In their effort to go after people for possessing and selling substances deemed illegal by the state, U.S. law enforcement personnel will lay waste to anyone in their path. As TFTP has reported time and again, even innocent children, including sleeping babies, are not exempt from the terror and violence doled out by the American Drug Warriors. A 12-year-old boy in Illinois learned this the hard way in 2019 after cops shot him and shattered his kneecap during a fruitless raid to make a drug arrest.
Now, the taxpayers—not the police officers who shot him—are being held accountable for the actions of the SWAT team that night. The city of Richton Park, Illinois, will pay $12 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the Worship family after they were terrorized and abused at the hands of drug warriors.
According to a press release from the law office of Al Hofeld, Jr., who represented the Worship family, as reported by Reason, the settlement will also include a public apology from Richton Park, a private apology from Richton Park police officer Caleb Blood—who shot Amir—as well as retraining and recertification for Blood.
“Officer Blood has not yet been held accountable by any agency. He was never disciplined and never even taken off the streets,” Hofeld said in a press release. “You can’t just shoot a 12-year-old child for literally no reason and do it with complete impunity.”
On the night of May 26, 2019, Amir Worship was sitting on the edge of his brother’s bed when SWAT cops burst into their family’s home and began deploying flash-bang grenades and holding everyone at gunpoint. According to the lawsuit, Amir had his hands up when a cop shot him in the kneecap. Amir is now left permanently disabled.
Police were executing a search warrant for Amir’s mother’s boyfriend, Mitchell Thurman. Thurman was arrested that night, but the criminal case against him was later dropped—meaning the entire violent ordeal that left a 12-year-old child shot and permanently disabled was for nothing.
According to the lawsuit, a SWAT team officer shot Worship in his bedroom after the room had been secured “and long after it was obvious that a 12-year-old child posed no threat.”
“In fact, 12-year-old Amir was shot, shot while sitting on the edge of the bed with his hands up,” the lawsuit says. “An officer shot him with his assault rifle, striking him in the knee and shattering his kneecap. At that moment, this officer was pointing his rifle directly at shirtless Amir as he sat on the edge of his brother’s bed.”
Adding to the unscrupulous nature of the raid is that according to the lawsuit, after the officer exploded the 12-year-old boy’s kneecap, he covered his body camera and put black tape over his badge number so as not to be identified.
The Worship family’s attorney told Reason Magazine that the police departments denied records requests for body camera footage from the incident.
“Amir will never be able to play sports again,” the suit says. “This part of his childhood has been taken from him forever. He will never again experience the sheer physical joy of walking or running normally.”
Because of their gross negligence and incompetence, the city of Chicago has faced a slew of lawsuits for raiding the homes of innocent people—allegedly by mistake. TFTP has reported on several of these lawsuits in which cops raided a four-year-old’s birthday party and held other children at gunpoint.
As TFTP reported last month, one of these families has been raided—mistakenly—three times in just the last four months.
“There was no time to breathe in between,” said Krystal Archie, 38, whose home in the 6800 block of South Dorchester Ave has been repeatedly raided by incompetent and often extremely rude cops. “I’d get my house together, and they were back in my house.”
“There is a silent epidemic of trauma being perpetrated upon the children and families of color by Chicago and South Suburban police barreling into the wrong homes, handcuffing innocent adults, holding guns on children, handcuffing children, trashing their homes, refusing to show warrants, and screaming dehumanizing commands,” Hofeld said in a press release at the time. “Now, children are being shot in their beds.”
No one involved in the raid that left an innocent 12-year-old boy permanently disabled has ever been found to have broken department policy. Apparently, shooting innocent unarmed children is fine and dandy.
This article was originally featured at The Free Thought Project and is republished with permission.