CHICAGO — Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said the department has to “do better” after officers raided the wrong house on the South Side and handcuffed the wrong people before realizing their mistake Tuesday afternoon.
“We conduct hundreds of raids every week. We depend on different avenues to obtain that information and when we do hit a wrong house, that’s not a good thing,” Johnson said in a press conference. “We just have to do better in ensuring where we’re getting this information from is legitimate and we just have to do a better job in ensuring that we are hitting the right place.”
Police raided the first floor of an apartment building on the 5200 South Wells Street in the Fuller Park neighborhood just before 3 p.m. Terricky Pender said her kids got caught in the middle of the incident. The family’s front door is now damaged.
“They put us in handcuffs and told us to sit on the couch,” Janell Island, one of Pender’s children, said. “I was confused. The police officer told me to shut up.”
Island was just getting into the shower when about 10 police officers breached the front door. Police entered the home, said it was a raid and said they were looking for drugs.
Island said she told them they had the wrong house. Island and her two brothers were the only people home at the time.
Jamell Island was closest to the front door, playing video games, when the door was busted open. He said the officers did not announce themselves as police. He said they just banged on the door.
He said he started to run.
“What’s happening now out here in Chicago, there’s too many bad things out here. You can’t trust nobody out here,” he said.
He said police knocked him down, put the gun to his head and handcuffed him and his brother. He said they took him to the bathroom, pulled his pants down and started checking to see if he had anything on him. He said he felt humiliated.
The warrant police had said they were at the correct address but the man they were looking for, named Deebo, lived upstairs. They had the wrong apartment listed.
After searching every corner of the apartment, police apologized and left the building.
Terricky said it was little consolation. She said she was left with a ransacked home, a broken door and shaken image of the police.
“I feel it was wrong that they came in my house and did this to my kids,” she said. “My kids had to suffer with guns in their faces, pulling their clothes down. They could have been running out the door and somebody could have shot one of my kids.”
Chicago police said they take these matters very seriously and will investigate the incident, including “the accuracy and reliability of information provided to officers.” They said they deeply regret the hardship caused to homeowners and have expedited the claims process to properly secure the home.