CHICAGO — Two women have filed a lawsuit and demanded justice after they said their home was mistakenly raided by Chicago police during a child’s birthday party.
A home on the 7700 block of Paulina Street in Auburn Gresham was raided on Feb. 10 by at least a dozen police officers with their guns drawn. At the time, a family was celebrating the birthday of a four-year-old boy. The person police were looking for moved from the home years earlier.
The family having that birthday party said it was the most terrifying experience they've ever experienced.
On Tuesday, Kiqiana Jackson and Stephanie Bures cried as they relived the night when their home was raided. It was 4-year-old TJ’s birthday party.
“Can you imagine sitting, playing games with other kids and guns pointed at them?” Bures said about her son’s birthday party.
Bures, whose 7-year-old daughter, Samari, was also in the house, and Jackson, their aunt, filed a federal excessive force case and civil rights case against the City of Chicago and Chicago police.
Bures and Jackson said they asked to see the search warrant and were denied. They were told the officers were from Skokie, and wouldn't tell them their names or badge numbers.
“I reached for my phone and then I was tackled…I was handcuffed,” Jackson said.
According to the search warrant, police were looking for a man suspected of possessing and selling ecstasy. He had not lived at the location in years.
“Our children in Auburn Gresham face enough trauma every day just trying to grow up in Chicago,” the Rev. Michael Pfleger said.
Bures said her children are terrified, can't sleep, have nightmares and don't want to leave the house. They felt like they and their family were going to be shot that night.
The women's attorney made FOIA requests a month ago for any dashcam video, body camera video, or other information related to this raid. The attorney has not heard back from them. He said he doesn't think the officers had body cameras, which is required by law.
Chicago police did not respond to a request for comment.