By Dave Savini, Michele Youngerman and Samah Assad
CHICAGO (CBS) — The CBS 2 Investigators have been exposing Chicago police busting down doors, pointing guns at children and parents, all while raiding the wrong homes.
We have identified 51 wrong raids just in the past few years, and now, CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini uncovers even more disturbing findings. A team of officers go in with cameras rolling, but soon after they are all ordered to kill their cameras.
Toni Tate had just changed into her nightgown when police suddenly swarmed her apartment.
“And they just came in flying, guns drawn,” said Tate.
She feared officers might mistake the shiny metal object in her hand for something dangerous. Police body worn cameras capture her effort to make sure they knew what she was holding.
“I got a spoon in my hand,” said Tate.
Tate also was terrified when she saw guns pointed at her two daughters. Her oldest was crying and holding her baby sister. That too was caught on the police body camera video.
Also on video, you can see Tate’s teenage son placed on the ground. His were hands put in handcuffs, and a rifle was pointed at his head.
He can be heard repeatedly asking, “What’s going on?”
Tate cries when thinking about the treatment of her son and the fear of that bad raid.
(If you believe police wrongly entered your home, tell us about it here.)
Police body camera footage is crucial in understanding what really goes on during these raids. It reveals what happens to innocent people as police are once again caught on their own cameras raiding another wrong home. The suspect named in the warrant did not live in the home.
“We were both handcuffed for about almost an hour,” said Tate, who can be seen on the body camera video wincing in pain while handcuffed and repeatedly saying she the handcuffs hurt.
But not everything that happened during the raid to the family was caught on the police body cameras, because a Chicago police sergeant gave an order to his team. Sgt. Anthony Bruno was caught on those same body cameras saying, “Kill cameras.”
Bruno gave the “kill cameras” order after recording only two and half minutes of the raid inside the house. It appears to be a complete violation of the Chicago Police Department’s body camera policy.
The CBS 2 Investigators showed the videos to Sheila Bedi. She is a law professor at Northwestern University involved in consent decree negotiations mandating Chicago police reforms related to misconduct and use of excessive force.
“Policy cannot be more clear,” said Bedi. “They had to have their cameras on during these raids.”
Just four months earlier, Bruno and a team of officers were caught doing the same thing during another wrong raid. Three innocent children had guns pointed at them as they were forced to the ground. Police body camera video shows one of the siblings face down on the floor crying, “Please do not shoot me, please.”
After terrifying that 14-year-old, her 7-year-old brother, and her 11-year old-sister, police interrogated them without a parent present.
One officer can be heard on the body camera saying, “Just tell us, do you know where the stuff is at? Because if you can tell us that, then we are out of here.”
The children say this interrogation continued. But that was not caught on the body cameras. Just minutes into the raid, Sgt. Bruno can be heard on camera giving the same kill camera order.
Bedi said Bruno’s team broke the law when they interrogated children.
An officer is heard saying, “So did you stop selling it, did you stop keeping it here?”
With the body cameras shut off, there’s no recording of what else officers said or did during the rest of the raid.
“The only reason, the only justification, for cutting off cameras in this type of situation is some sort of cover-up,” said Bedi, “or it’s some recognition that they made a bad call they don’t need documentation of it.”
Despite all the millions the city spent on equipping thousands of officers with body cameras, Bruno can be seen repeatedly giving the kill camera order before the raids were over – making the body worn cameras and policy worthless.
“It’s critically important that Chicago police officers who violate policy, like the body cam policy, are held accountable. Or else the policies are meaningless – not worth the paper they are written on,” said Bedi.
The body cameras were supposed to create transparency, build trust with the public, and uncover misconduct.
You can see how fast that trust erodes as Tate’s husband, who just returned from work, learns about the raid.
The police cameras capture him saying, “I just did two 16-hour shifts plus I got a second job. Whoever told you all about we selling drugs, whatever, that’s (expletive).”
An officer can be heard telling Tate’s husband a different story about how his family was being treated: “They’re all good. They are sitting on the couch. No one’s in handcuffs, nothing like that.”
Police tell him they are good and no one’s handcuffed, even though that is not what the body camera video shows.
Toni Tate’s brother also showed up and reminded officers that people are fed up with their wrong raids, saying: “Police always kick in doors with search warrants and they don’t even be the crib they looking for, bro! It happens.”
The officer can then be heard saying, “It do. You’re right.”
Tate says she wants Chicago police to, “Get your information correct before you just come in on innocent working families.”
Both families are suing the Chicago Police Department.
Chicago Police say they are investigating Sgt. Bruno and what happened on these raids.
However, the attorney for the raid victims, Al Hofeld Jr., says neither family has ever been contacted to be part of any investigation by Chicago police or the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.
CBS 2 has uncovered a pattern of police officers raiding wrong homes. Read about it here:
Source: CBS Chicago | News Colony