A Chicago woman has filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department after she says police officers wrongfully executed a search warrant at her home and pointed their guns at her while she, her child and elderly grandparent parent were inside.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court and alleges that Chicago police officers didn’t follow proper protocol by failing to identify themselves while executing a search warrant and by not recording the raid on video back in February.
“They had their guns pointed at my head. I was treated very inhumanely,” Vale said. “I was being charged at. It was very scary.”
The night of February 27, Jasmine Vale was at home with her 4-year-old daughter and grandmother when a Chicago Police warrant team burst through the door of her garden-level apartment in Rogers Park.
“I didn’t know they were police,” Vale said. “I saw a bunch of men coming my way with guns.”
Vale says the officers never knocked on her door or identified themselves until later.
“They told me to get on the floor. They called me out of my name. My phone was knocked out of my hands, I wasn’t able to call somebody or do anything right away to help,” Vale said.
During the raid, the warrant team was inside the building, while uniformed officers remained outside and were the only ones wearing body cameras.
While there’s no footage of what happened inside the apartment, a Nest camera picked up the audio.
“We have an audio recording of the entire incident, so we know exactly what was said by each person,” Vale’s attorney, Al Hofeld Jr. said.
During the raid, Vale said the officers searched her apartment for drugs and for her brother who had not lived there for five years.
Vale and her attorney are now filing a lawsuit in federal court over the raid that they argue was conducted against department policies.
“They did not find any of the items referenced in the warrant,” Hofeld said.
Vale says she would like to see changes in the department for the sake of her child, who she says is still traumatized by the raid.
“I would like children to be more respected than they are and to be taken serious,” Vale said. “Because a little bit of trauma goes a long way and that could be something that destroys a child’s mind forever.”
The city’s law department says it has yet to see the lawsuit and has no comment at this time.