For children, birthday parties are supposed to be fun, innocent and filled with cake and balloons. But one lawsuit alleges that the Chicago Police ruined that moment for one African-American 4-year-old boy when they raided the wrong apartment and pointed guns at the stunned partygoers.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the incident took place on Feb. 10 when more than a dozen CPD officers stormed into Stephanie Bures’ South Side home using excessive force and repeatedly shouting the f-word at the party, a federal lawsuit alleges.
Apparently, the police were targeting a suspect they believed was in possession of the drug ecstasy, but they obtained an old address for him. Instead of finding their suspect, they found a crowd of 15 surrounding a birthday cake.
Bures claims that her son was traumatized as were the other children and adults when the police barged into her home, without knocking and without providing proof of a warrant. She told CBS Chicago that she was handcuffed for repeatedly asking what was going on.
“They manhandled me it took two officers to get the cuffs on me,” she said.
Adding, “I wanted to know why were they there. Who are you? Show us a search warrant.
“I asked for a search warrant, I guess, one too many times. And [the officer] was like, ‘Arrest her.’”
Bures’ 7-year-old daughter, who once trusted the police, in that moment feared that the police were going to shoot her and her little brother.
“To hear her say that, to worry about her or her brother getting shot by someone that is supposed to protect and serve them, it’s terrifying,” her mother said in a press conference on Monday. “It’s horrible.”
Bures’ attorney, Al Hofeld Jr., told CBS Chicago that the suspect hadn’t lived at the address in five years and that this type of behavior only worsens the community’s mistrust of the police even more.
“As long as they continue to do that, there will never be trust between citizens and the Chicago Police Department,” Hofeld stressed.
Adding, that had the CPD took the time to do their research homework, this incident never would have happened.
“My law firm took 30 seconds to do a person search and came up with [the suspect’s] most current address, which is on 83rd street nowhere near the property.”
The Tribune reported that in addition to raiding the wrong home, the lawsuit also accuses CPD officers of “handcuffing several adults in front of the children even though no one disobeyed orders, ransacking the family’s home, taking hinges off the doors, prying open wall panels, flipping mattresses, throwing a TV to the floor, dousing the presents with hydrogen peroxide and pouring vodka over clothes.”
CPD officials have yet to release a public statement about the lawsuit.
Now, this isn’t the first time CPD has faced a lawsuit brought for raiding the wrong home.
As the Tribune pointed out, just last June, the city settled for $2.5 million with the family of a 3-year-old girl who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after an officer pointed a gun at her chest when raiding the wrong address.