in compensatory damages and $2.5 million in punitive damages.

The incident stemmed from a report of a stolen truck from a hotel parking garage, which allegedly contained firearms, cash, and an old iPhone 11. The truck owner, staying at the hotel, used the Find My iPhone app to locate the device near Johnson’s residence.

Acting on this information, Denver police obtained a search warrant, which led to the dramatic raid on Johnson’s home. Despite the forceful entry, nothing incriminating was found, and Johnson’s property suffered damage in the process, including a broken garage door and a damaged collectible doll.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, representing Johnson, views the compensation as a step towards justice. However, Johnson and her home continue to bear the scars of the traumatic incident, having since relocated and experienced health issues.

Tim Macdonald, legal director of the ACLU, emphasized the significance of the case in holding law enforcement accountable for entering homes without adequate probable cause, as mandated by Colorado’s Constitution.

Efforts to reach the Denver Police Department for comment have been made but remain unanswered at this time.