Cops on the Hook for Pointing Guns at KidsBy ROSE BOUBOUSHIAN
Courthouse News Service
Oct. 19, 2011
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(CN) - A group of Chicago police officers armed with weapons and a warrant violated the Constitution and may face sanctions for barging into the wrong house and threatening to shoot a mother and her kids, a federal judge ruled.
On June 7, 2009, Officer Billy Gonzales applied for a warrant to search the first floor of 3811 West Diversey Ave., based on the tip that it was a Chicago crack house. The application was granted.
The next day, the police executed their search at 3815 West Diversey, the building next door to 3811. The officers approached the building through the alley in the rear and broke down the back door with a sledgehammer. Two officers stayed outside to watch the building entrance.
Startled by the noise, Nancy Simental walked upstairs from her basement apartment with her two children. She claimed to find police pointed their guns at her and saying, "Don't move or I'll shoot you." When she asked the police to put their guns away because children were present, a policeman repeated that he would shoot Simental and another pointed a gun at the children.