Wrong-Home Raid Draws Suit Against Chicago

Nancy Harty
November 09, 2018 - 3:19 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A Back of the Yards family is suing the city of Chicago and several police officers over a SWAT team raid at the wrong home. 

The federal civil rights suit claims officers burst into Cynthia Eason's apartment the night of Aug. 9 and pointed assault rifles at her adult daughter and four grandchildren, all under the age of 14. 

Eason said she was terrified they were going to be killed for something they knew nothing about.

Attorney Al Hofeld Jr. said the team was executing a search warrant in the wrong apartment while more officers were also searching the building next door, looking for a wanted man.

Hofeld said the kids were traumatized and some can't sleep because of the incident.

The suit accuses the department of having a widespread practice of using excessive force either on children or in front of them. 

Hofeld has filed two other suits making similar accusations and says the city settled one for $2.5 million.

But he doesn't believe the department will change unless the federal judge overseeing the proposed consent decree mandates they do.

Hofeld says SWAT team members aren't required to wear bodycams so there appears to be no video of the incident.

A Chicago Police Department spokesman did not address the specific allegations of the case driving the lawsuit, but said authorities do their best.

"For all criminal investigations, CPD makes every effort to ensure the validity and accuracy of all information that is used to apply for and execute search warrants. Oftentimes this information comes from community sources and despite the vetting of material through a criminal court and a rigorous process to authenticate addresses, when errors do occur, we take them seriously and make every effort to repair accidental damages as quickly as possible."

Residents whose homes are damaged can file a claim by contacting (312) 744-5650.