By Dave Savini, Michele Youngerman, Samah Assad
CHICAGO (CBS) — Delores Garner says a team of Chicago police officers burst into her home, executing a search warrant in August of 2019. But, they raided the wrong home she says and left a trail of destruction behind.
“They broke through this door,” she said while showing it no longer locks.
Garner says officers also damaged property inside her home, including a television, mattress, bathroom vanity and her granddaughter’s iPad. It cost her thousands of dollars.
“I have not gotten a dime,” said Garner about the city not compensating her. She said she even tried to file an insurance claim, which was denied because the damage was from a police raid.
This raid at Garner’s home was unlike any of the other botched raids CBS 2 Investigators have exposed since 2018.
Garner’s home is not in Chicago. She lives in suburban Calumet City.
The complaint for search warrant shows how a bad tip from a confidential informant led to Chicago officers getting a warrant approved by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office and a Cook County Circuit Court judge too. The warrant gave officers the authority to cross into another city looking for a marijuana dealer.
“A wrong raid. Wrong house,” said Garner who does not know the suspect.
CBS 2 Investigators analysis of CPD search warrant data showed from 2016-2019, Garner’s home was among nearly 400 suburban homes raided by Chicago police.
CBS 2 mapped block-level search warrant data provided by CPD to determine how many search warrants were executed outside of Chicago and in what cities. Based on the accuracy of CPD’s data, some points could not be mapped.
CPD does not track these raids to determine if any are wrong raids resulting from officers’ failing to verify they have the correct address before getting a warrant. One of many systemic problems, exposed by CBS 2 Investigators, which led to a consent decree enforcement action demanding CPD make significant search warrant related reforms.
City officials failed to respond to the enforcement action, said lawyers for the consent decree. They filed a motion earlier this month, asking a federal judge to intervene.
Garner agrees, reform is needed. Her family joins the growing number of innocent people to have their homes wrongly invaded. A traumatizing event as seen in the raid at Anjanette Young’s home. She had just returned from work and was undressing and naked when officers wrongly raided dher home.
“I just feel like if they would do their homework a little more, a lot of the stress and anxiety on families would not take place,” said Garner.
Garner was not home at the time of the raid. Her niece was there, alone, asleep on a couch when the raid team burst inside.
“She was in panic mode with guns drawn,” Garner said those guns were pointed at her niece.
Garner has been fighting to get police body camera video of August 2019 raid. She wants to find out what happened to a family heirloom that went missing.
“It was a ring that my godmother had given me,” said Garner. “It was six rubies and one diamond.”
Other items from her small fashion jewelry business are missing too said Garner. “Jewelry was taken. Cash was taken.”
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating. Because of that, Garner’s request for police video was denied. A letter from CPD to Garner said, “…disclosing the responsive records would interfere or obstruct the integrity of the investigation for future administrative and/or criminal charging”.
“Something needs to be done because, you know, it’s unfair that the families have to go through this here. Turmoil. Fear,” she said.
Garner expected more from the CPD. She comes from a police family. Her father, who is no longer alive, was a detective who served in the Chicago Police Department for 38 years.
“He would be livid, definitely livid,” Garner said about how her father would react to this raid.
Garner described how she feels nearly a year and a half after the raid: “Disappointed that nothing has been done or the Chicago police haven’t even sent an, ‘I’m sorry.'”
The Chicago Police Department confirmed, there is no body camera video of this raid. In a statement, CPD said, “While we cannot comment on the specifics of this incident due to it being the subject of an ongoing COPA investigation, the Chicago Police Department remains committed to search warrant policies and protocols that prioritize transparency, accountability, and respect for human dignity, as reflected in the revised search warrant policy issued in January 2020.”
The CPD statement also says, “We are continuing to review our search warrant policy with input and recommendations from the Office of Inspector General and the community.”
As a result of CBS 2 Investigators search warrant series, Chicago’s Inspector General, in July 2019, launched a full audit of the Chicago Police Department’s search warrant policies and procedures. That audit is ongoing.
CBS 2 Investigators also learned the affiant, the officer who got the warrant, is being sued for another wrong raid which took place a year before the one at Garner’s home. In that case, Cynthia Eason and her daughter Ebony Tate said officers pointed guns at them and Tate’s children. They also said the children’s toys and tablets were broken. There’s no body camera video from this raid either. The family’s attorney, Al Hofeld Jr., found the suspect named in the search warrant lived in the house next door.
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