A federal lawsuit was filed Wednesday against the Chicago Police Department and Cook County Sheriff’s office by a woman who alleges officers kidnapped her daughter and extorted her into buying illegal guns for them.
Patricia Hicks filed the suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court. Hicks alleges that on July 2, officers in the Chicago Police Department and Cook County Sheriff’s office “engaged in a joint operation to recover firearms that included the use of extortion and kidnapping.”
Early that morning, Hicks’ daughter — identified in the suit only as “Ms. McBride” — was sleeping in the passenger’s seat of a vehicle driven by her boyfriend that was pulled over by Chicago Police and Cook County Sheriff’s officers.
McBride’s boyfriend admitted to officers that he didn’t have a valid driver’s license and he was arrested. The suit stated that officers also arrested McBride, despite her not breaking any laws.
However, according to a law enforcement source, McBride had 10 small bags of what was believed to be crack cocaine in her front pocket.
McBride was on probation at the time of her arrest and officers threatened her and her boyfriend “with false criminal charges if they did not obtain and surrender firearms to officers,” the suit stated.
Officers released McBride’s boyfriend and told him that once he brought them a gun, McBride would also be released, the suit stated. From the back seat of a police vehicle, McBride called Hicks.
Hicks was able to buy a gun to exchange for her daughter’s release. Once she spoke with the officers, they told her they now needed three guns, the suit stated.
Eventually, the police agreed to accept two guns, the suit stated.
That afternoon, Hicks was able to scrape together $1,000 — which she had earmarked to pay her mortgage — to buy two illegal guns to give police in exchange for her daughter, the suit stated. She put them in a bag and left them in a yard in the 6800 block of South Prairie where the officers could pick them up.
After examining the guns, the officers released McBride, the suit stated. The exchange was captured on video.
When Hicks went to Chicago Police Headquarters to file a complaint, she was met by an “inspector” who said he did not have the authority to investigate the allegations, but still insisted Hicks file the paperwork through him, the suit stated.
“The Cook County Sheriff’s also refused to accept complaints of criminal misconduct by their deputies,” the suit stated.
Cara Smith, a spokeswoman for the Cook County Sheriff’s office, said Hicks’ lawsuit is not based on the truth.
“While we are reviewing the allegations of this lawsuit, they appear outrageous and not based in fact,” Smith said. “These allegations make a mockery of the work that’s done by the men and women of the Cook County Sheriff’s office and Chicago Police Department in an effort to reduce violence in the city and county.”
A spokesman for the city’s Law Department did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon.
The nine-count suit alleges RICO violations, illegal seizure, illegal search, failure to intervene, conspiracy to deprive constitutional rights and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Hicks is seeking an undisclosed amount in damages.