The Chicago City Council has awarded a $2.5 million settlement to the family of Davianna Simmons after concluding that the Chicago Police Department violated the family’s civil rights when police officers raided their house and ultimately pointed a gun at then 3-year-old Davianna which caused her severe trauma.
On August 29, 2013, Davianna had to witness a terrifying scene when police broke into their house, pointed a loaded gun at her chest, held a gun to her grandmother’s head, and beat her handcuffed mother, Aretha Simmons.
To make it much worse, the police, who had a warrant for drug dealer Alonzo McFadden, raided the wrong house after receiving a false tip from an informant. The warrant mistakenly stated that he was related to the Simmons family and was living at their residence. Neither of those statements was true.
Davianna’s family filed a lawsuit in November 2014 in connection to the raid that caused trauma to the little girl. The family’s lawyer Al Holfeld Jr. argued that the police do not consider children during arrests, noting that “it is not even on CPD’s radar.”
However, on June 27, the Chicago City Council agreed on a $2.5 million settlement from the lawsuit. $1 million of that money will go directly to Davianna, mostly for her treatment. Her mother will receive $238,000 while two of her grandparents will divide $238,000. Another $1 million will be paid to the law firm that assisted in the case.
“We fought like hell against the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department all throughout this lawsuit,” said Attorney Hofeld. “Two of the officers involved even lied in court about being suspended.”
Amidst all that, Davianna, now 8-years old, still fear sirens, often has nightmares and wakes up screaming. Dr. Niranjan Karnik, a pediatric psychiatrist at Rush Medical Center says that it was “one of the worst cases of child Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [he’s ever seen].”