Two drug raids last Wednesday, one in Miami Lakes, Florida, and one in New Orleans, have resulted in the deaths of two men, one in each raid. Michael Ray Santana, 26, of Miami Lakes and Wendell Allen, 20, of New Orleans become the 14th and 15th persons to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.
Santana was the subject of the police investigation, and police said they found numerous firearms and a substantial amount of unspecified "narcotics" in the residence.
In New Orleans, according to police, Allen was shot in the chest and killed by a police officer serving a search warrant at a home where he was present. Officers from both the New Orleans Police Department and Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Department took part in the raid, but the identity of the officer who fired the fatal shot has not been made public.
Police made no mention of any weapons found.
New Orleans Police Superintedant Ronal Serpas said the house in the Gentilly district had been under surveillance for several days.
"Today, multiple narcotics transactions of a distribution nature were observed," he said, adding that a person who left the house was later charged arrested for intent to distribute "narcotics."
Serpa did not identify either the shooter or the dead man, and he didn't take questions during a brief press conference.
But a distraught woman at the scene of the shooting told the New Orleans Times-Picayune he was her grandson, Wendell Allen.
Allen's shooting was the second fatal police shooting in the NOPD's 3rd District in less than a week.
As people milled around the scene of the shooting, one woman screamed, "Lord have mercy! Why does this stuff keep happening?" Another shouted, "The policeman killed him. They killed my baby."
Allen had one arrest on his record, for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. He was one year into a five-year suspended sentence when he was shot and killed.
In the days since Allen's death last week, a growing clamor has arisen.The Louisiana Justice Institute is threatening to sue the city unless it releases more information on the killing. Police have yet to supply a narrative of what happened, and the officer who pulled the trigger has yet to be interviewed. Family members and community activists demonstrated last Friday and again on Tuesday to keep up the pressure.
What is clear is that the raid was aimed at small-time marijuana dealing, and Allen wasn't the subject of the raid.