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‘My Daughters Are Forever Broken’: Lawsuit Claims Chicago Police Wrongfully Raided Black Family’s Home, Pointed Guns at 4- and 9-Year-Old Sisters

A Black family filed a federal lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department on Tuesday, claiming their home was wrongfully searched by officers without a warrant in 2019.

According to the suit, officers broke down the door of the family’s home and pointed guns at 4-year-old Reshyla Winters and her 9-year-old sister, Savayla Winters, causing the girls lasting psychological harm. The suit also claims officers tried to cover up the fact that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to raid the home.

According to a suit, officers broke down the door of the family’s home and pointed guns at 4-year-old Reshyla Winters and her 9-year-old sister, Savayla Winters. (Photo: CBS Chicago/ YouTube screenshot)

The suit names officers in the police department and the city of Chicago as defendants and is the latest in a series of suits alleging the department wrongfully raided the homes of people of color.

On Aug. 7, 2019, officers were looking looking for suspects who’d been fighting at a nearby gas station. Officers burst into Steve Winters and Regina Evans’ third-floor apartment in the Austin neighborhood at around 9:40 p.m. claiming the suspects had run into their unit.

The family claimed in the suit that the suspects hadn’t entered the home and records show police didn’t find the suspects at the home or make any arrests.

Winters was eating dinner and his daughters were asleep when there was a loud banging on the door. Winters approached the door but before he could open it, officers broke it down, threw him to the ground and pointed guns at him.

Officers then went from room to room searching the apartment with guns drawn. The lawsuit alleges officers pointed guns at Reshyla and Sevayla.

“Chicago police officer Sanchez nevertheless pointed his flashlight and pistol directly at the girls from two feet away as they lay in their beds in their bedroom, causing 9-year-old Savayla to freeze with fear and urinate on herself in her bed, causing 4-year-old Rashyla to cry and causing lasting psychological trauma to both girls,” said attorney Al Hofeld Jr.

“Officers did not find any sign that any suspect had entered,” the lawsuit said. “Officers did not arrest anyone. The terror and stress to this family was all for naught.”

The incident was captured on body cameras, although not all of the videos been turned over to the family’s attorney.

The family questioned why their home was being raided and repeatedly said the suspects were not inside their unit. Upon realizing the suspects weren’t there, officers apologized before leaving.

One officer said, “If officers thought they ran into this apartment and made a mistake, I mean, we apologize,” and continued, “And we’re sorry this happened to you. Our greatest concern was that two people with guns ran into your apartment, possibly.”

Although officers acknowledged they were wrong, Evans said the damage has already been done. “My daughter told me she will not call the police if she’s in trouble,” Evans told CBS Chicago this week. She added that two years after the incident, the girls say they can see the guns when they think about the incident.

“My daughters are forever broken,” Evans said. The lawsuit claims the family sufferers from post-traumatic stress disorder and seeks compensatory damages and punitive damages.

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