While serving out a search warrant, over a dozen police officers stormed into a home and tossed the place. During the raid, they went as far as drawing their guns and pointing them at children, and smashing a four-year-old’s birthday cake. Now, the police department is facing a federal civil rights lawsuit from the family.
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When the Chicago Police Department raided the home on February 10, they were looking for a man who was suspected of selling and possessing ecstasy. The Bures family was celebrating Terrence Jackson, Jr.’s fourth birthday in the home when the cops arrived.
Police officers had a warrant to search the home. However, the suspect had actually moved away from the residents five years prior to the raid.
As the police officers entered the house, they drew their guns and searched the premises. Along the way, they destroyed the child’s birthday cake.
On Tuesday, according to a report by the Daily Mail, Stephanie Bures, the boy’s mother, and Kiqiana Jackson, the child’s aunt, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the police department and the City of Chicago.
They claim that the officers terrorized their family, pointing their firearms at the boy and his seven-year-old sister, Samari. Police also smashed the boy’s birthday cake by throwing it to the ground.
After the cake landed on the floor upside-down, one officer stuck the number 4 birthday candle into the center, adding insult to injury.
“It was a cruel, dehumanizing joke that mocked and symbolized a 4-year-old’s ruined birthday party,” said Al Hofeld, the family’s attorney.
Bures says her children were traumatized by the incident, adding that they can’t sleep, are having nightmares, don’t want to leave the house, and are now afraid of police. She also feared that her family members were going to be shot.
“I was so worried about her or her brother getting shot by someone that’s supposed to protect and serve them,” said Bures. “It’s terrifying.”
Around 17 officers were involved in the raid, and there are 15 people attending the party, including four children.
Officers screamed expletives during the search, instructing the family to “Get your [expletive] hands up” and “We are doing a [expletive] raid!”
According to the lawsuit, police took one door off its hinges, opened up wall panels, flipped mattresses, threw a television to the ground, doused the boy’s presents with hydrogen peroxide, and even poured vodka over clothing.
The family’s attorney asserts that no arrests were made after the raid and no contraband was found in the home. The family also claims that police hide their badges under clothing items and refused to provide their names or badge numbers.