Attorney Files Latest 'Wrong-Raid' Suit Against Chicago

Jennifer Keiper
November 05, 2019 - 4:58 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Jennifer Keiper


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A Chicago family is suing the city, saying police busted into the wrong apartment during a raid nearly five years ago.

As Jolanda Balssingame cooked dinner and her three children did homework and played games, she says a Chicago Police SWAT team and plainclothes officers busted into their apartment on South Lawndale, used flashbang grenades and pointed guns at her and her children. 

Police didn't find the drug suspect they were looking for because he hadn't lived there in several years. Attorney Al Hofeld Jr. says the suspect was behind bars, several years into a 20-year prison sentence for murder.

It’s the seventh wrong-raid case his firm has handled, Hofeld said Tuesday at a news conference.

"We are saying, again, to the Mayor and the Superintendent, how many innocent children of color in Chicago have to be traumatized in wrong raids before the city realizes it's too many?" he said.

Blassingame says her children -- who were 10, 6 and 4 years of age at the time of the raid -- are still suffering severe PTSD-like symptoms. She and Hofeld said the boys have become anti-social, have developed separation anxiety and other phobias, and do not trust police.

A federal civil rights complaint has been filed against the City of Chicago and several police officers. 

Asked what kind of compensation they're seeking, Hofeld said they don't have a dollar figure yet. 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has recently said the city's chief risk officer is investigating the police department's search warrant policies and procedures.