Black family files civil rights lawsuit after Chicago police handcuffed 8-year-old and force him to stand in the rain
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The family of an 8-year-old Chicago boy filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Wednesday claiming he was unlawfully handcuffed by police and made to stand in the rain during a botched raid in March.
Dominique Wilson, the mother of Royal said her son and other children were terrorized during the ordeal after he was forced to stand in frigid rain as cops pulled guns on her and family members and ordered them out of their home located on the South Side, The Chicago Sun-Times reports.
“I felt very afraid, terrified,” Wilson said during a news conference with her attorney.
Wilson was present with her children, ages 6, 8 and 9, who were all ordered out of the home with guns pointed at them.
According to the lawsuit, “Once the family reached the street, police handcuffed them.”
“Officers handcuffed 8-year-old Royal for no reason for approximately 35 to 40 minutes while he stood in the street shaking from fear and cold and drenched in the freezing rain. The handcuffs were too tight, and his wrist bruised.”
“They made me stand up straight and my hands behind my back, and they had them tight,” Royal told CBS. “My legs were shaking.”
Wilson said she assured her son that he would be safe as police handcuffed him.
“I had to reassure him, nothing is going to happen to us,” she said. “Hold on, stay strong and keep watching mommy.”
“It took the breath out of me, the life out of me,” she said. “I had to be strong in front of my children. You have to be the leader to be strong to tell your children to just stand and be still while I’m being embarrassed, humiliated,” she said.
Police were searching for guns for at least two hours, the family’s attorney Al Hofeld Jr. said.
Wilson said all her children now suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome, Hofeld said.
Chicago police claim while it is not protocol to handcuff children, they removed the handcuffs once they learned of Royals age, CBS reports.
They reportedly executed the warrant after being told the adult son of the homeowner was harboring illegal guns in the home.
“Due to the risk involved with a weapon that could penetrate body armor, the occupants of the residence followed verbal direction given over a public address system and exited the residence without needing to breach the door,” Chicago police said in a statement to CBS Chicago.
Hofeld believes the Chicago PD needs to implement stricter guidelines for how the force handles children.
“They are afraid to go to the washroom, they are afraid to sleep by themselves, they are very nervous and jump,” Wilson told ABC7.