Police execution of drug warrant ends badly; wrong family targeted

“Your grandma sells crack.”

That statement was allegedly uttered by an armed police officer dressed in army fatigues to a young child inside a family home that was entered pursuant to a search warrant by nine law enforcement agents in a botched drug crime raid targeting the possession and distribution of crack cocaine.

The problem: Wrong house.

The raid that family members say “terrorized” them occurred in Chicago last year in November when, without warning, the police officers broke into their apartment. In a complaint filed recently against the officers and the City of Chicago, family members allege that the officers were brandishing weapons and pointing them at the family’s six children. The parents say that officers directed profanity at the family several times during the raid, with one officer reportedly pointing his gun at one point at an 11-month-old infant and demanding that the child show his hands.

According to the complaint, the mother “continually asked what the purpose of the detention was.” Additionally, the father made several efforts to question the officers.

Clarity was quickly established when the warrant was finally shown the family. It named an individual who lived in another apartment in the building complex.

In a demonstration of marked irony, the man named in the warrant had already been arrested prior to the raid and was actually sitting in a police car outside the complex when the police entered the family’s home.

The family’s lawsuit seeks punitive damages against the city and officers for a number of illegalities, including unlawful search, unlawful detention, and assault and battery.

Source: Courthouse News Service, “Your grandma sells crack,” Jack Bouboushian, March 5, 2013