Twelve-year-old Amir Worship was fast asleep when a SWAT team allegedly raided his bedroom at 5 a.m. on May 26, conducting a search warrant in his south Chicago home.
One of the officers then shot him in the leg, shattering his knee, when he was sitting on the edge of his bed complying with their orders, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Cook County, Illinois.
Amir’s room was already cleared and he was attempting to follow directions when he was shot, according to the complaint. "Police shot 12-year-old Amir as he sat on the edge of his bed with his hands up," said his attorney, Al Hofeld Jr., in a news conference Thursday.
Amir's older brothers, Eric, 13, and Robert, 18, woke up to guns pointed at them, too, the complaint alleges.
But the officers weren’t looking for the boys; they were trying to arrest their mother’s boyfriend, Mitchell Thurman, who had been charged with drug and gun possession. In June, Thurman’s case was dismissed.
Before shattering his kneecap, a SWAT officer ordered Amir to put on his shoes, and when he obeyed, the officer grabbed one of the shoes with one hand while aiming a gun at him with the other. Giving the boy back his shoe, the officer’s rifle discharged, claimed the suit.
“Mom, they shot me,” Amir called out, according to the complaint.
Amir’s mother, Crystal Worship, filed the civil suit against the City of Country Club Hills and the SWAT officers involved in the raid, struggling to understand why the safety was off on the officer’s gun.
“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,” said Hofeld.
"Our lives changed behind this," the mother said Thursday. "It will never be the same."
Amir’s knee got infected after he had to have surgery from the wound inflicted by the SWAT officer, and doctors say he’ll have trouble walking and running for the rest of his life, according to the lawsuit.
Cover: Amir Worship, 12, who was allegedly shot in the knee by a SWAT officer in May. (Courtesy of Al Hofeld Jr).