CHICAGO — There are new allegations of excessive use of force against the Chicago Police Department.
A pre-dawn raid in March is the subject of a federal civil right lawsuit filed against the City of Chicago.
A South Side family with young children alleges that a Chicago police SWAT team and tactical officers pointed assault rifles at their faces and handcuffed an 8-year-old in the freezing rain for a half an hour.
The raid took place in a home on the the 8900 block of South Laflin Street on the South Side.
Alberta Wilson, who lives there with her three children, says her family was jolted out of bed before 6 a.m. by a loud explosion set off by SWAT and tactical officers to gain entry.
The suit says police used “unnecessary and excessive force,” shouted profanities and insults at the family through a bullhorn and pointed assault weapons at the children’s faces at close range.
The family’s attorney, Al Hofeld Jr., says police were executing a search warrant for illegal weapons, but no weapons were found.
The Chicago Police Department released a statement that said:
The Chicago Police Department makes every effort to ensure the validity and accuracy of all information used to apply for and execute search warrants. In this instance, officers had information that there was an assault rifle located inside a residence on the 8900 Block of South Laflin. Due to the risk involved with a weapon that could penetrate body armor, the occupants of the residence followed the verbal direction given over a public address system and exited the residence without needing to breach the door. The target of the search warrant was on scene, and while there was no weapon located during the search, the location searched was the same as described on the search warrant.