Lawsuit filed for police raid seeking man already in prison

November 5, 2019

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago is being sued for a 2015 raid of an apartment in search of a man then serving time in prison for murder.

Jolanda Blassingame contends in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that police were looking for Derec Bell when they raided her apartment. Attorney Al Hofeld says police didn’t bother to verify information provided by an informant with a criminal record. It turns out Bell had been a tenant of the apartment nine years before the raid and was in a southern Illinois prison.

Blassingame asserts police officers swore at her and pointed assault rifles at her and her children and trashed their apartment during a search for drug and drug-related paraphernalia. Hofeld says Blassingame was given a copy of the search warrant as officers left the apartment.

Chicago’s law department had no comment on the lawsuit.