By Danielle Wallace, Fox News (Via NY Post)
Chicago police officers mistakenly raided a 4-year-old’s birthday party with their guns drawn and smashed the birthday cake, a lawsuit filed by the boy’s family claims.
The child’s family filed a federal lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department, alleging cops mistakenly raided their apartment on Feb. 10 while looking for a man who hadn’t lived there for several years, NBC Chicago reported.
The 4-year-old’s mother, Stephanie Burris, who lives in the apartment, said officers knocked down the door during her son TJ’s birthday party, pointed their guns at her family members and destroyed the birthday cake.
“It’s horrible,” Burris told NBC Chicago. “It’s terrifying.”
“Can you imagine a 4- or a 7-year-old sitting and playing games with other children, then come in and be confiscated by men with guns pointed at them? I can’t imagine that.”
The federal lawsuit claims police conducted the Feb. 10 raid in pursuit of a man who had not lived at the residence for more than five years. The family alleges the Chicago Police Department exhibits a pattern of excessive force against or in the presence of children of color on the South and West sides.
The family’s attorney, Al Hofeld, said he was horrified for the young boy after his clients described the officers’ alleged actions during the raid.
“Instead of having his family sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him, 4-year-old TJ had Chicago police officers curse and insult him and his family with F-words and cruel jokes,” Hofeld said.
Hofeld said no one was arrested as a result of the raid and that police were not wearing body cameras.
A Fox News request for comment from the Chicago Police Department was not immediately returned.
In a statement to NBC Chicago on Wednesday, the department said it “makes every effort to ensure the validity and accuracy of all information that is used to apply for and execute search warrants” but that “errors occur and it does take them seriously.”
This article originally appeared in the NY Post.