CHICAGO (CBS) — You may remember the stunning images – a child’s birthday cake got tossed on the floor during a Chicago Police raid.
The problem is that it was the wrong home. And now, taxpayers are on the hook for it all.
The family has now reached a settlement with the city, which was approved by the City Council Finance Committee on Thursday. The wrong raid is part of a pattern that CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini has been exposing.
“What was the first thing you saw?” Savini asked Samari Boswell.
“Guns,” Samari replied.
Samari, 7, said officers pointed guns at her as a team of 17 heavily-armed cops stormed into her family’s home right in the middle of her little brother TJ’s fourth birthday party.
The home was ransacked in February of last year. Personal property was destroyed TJ’s birthday cake was even dropped on the floor.
On Thursday, the City of Chicago settled a lawsuit filed by the family against the CPD for raiding the wrong home and traumatizing the children.
“I thought they was going to shoot me and my brother and everybody else,” Samari told Savini while sitting her mother, Stephanie Bules.
We’ve obtained body camera footage showing police repeatedly raiding homes of innocent people. But there were no body cams used during the birthday raid, because specialized units like narcotics and gang units are not required to wear them.
“CPD is still continuing to break into families homes, point guns at little kids. CPD continues to treat kids, Black and Brown families, like they’re less than,” said Craig Futterman, who is part of a team of lawyers who forced sweeping reforms in the Chicago Police Department.
He said all cops should wear body cams and these bad raids have to stop.
The city is paying $350,000 to Samari’s family.
CBS 2 has uncovered a pattern of police officers raiding wrong homes. Read about it here:
In other business on Thursday, the City Council Finance Committee also signed off on proposed settlements in three other cases against Chicago Police:
• A $3.8 million settlement with retired Officer Laura Kubiak, who accused another officer of assaulting her in the workplace, and claims superior officers retaliated against her when she reported the attack. Kubiak was transferred out of her post at CPD News Affairs after reporting the incident, and was reassigned to a dangerous neighborhood on the midnight shift. Rather than accept her new assignment, she went on medical leave and ultimately retired. Her attorneys have said the entire case could have been settled without any financial damages to the city if CPD had simply reinstated her to her post at News Affairs. Approximately $412,000 of the settlement is for lost wages, approximately $2 million is for her attorneys’ fees, and the rest is for compensatory damages.
• A $2.25 million settlement with the estate of Paul O’Neal, an unarmed Black teen who was shot and killed by police in 2016. Two officers were fired for violating CPD protocol by shooting at a moving car, the stolen vehicle O’Neal was driving during the incident. O’Neal was not wounded by the two officers’ gunfire, but instead was killed by a different officer after ditching the car. The officer who killed O’Neal was cleared of wrongdoing, when a watchdog report concluded he was justified because he reasonably believed O’Neal was armed and had opened fire on police. However, the gunshots he believed came from O’Neal were fired by fellow officers.
• A $250,000 settlement with the family of 27-year-old Martice Milliner, who was shot and killed by police in 2015. Police maintained Milliner pointed a gun at officers as they were responding to calls of a man with a gun at 75th and Langley, but Milliner’s family contended he was on the ground and not moving when he was shot, and that officers falsified police reports to justify the shooting.
All four settlements backed by the Finance Committee now go to the full City Council for final approval next week.