A family is suing the Chicago Police Department after, they say, officers raided their home by mistake.
The Mendez family says they are still feeling the trauma they experienced when police burst into their apartment nearly two years ago.
Police were supposed to be searching a third-floor apartment for drugs--not the second floor unit where the Mendez family lives.
“My wife was screaming frantically, my babies are screaming, there was nothing I could do,” Gilbert Mendez said.
He vividly remembers Nov. 7, 2017, when he says Chicago police officers broke the door into his Damen Avenue apartment, handcuffing him and forcing to the floor in front of his wife and two boys.
"I asked if I could please get up and go comfort my children," he said.
Nine-year-old Peter and 5-year-old Jack watched in horror.
Al Hofeld Jr. is the attorney representing the Mendez family.
“For several minutes Jack and Peter cried and pleaded for officers not to shoot and kill their father,” Hofeld said. “We are going to prove that city of Chicago has a routine practice of traumatizing young children, especially young children of color with use of unnecessary force."
Mendez says he’s worried for his family,– that the lawsuit could spark retaliation by police.
"I don’t want to get hassled driving or walking especially with my kids they’ve been through enough," he said.
But he says another family shouldn’t go through what they went through.
He says the boys have nightmares and are in therapy for what they endured inside their own home, but he’s trying to use this as a lesson.
“I’m trying to teach them not to hate the police department," he said. "Be careful and my son still wants to be a police officer but a good one as he says, to be a good one.”
The Chicago Police Department said it does not comment on pending or proposed litigation, but did release a small statement about the alleged incident.
"The Chicago Police Department takes allegations of this type very seriously," it reads. "We strongly suggest that any alleged allegations leveled against CPD be directed to the Internal Affairs Division, COPA, or the Inspector General’s Office."