Family sues after police enter home, point guns at kids

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CHICAGO - A new lawsuit alleges Chicago police officers pointed guns at a family, including at 9- and 5-year-old children, after bursting into the wrong apartment with a search warrant last year.

The Chicago Tribune reports the suit was filed Wednesday in federal court for the father, Gilbert Mendez. It alleges false arrest and seeks an unspecified amount of damages.

The lawsuit says the actual subject of a drug investigation lived in another, upstairs apartment. It says even after the error became clear, Mendez was kept in handcuffs.

Family lawyer Al Hofeld Jr. told reporters Chicago police have a routine practice of ``unnecessarily using force against or in the presence of young children,'' badly traumatizing them. He said pending police reforms should address and fix the problem.

The city's law department declined immediate comment.
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Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com

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