Local group describes 'terrifying' trip to Puerto Rico as police raided them

Posted at 4:45 PM, Oct 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-23 16:57:09-04

A grassroots relief group based out Tampa returned home from what they called a 'terrifying' trip to Puerto Rico after they say local police raided their headquarters while helping with relief efforts. 

Carrington Cox, with several others with Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, went to a small town on the hurricane devastated island where they were questioned for being there and searched for weapons. 

Cox tells ABC Action News it was about day five into their trip after delivering 120,000 pounds of food, water and supplies when they were raided in the early morning. 

"They swept through the house, brought us all out at gunpoint and then went through looking for guns and bombs," he said. 

Cox said he thought it was a prank, and case of swatting, but after a thorough search the relief workers were questioned about why they were in Puerto Rico. Cox said members in the relief group are part of Black Lives Matter, and they were questioned by authorities, "they asked us questions of are you activists, are you protestors?"

After a search of their bags and items, Cox said they were then thanked for their help and they spent another day delivering supplies. 

Cox said his group went to some of the areas that authorities have said are inaccessible and he says he wonders if that made his team a target.

"And then you go and make it possible, you can rub some people the wrong way," he said. 

We tried reaching out to the small local police department, but are still waiting for their side of the story. 

Meanwhile, Cox said he and the grassroots relief team plan to return to Puerto Rico with the remainder of the donated supplies.