Chicago, IL — When Samari Boswell, 7, was celebrating her younger brother, TJ Broswell’s 4th birthday earlier this year, she never expected to see 17 heavily armed cops come smashing through her door. However, thanks to a severe case of police incompetence, that is exactly what happened. And now, a family is left traumatized while people who claim to ‘protect’ them also claim video from officer-worn body cameras showing the horrifying raid simply went “missing.”
It’s not just this family either. Chicago cops have a bad habit of raiding the homes of innocent people and then conveniently losing the body camera footage. In fact, it’s happened several times in recent months with the child’s birthday party being one of the most egregious cases.
According to a scathing report from a local CBS affiliate out of Chicago, the department’s record is troubling.
According to the report:
CBS 2’s ongoing investigation has revealed a troubling pattern when officers execute search warrants at the wrong homes. Multiple families have accused officers of pointing guns at children, handcuffing innocent people and continuing to search the home after learning they were at the wrong location.
While every patrol officer is required to wear a body camera – 8,200 have been issued to officers, including tactical teams – many are executing search warrants without wearing them.
In addition, members of Chicago Police’s SWAT team, which accompanies officers on these raids, are not required to wear them, according to police.
“For them to raid homes like this, with extreme force like this, make mistakes and nothing happens, that tells people they and their homes don’t count, [that] they don’t matter,” David Harris, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh, said.
The incident at the child’s birthday, which happened on Sunday Feb. 10, was captured on nearby surveillance footage and showed at least 17 cops holding battering rams, sledge hammers, and with guns drawn. They were raiding the little boy’s birthday party based entirely on bad information and over alleged MDMA pills—17 cops for some ecstasy.
The innocent family said when cops busted down the door, they thought they were being robbed. Cops came in, pointed guns at everyone, including tiny children and began demanding everyone get down.
“They were saying F words and stuff,” Samari said. “It was horrible.”
Another relative explained to CBS 2 that when police came in, they had no problem throwing innocent people around, including children and terrorizing them with threats and guns.
“They manhandled me it took two officers to get the cuffs on me,” Kiqiana Jackson said.
Jackson asked to see the warrant and was denied before being thrown outside in the freezing sub-zero temperatures.
“I wanted to know why were they there. Who are you? Show us a search warrant,” Jackson said. “I asked for a search warrant, I guess, one too many times. And [the officer] was like, ‘Arrest her.’”
“I thought they was going to shoot me, and my brother, and everybody else,” Samari said, who told reporters she was playing ‘duck, duck, goose’ as the armed assailants ransacked her home.
“We are people, we have rights, we deserve to be respected,” Jackson added.
According to CBS 2, Jackson, a public school employee who works with children with disabilities, said she was scared, got angry, and repeatedly told officers she had a right to see the search warrant. She was denied, even though Chicago Police’s own search warrant policy says warrants need to be turned over “promptly.”
According to the family, the warrant wasn’t shown to them until after the entire family had been terrorized, their apartment trashed and their TV smashed on the ground. The officers even smashed the 4-year-old’s cake and threw it on the floor.
“There it was in the corner, on the floor, with the number 4 stuck in it,” Jackson said.
That’s when police realized their terroristic home invasion, looking for an illegal substance, was entirely based on wrong information.
After finding out that the officers acted on bad information and terrorized their innocent children, the family has since hired an attorney to represent them.
“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,” said Al Hofeld Jr., the attorney who represents the family said.
As CBS Chicago points out, this is becoming a pattern.
In fact, TFTP has reported on several of them. Just last August, two little boys who used to look up to police were traumatized and their view of police tarnished after a SWAT team burst into their home at night and held the entire family at gunpoint, including the children. The family was innocent and just like the above case, the raid was on the wrong home.
Those two children now suffer from PTSD and have to attend counseling.
It’s not just children either, Chicago cops have raided the wrong homes of elderly women too.
Elizabeth Harrison, 82, used to tell kids to “respect the law.” Then on March 17, 2016, a gang of Chicago cops raided her home, busting down the door and holding her at gunpoint. Because of this trauma, Harrison had to be rushed to the hospital.
The great-grandmother said police must have had the wrong house, but they insisted it was the correct address based on their “intelligence.” No one believed her when she said she was a widow and lived alone. Harrison was made to sit in a chair, overwhelmed with anxiety, while they searched her home for non-existent drugs. The stress was so overwhelming, Harrison was hospitalized.
Despite this history of dangerous terrorism from raiding wrong homes, it appears Chicago cops aren’t trying to get any better at their jobs and remain entirely unapologetic. Furthermore, as the missing footage shows, they are engaged in actively covering up their criminal negligence.
“Police officers are supposed to protect and serve, not talk to us like we’re nothing, like we’re beneath them,” Jackson said. “And it was really hurtful, really hurtful.”