Chicago police used bogus search warrants to illegally enter homes, lawsuits claim

Karen Jordan Image
Thursday, January 23, 2020
Micaela Cruz says her children don't feel safe in their own home after police allegedly knocked down her door and held her four children at gunpoint in January 2018.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Two families have filed lawsuits over police raids involving a pair of convicted officers, claiming the officers used bogus search warrants to illegally enter their homes.

The new civil lawsuits name Sergeant Xavier Elizondo and Officer David Salgado as defendants, along with 10 other Chicago police officers and the city of Chicago.

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Two Chicago police officers were convicted Tuesday of stealing drugs and cash, and then trying to cover up their crimes.

They are being sued by two women who say the officers illegally searched their houses and framed them for drug possession. The women say they were terrorized and are still dealing with emotional trauma. One of them, Micaela Cruz, said her children don't feel safe in their own home.

"They cannot even hear a knock on the door without being scared," Cruz said.

Cruz said that police knocked down her door when she wasn't there and held her four children at gunpoint in January 2018.

"They came in with masks over their faces," Cruz said. "When they came in to the home and woke them up with guns in their faces, yanking them out of bed."

Cruz has filed a lawsuit claiming members of the Chicago Police Department obtained bogus search warrants in order to unlawfully search her home and arrest her for narcotics violations that were later dismissed. She said that because she spoke out about what happened, police raided her home again last year.

A second woman, Irene Simmons, also filed a similar lawsuit saying she was also a victim of these "bogus" warrants in October 2017, when officers ransacked her apartment while she was with her 3-year-old granddaughter. Officers claimed to have found illegal drugs, leading to charges that were later dismissed.

"Both of these women are trying to expose what happened to them, its injustice and show the larger pattern involving these two officers," attorney Theresa Kleinhau said.

Those two officers, Elizondo and Salgado, were convicted last fall of using false information to obtain bogus search warrants to steal cash and drugs from properties they searched.

Cruz's attorney said nearly 40 cases tied to the two officers have been dismissed and there could be more people who were convicted based on false information.

"The Chicago Police Department has work to do to prevent things like this from reoccurring," attorney Jon Loevy said.

Salgado and Elizondo will be sentenced next month. A spokesperson for the city of Chicago said the lawsuit has not been received yet, so there is not comment at this point.