Chicago Police Officers Questioned On Video About Raiding Wrong Home – CBS Chicago


CHICAGO (CBS) — For the first time, Chicago Police officers are talking about why they raided the home of an innocent family.

CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini has spent more than a year exposing a pattern of wrong raids, leaving parents and children traumatized.

Officer Joe Cappello was recorded on video asking questions for a lawsuit.

Cappello got a search warrant with the wrong apartment number, and then he and a team of officers busted into the Mendez family home.

While being questioned for a lawsuit, officers gave a deeply disturbing look into how little police work they actually did before raiding the home.

When asked if he requested a covert car, Cappello said, “We don’t have one available to us on the patrol.”

He said there were other limitations too.

“Sometimes we don’t have all the assets we need, in terms, to do extra surveillance, and there’s an overtime issue – things of that nature,” Cappello said.

The Mendez family talked with Savini about how the erroneous search warrant – in which officers pointed guns at the family – affect their lives.

“Just the saddest moment,” Peter Mendez, 11, told Savini at the time.

Peter Mendez

What added to the family’s trauma was how officers treated them. Bodycam video captured an office repeatedly ordering them to “get on the ground.”

“They were treated with the utmost respect through the entire time of the search warrant,” Cappello said.

The family disagrees and says police even violated their constitutional rights.

After officers realized they were in the wrong apartment, they still continued searching – though one officer said he did not count opening drawers and cabinets as a real search.

“I did continue to do a search, but it wasn’t like a systematic search where I was lifting things up and throwing things around, and I was kind of just doing a surface search,” said Officer Jose Hernandez.

When asked what the officers should have done that day, Peter Mendez said, “They should have came to us and give us the search warrant and stop searching.”

There has been no discipline for any officer involved with the Mendez raid.
As for the real target police were supposed to be looking for, officers never got a warrant to raid his place, and he was not arrested.

Mendez is not the only child to be traumatized by Chicago Police officers during wrong raids.

“[un]warranted, a CBS 2 documentary, digs into that broken trust. It airs this Sunday night at 10 p.m., immediately after “Madam Secretary.”

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