It's been more than nine months since Chicago police officers mistakenly busted through the front door of the Mendez family's home, but the memories have far from faded.
“I think the Chicago Police Department needs to be held accountable. They came in and tore our home up. They tore our lives upside down, and we’ve never been the same,” Hester Mendez told WBBM-TV.
The officers who raided the wrong apartment screamed profanities at the parents and their two sons, according to the news outlet. The entire family was ordered to the floor at gunpoint.
“I could hear my babies screaming, ‘Don’t shoot my Dad. Don’t kill my Dad. Leave my Dad alone. What did my Dad do?'” father Gilbert Mendez told WBBM.
It was just before dinner time in November when several officers broke into the family's home.
“The four or five people said to my Dad, get the f down get the f down we will shoot you,” Peter Mendez told WBBM. “They traumatized me and my brother."
The 11th district officers had reportedly refused to show Hester Mendez the warrant.
But about an hour into the incident, she caught a glimpse of the names on the warrant and revealed to police that the people they intended to raid lived in another unit. The police continued the search for another 30 minutes.
The warrant was filled with mistakes, according to the news outlet's investigation.
What did Chicago police say about the mistake?
Chicago police told WBBM that they had no record of the warrant.
Gilbert Mendez said he believes the department is trying to cover up its mistake.
How are the children doing now?
Peter and his younger brother, Jack, are reportedly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to their mother.
“There was absolutely no need to point guns at children and absolutely no need to keep their father handcuffed in front of them after they knew they were in the wrong apartment,” attorney Al Hofeld Jr. told WBBM.
Hofeld is representing the Mendez family and plans to file a lawsuit against the Chicago PD.
What else did Peter say about the incident?
Peter, who was 9 years old at the time, said the officers didn't apologize to the family and even "shrugged" the boy off when he tried to shake their hands before leaving.
“I just felt that they were unpolite because I was just trying to be nice,” Peter said when asked about how he felt when the officers refused to shake his hand.
It was “just the saddest moment," the young boy recalled as tears streamed down his face. “It made feel like the police were even what I thought they were.”
In June, Chicago police mistakenly broke into a home occupied by a mother and her three children.
They ripped through the family’s things and handcuffed three people, including two children, inside the apartment on Chicago’s South Side.
The cops eventually realized the warrant had the wrong address listed on it.