CHICAGO (CBS) — They call it the blue wall of silence – police refusing to turn over critical body camera video to a family whose home was wrongly raided.
This comes as a new family comes forward to CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini, saying they also are victims of wrong raids.
Domonique Wilson wants the video of what happened to her and her children.
“Those are my legal rights,” she said.
She said she and her children were ordered to come out of their house with their hands up, and they demonstrated by walking down their front stairs doing so before CBS 2’s camera.
WATCH the full documentary “[un]warranted,” with CBS 2’s Dave Savini.
Right now, Wilson and her family can only show us what they say Chicago Police did to them when they raided their home.
“They made me stand up straight and my hands just behind my back, and they had them tight,” said Wilson’s 8-year-old son, Royal Smart.
Police are accused of using force on the children, and making the family stand in the cold wet rain for hours.
“I was worried about my sister most, because she’s only 6 years old,” Royal said.
They believe police body camera video will reveal police misconduct.
Savini: “What do you believe that body camera footage will show when it comes to your 8-year-old son?”
Wilson: “It’s going to show them placing my 8-year-old son in handcuffs; how scared he was – traumatized.”
“My legs were shaking,” Royal said.
Wilson said she has “every right to see those videos.”
But the city refused to turn over their body cam video over, not to Wilson, and not to CBS 2.
Our Freedom of Information Act requests were denied.
Savini: “Do you think they’re hiding something?”
Wilson: “Yes. They’re hiding that they put rifles to me and my children’s heads.”
During our yearlong investigation of bad Chicago police raids, the CPD has refused so much. They have also blocked access to public records.
In November 2018, Savini asked police Supt. Eddie Johnson if the department was tracking wrong raids and knew how many times officers got it wrong.
Johnson’s response was, “Yeah, we look at it.”
When asked if he had actual numbers, Johnson said last year, “I don’t have it off the top of my head, but we do have that.”
But it turns out that Johnson and his staff do not have that information. After nearly a year of repeatedly asking for numbers, Chicago Police have admitted to CBS 2 they don’t even keep track of all the times police raid the wrong homes.
Meanwhile, Supt. Eddie Johnson has also refused more than a dozen requests for a one-on-one interview.
His chief communications officer, Anthony Guglielmi, said the superintendent does not have the time, and CBS 2’s ratings are not high enough, for him to do an interview on this topic.
Thus, he refuses to talk about our yearlong investigation and all those impacted by bad traumatizing raid – a refusal while new wrong raids cases keep rolling in.
Meet the Tate family. In August, Toni Tate and her two adult children and baby girl were met with handguns, and at least one officer had a high-powered rifle. They are the latest to come forward saying police raided the wrong address; that officers shattered their door and stormed their apartment.
“I kept asking, ‘What were they here for?’ I kept asking for the warrant,” Tate said. “And they pretty much ignored me.”
The Tates said police pointed weapons at all of them. One officer with a shotgun zeroed in on 18-year-old Christopher Harbin.
“He was the one with the shotgun. He came and cuffed me,” Harbin said. “He had the shotgun in my back before anybody else came.”
Toni Tate was tearful as she expressed how worried she was about her son.
She was also worried for her oldest daughter, Cierra Harbin, who was holding her own baby sister.
““I kept saying: ‘I have a baby! I have a baby!’ And it was like he wasn’t listening,” Cierra said. “So when the man came around the corner, he was pointing his gun at me while she was in my arms, and I just holding her and just crying and just praying that they didn’t shoot me, because he didn’t see what was in my arms.”
Police had bad information from an informant – and, as in the other cases we have exposed, police failed to verify the informant’s tip independently.
“When they came, in they said that said they were looking for somebody by the name of Drako,” Cierra Harbin said.
CBS 2 Investigators found their suspect. Records show he has never lived at the Tates’ address and has an address in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Savini: “What do you want to say to the Police Department?”
Tate: “Just get your information correct before you just come in on innocent families – innocent working families.”
Savini: ”Mayor Lori Lightfoot says this has got to stop.”
Tate: “It has to stop, because who’s to say next time, a kid doesn’t get hurt bad.”
And that’s why the body camera video is so important.
The CPD confirms they do have 16 hours of video from the Wilson raid but claim it’s too much to review and release. But the CPD had no problem releasing 70 hours of video in the Jussie Smollett case.
Savini: “What does it do to the public when they won’t turn over the body camera footage?”
Wilson: “They have no integrity.”
The Wilson family sued the Chicago Police Department. Just last week, a judge ordered the CPD to turn over the body camera video.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Inspector General has launched a separate audit into the police search warrant practices.
Tate and her family are also planning a lawsuit, because no one came back to fix their damaged doors and apartment.