Courthouse News Service: “Chicago police terrorized six children in the wrong apartment, demanding at gunpoint that an 11-month-old show his hands, and telling one child, “This is what happens when your grandma sells crack,” the family claims in court.
Lead plaintiffs Charlene and Samuel Holly sued Chicago, police Officer Patrick Kinney and eight John Does in Federal Court, on their own behalves and for their children and children.
The six children were 11 months to 13 years old at the time. Plaintiffs Connie and Michelle Robinson are Charlene Holly’s daughters.
The complaint states: “On November 29, 2012 in the early evening hours Charlene Holly was in the first floor apartment at 10640 S. Prairie in the front room helping minor Child #1, Child #2, Child #4, and Child #5 rehearse songs for their church choir. Charlene was also caring for Child #3, who was 11 months old. Child #6 was in the upstairs apartment alone.
“Charlene and the children heard a loud boom outside and a voice cry out ‘Across the street!’
“Defendant Officers John Doe 1-8 burst through the door to the first floor apartment dressed in army fatigues and pointing guns at Charlene and the children. The officers yelled at Charlene and the children to ‘Get on the ground!’ The officers referred to Charlene and the children as ‘m—f—ers’ numerous times.
“Afraid of the guns being pointed at them, Children #1, 2, 4, and 5 ran to a back bedroom in fear of the officers. In response to the defendants’ order to ‘Get on the ground!,’ Charlene got down on the floor. A defendant Officer told Charlene to ‘Put the baby down’ so Charlene set Child #3 down beside her. The officers yelled at Charlene to get Child #3′s hands where they could see them.
“After attempting to show the officers that the eleven-month-old’s hands were empty, Charlene asked the officers ‘What is this about?’ To which they replied ‘Shut the f— up.’”
Samuel Holly says he asked the police what they were doing, and called the 111th Street police station asking for a “white shirt” to come explain the situation, but no supervisor ever came to the house.
“Charlene continually asked what the purpose of the detention was,” the complaint states. “Finally, an officer produced a warrant and handed it to Charlene. The warrant was for an individual named ‘Sedgwick M. Reavers’ and the premises listed was ‘The second floor apartment located at 10640 S. Prairie Ave. A yellow brick two flat building with the numbers 10640 on the front of the building.’ In other words, the warrant clearly identified the proper location as the second floor apartment. Charlene, Samuel, and the children were in the first floor apartment.
“As the officers were detaining Charlene, Samuel, and Children #1-5 in the first floor apartment, they also proceeded to the second floor apartment, where Child #6 was home alone. Child #6 was 13 years old at the time of the incident.
“The officers approached Child #6 in a bedroom and turned out the lights. They began flashing red lights at the child, calling him ‘m-f—er,’ placing him in plastic handcuffs and telling him ‘I started to Tase your grandmother and cousins’ and ‘This is what happens when your grandma sells crack.’ Child #6 begged the police not to hurt his family in the apartment below and stated that his grandmother did not sell crack.”
The man named in the warrant, Sedgwick Reavers, “was sitting in a squad car outside of 10640 S. Prairie throughout the entire incident,” according to the complaint.
The family claims that “the following day Charlene discovered the family dog, Samson, not in the basement where the family kept him, but in an upstairs laundry room. Samson could not have reached the laundry room without human assistance. On information and belief, defendant Officers dragged and choked Samson from the basement with the dog pole and left him in the upstairs laundry room unattended, where he died.”
Let’s deal with this in two phases. First, the training and tactics. As shooters, remember our rules for safety, trigger discipline being among the top rules. This is true for police and SWAT team members as well. It’s true because of sympathetic muscle reflexes. An example of this kind of bumbling stupidity is the death of Mr. Eurie Stamps, where the police officer stumbled over the top of his prone body (Mr. Stamps had done what he had been told to do and gone to the floor), and in so stumbling, the officer – whose finger was on the trigger of his rifle – squeezed the trigger and killed Mr. Stamps. Mr. Stamps was innocent of all wrong-doing. The name of the officer is Paul Duncan. His first thought when he killed Stamps was, Jesus, was that my rifle?” And it was, and Mr. Stamps is dead.
Now. Let’s discuss something that most people don’t know about Marine Corps training. My son was a SAW gunner in the 2/6 infantry, Golf Company, 3rd Platoon, during the 2007 combat tour of Fallujah and the pre-deployment workup. The senior Marines had experienced a tour of Iraq, and wanted their SAW gunners to have a round in the chamber, bolt open (the SAW is an open bolt weapon anyway), and finger on the trigger. They had seen combat and they wanted their SAW gunners with zero steps to shooting. Their lives depended on it. They also did CQB drills with live rounds, along with squad rushes.
My son had an ID (if I’m not mistaken it was during training at Mohave Viper). He tripped and had a sympathetic muscle reflex, squeezing the trigger of his SAW. He spent an extended period of time in the “room of pain.” They wanted him trained to overcome that sympathetic muscle reflex (which can be done, but it takes hundreds or thousands of hours of drills). He spent the time learning to overcome that reflex, and performed well during his tour. He also tried to teach his “boot” Marines the same way he was trained, but the Marines had begun to change and focus more on cultural sensitivity training and other COIN tools. He got out of the Marine Corps.
Why am I discussing this? Because no matter who you are, no matter how much time you spend, no matter how earnestly you wish it, no matter how many directives you write, if you are a SWAT team member, you will never be trained in such a manner. Never. You will never be trained like a U.S. Marine who has spent every day for a year and a half in pre-deployment workup to do a combat tour of Iraq. Because you will never be trained in this manner, your tactics are dangerous, all of the time, and in all situations. I don’t care how many times you have inexperienced Soldiers spend a week with you doing CQB drills. With the standdown in Iraq and Afghanistan, they oftentimes know as little as you. These tactics place people in danger when there are better alternatives.
Now for the next step. Nor should you be trained like my son. It isn’t within your province to do this. The militarization of the police and police tactics in America is an effort to sidestep Posse Comitatus. It’s a way to have a standing army police Americans rather than have the existing standing army do the policing of Americans. It’s a typical progressive, statist trick.
The tactics used by the Chicago police are thuggish, brutish, and stupid. These tactics are stupid when we can revert to old school detective work. These tactics are dangerous for the people upon whom they are perpetrated. The officers involved do not have the skills necessary to do the job, and never will. These tactics should be reserved for only the most extreme situations like in situ armed resistance by known criminals such as Mexican drug gangs. Finally, these tactics comport with a communist ideology, where the state reigns supreme over every aspect of the life of a nation, and the rights of citizens are trampled underfoot.
The officers who perpetrated this raid should be ashamed. Chicago should be ashamed, and America should be ashamed to have such teams who perpetrate this wickedness on its citizens. Extreme violations of rights like this call for extreme measures to stop the violations. These men have even suppressed the God-given sense of duty to protect and defend women and children. Rather, they point rifles at them and call them motherfucker.
What would John Adams say if he were here today?