Race & Identity
Chicago Police Raided Wrong Home, Horrifically Crashing A 4-Year-Old's Birthday Party
Police entered the home with a ram and sledgehammer. Their guns were reportedly drawn, as well.
On Feb. 10, a squad of 17 plainclothes officers with weapons drawn, a battering ram and a sledgehammer crashed 4-year-old TJ Boswell’s birthday party, reports CBS Chicago. Mother Stephanie Bures, daughter 7-year-old Samari Boswell and Kiqiana Jackson were among the attendees enjoying cake and playing games. The party came to screeching halt in mere moments.
Samari was playing a game of "Duck, Duck Goose" when she saw handguns pointed at her.
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“I thought they was going to shoot me, and my brother, and everybody else,” she said.
Police reportedly never knocked on the door and forcefully entered the home. According to Jackson, they broke a TV and wrecked the house but did not show a warrant until after the search was done. Her insistence on seeing the search warrant was met with resistance. She told CBS Chicago officers arrested her for no reason.
“They manhandled me. It took two officers to get the cuffs on me,” Jackson said.
“I wanted to know why were they there. Who are you? Show us a search warrant,” Jackson recalled. “I asked for a search warrant, I guess, one too many times. And [the officer] was like, ‘Arrest her.’”
The department's policy regarding warrants said they should be shown "promptly."
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During the raid, officers reportedly made disparaging comments at Jackson. Other attendees said the authorities used profane language and refused to detail why they entered the home.
Bures said the person police were searching for had not lived there for five years. Family attorney Al Hofeld Jr. discovered this by doing a quick internet search.
“As long as they continue to do that, there will never be trust between citizens and the Chicago Police Department,” said Hofeld Jr. “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.”
According to The Chicago Sun-Times, the family has decided to file a lawsuit suing the department for its mishandling of the situation.
The “conduct toward plaintiffs was undertaken with willful and wanton disregard for the rights of others,” the lawsuit said.
Damages and other details have yet to be disclosed regarding the suit. Hofeld Jr. said the family is still dealing with emotional stress stemming from the incident.
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