Chicago, IL — Because of their gross negligence and incompetence, the city of Chicago is facing a slew of lawsuits for raiding the homes of innocent people — allegedly by mistake. TFTP has reported on several of these lawsuits in which cops raided a four-year-old's birthday party and held other children at gunpoint. One of these families has even been raided — mistakenly — three times. Up until now, body camera footage of these incidents has been scarce as these videos will likely lead to massive public outrage and are kept secret or go "missing." But that outrage is long overdue and the video below should serve as a catalyst for it as children are shown being treated like animals, forced face down on the ground and guns pointed at their heads.
Over the past few years, the residents of Chicago have been subjected to a militarized police state occupation. Innocent family after innocent family each waking up in the middle of the night as heavily armed storm troopers throw flash bangs into their homes, haul them outside in the cold, point guns at their heads, and even handcuff small children. These families are being terrorized in their own homes, many of them left with PTSD, and no one is being held accountable—because the state is the one behind the terror.
And because they are the state, they are refusing to hold themselves accountable and going through great lengths to keep their terror campaign secret.
TFTP first reported on the Archie family in July of last year after it was reported that they had been raided mistakenly three times in only four months. Cops were searching for the same man each time—who the family has never even heard of.
“There was no time to breathe in between,” said Krystal Archie, 38, whose home in the 6800 block of South Dorchester Ave has been repeatedly raided by incompetent and often extremely rude cops. “I’d get my house together, and they were back in my house.”
Up until now, body camera footage from these raids was kept under tight wraps. However, thanks to the due diligence of the reporting staff at CBS 2, this footage is now available.
As CBS 2 reports:
The body worn camera video clips CBS 2 obtained are connected to the first two raids. One clip from the April raid shows officers driving and pulling up to the home at about 8:30 p.m. A total of 14 heavily armed officers are at the scene and break through the door to the wrong home using a battering ram.
On the other end of the door, they found innocent children – 14-year-old Savannah who was watching her two other siblings, Telia, 11, and JJ, 7, while their mom, Krystal, was at work.
“They had guns to our faces,” Savannah said in an interview.
The video below does, in fact, show cops raiding an innocent family and pointing guns in the faces of small children.
“You’re not going to do this again!” she screamed, referencing the first raid in February.
An officer is heard responding, “Shut up.”
“They had their finger on the trigger,” said JJ in an interview. He is also seen laying by Savannah in the body camera video.
“They’re handling heavy artillery,” Krystal Archie said of the officers. “It would’ve taken one slip of your finger and my children,” she cried, “would not be here.”
Guns in the faces of innocent children was only the beginning of this egregious conduct on behalf of Chicago's finest. Footage later shows that cops broke the law and interrogated the small children without their parents present.
“Hey, just tell us, do you know where the stuff’s at?” one officer asks. “Because if you can tell us that, then we’re out of here.”
“What stuff? I don’t…” Savannah said.
The officer continued: “So did you stop selling it? Did you stop keeping it here?”
“Who?” Savannah said.
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“Whoever keeps it here,” the officer said.
Telia has no idea what these home invaders are talking about and it is clear in the video. What's more, the questioning is over drugs and the supposed raid was over an arrest warrant for a suspect. It seems these cops were busting down doors, terrorizing innocent people and asking questions later.
“We never…we never had any,” Telia said.
The children explained that the illegal questioning continued, but as the body camera footage shows, cops stopped recording.
“OK, if everyone’s clear, kill cameras,” one officer said.
According to CBS 2, the family was scared to death that these terrorists would come back again and do the same thing. They were right. A month later, cops raided them again. These repeated raids are now the subject of a federal lawsuit against the Chicago police department—one of many.
Al Hofeld Jr., whose law office represents multiple families who've been wrongfully raided by incompetent Chicago police, held a press conference in July to address this very serious problem.
“There is a silent epidemic of trauma being perpetrated upon the children and families of the South and West sides of our city by Chicago police barreling into the wrong homes, holding guns on children, handcuffing children ... ,” Hofeld said.
"Chicago police officers behave as if our children of color and their trauma is collateral damage in Chicago," said Holfield.
And he's right. As TFTP reported early last year, when Samari Broswell, 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.
Now, just like the Archie family, this family is left traumatized while people who claim to 'protect' them instead ignore them and continue the same practice. In the Broswell's case, police claim video from officer-worn body cameras showing the horrifying raid simply went "missing."
But that is not all.
Also, 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 cases, 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.