A Chicago family is seeking justice after cops raided their home during the celebration of a young child’s birthday and pointed guns at everyone, including the children present.
According to CBS Chicago,
the incident occurred on Feb. 10 as family members gathered to celebrate TJ Boswell’s 4th birthday. Out of seemingly nowhere, dozens of Chicago police officers showed up with their weapons drawn, carrying a battering ram and a sledgehammer.
“They were saying F words and stuff,” Samari Boswell, TJ’s 7-year-old sister told the news station. “It was horrible.”
The second-grader told the news station that she was terrified for her brother and her family.
“I thought they was going to shoot me, and my brother, and everybody else,” she added.
“They are supposed to protect and serve us at all costs and that night it wasn’t. We were the enemies,” Stephanie Bures, the children’s mother, told CBS Chicago
The family claims that police ransacked their home in the raid that lasted about 40 minutes, leaving it a complete mess and breaking a big-screen TV.
The children’s aunt, Kiqiana Jackson said that she demanded to see the warrant during the raid but officers apparently got annoyed at her requests and arrested her.
“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.’”
“They manhandled me it took two officers to get the cuffs on me,” she added. Jackson was taken in cuffs to wait outside in the cold.
But, according to the news station, Jackson had every right to see the warrant. Chicago Police Department’s own policies state that warrants need to be turned over “promptly,” the news station notes.
Jackson said that they never knocked or announced themselves, and barged right in, terrifying everyone present.
Sarami was playing “Duck, Duck, Goose” right before everything fell apart.
“Then you see guns, you see guns pointing at us and it was like terrifying,” Jackson said.
The family retained legal counsel and is being represented by Al Hofeld Jr., who blasted the Chicago Police for yet another case of a “bad” search warrant.
“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,” Hofeld Jr. said.
“As long as they continue to do that, there will never be trust between citizens and the Chicago Police Department,” he added. Hofeld intends to file a suit against the police department for the family, including the children and other adults at the party.
And the Boswell children’s case is only the latest in what seems to be an emerging pattern of police raiding wrong homes.
This is the fourth case that Hofeld Jr. is fielding surrounding allegations of police raiding the wrong homes and pointing guns at innocent people, including children.
has been investigating cases of wrongful raids since last August and has reported on four cases thus far where people were held without being shown warrants. The families say they were never given the warrants until police were leaving.
CBS reporters have also requested records from the police department about wrongful raids – which the department apparently tracks according to Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson – but have yet to receive information on the issue.
The Chicago Police released a statement on Monday saying that they are taking the issue of wrongful raids “very seriously.”
“In all cases, CPD makes every effort to ensure the validity and accuracy of all information that is used to apply for and execute search warrants,” the statement read. “Oftentimes this information comes from community sources and despite the vetting of material through a criminal court and the methodical process to authenticate addresses, errors can occur and we take them very seriously.”