CHICAGO, Ill. – A family in Illinois is suing two city police departments claiming an officer discharged his firearm and struck a 12-year-old boy in the kneecap during a narcotics raid earlier in the year, the Chicago Sun Times reported.
“Someone should be held responsible,” said the boy’s mother, Crystal Worship. “I feel so sad and hurt that this happened to him.”
According to the lawsuit, a SWAT team formed by two local police departments enacted a search warrant at the Markham, Illinois home at approximately 5 a.m. during a morning in May of 2019. Authorities were reportedly going after Worship’s boyfriend Mitchell Thurman for drug possession, who was at the home at the time.
Markham is just a few miles outside of Chicago.
Worship’s three sons also live at the residence. When the nearly two dozen SWAT officers made entry into the home, they were armed in tactical gear and reportedly used flash-bang grenades.
According to the suit, one of the officers had his rifle trained on the boys in the house while they finished clearing the residence. At one point, the officer placed his finger on the trigger and accidentally squeezed off a round, striking 12-year-old Amir Worship in the knee.
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A segment of the civil lawsuit appears below.
… the sounds of the raid had roused Amir. Seconds later, the door of his bedroom flew open. An officer barged in, aiming a flashlight and automatic rifle at the boy, shouting at him to put his hands up, the suit claimed… As that officer searched the room, another one came in with his weapon trained on Amir, the lawsuit said. The second officer, described in the complaint as Caucasian, ordered Amir to put on his shoes. But when the boy tried to obey, the officer snatched one shoe away and examined it with his flashlight, all while keeping his gun aimed at Amir, the suit claimed.
The gun was allegedly not on the “safety lock position” even though “the room had already been cleared … and it was obvious that Amir was a child who was no threat to officers,” the lawsuit said. Then, as the officer was giving Amir the shoe back, he “quickly moved his right hand back to the handle and trigger of his rifle, grabbing it and firing it…”
Doctors say the gunshot shattered Amir’s kneecap and that even after surgery, parts of it are still missing.
“Mom, they shot me!” he reportedly screamed.
Doctors said that the gunshot injury will likely require additional surgeries and intensive physical therapy, according to the complaint. They say that Amir, an avid athlete, will likely not be able to continue playing sports due to the injury.
Reports say that Crystal Worship is now suing Country Club Hills and the village of Richton Park—as well as several of the officers themselves. The suit is seeking at least $50,000 in damages, according to the Post, for negligence, willful and wanton conduct, assault, battery, false arrest and imprisonment, and emotional distress.
“Assuming this was not an intentional act, there is still no possible professional reason or excuse for what this officer did,” the family’s attorney said.
Thurman was reportedly arrested the morning of the raid and was charged with drug possession as well as possessing a gun with an expired Illinois state Firearm Owner’s Identification card, but the charges against him were dismissed shortly after.
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