Hasin Ramadan’s late father was a cop and she says she supports the police. So it was especially painful for her when officers raided her South Side home and arrested her son in a nearby alley on drug charges last fall.
Six months later, the Chicago Housing Authority sent her a letter saying she’d lose her subsidized apartment because of the raid.
Since then, two of the Chicago Police officers on the raid have been indicted on federal charges of conducting searches with bogus warrants. As a result, the charges against her son have been dropped.
Ramadan insists her son wasn’t dealing drugs out of her apartment.
She’s trying to persuade CHA to let her keep the apartment where she has lived for 15 years. And on Monday, she sued the officers and the city in federal court, alleging the police department should have done more to supervise them.
“It is a cruel irony that Ms. Ramadan, whose father was a Chicago Police officer, and who has always revered the department, is now suffering severe consequences from the criminal acts of these officers,” said her attorney, David Lipschultz.
Ramadan’s lawsuit names Sgt. Xavier Elizondo and Officer David Salgado, who were on a gang team that conducted the Nov. 7 search of her apartment in the 4300 block of South St. Lawrence.
Those officers were charged last month in federal court with submitting false affidavits to Cook County judges to obtain search warrants to steal cash and drugs. They’re accused of sharing some of the proceeds with the informants who tipped them off to homes where drugs were stashed.
Ramadan’s lawsuit accuses Elizondo, Salgado and other officers of stealing money from her apartment during a raid that began at about 9 p.m.
The officers filed a report saying they seized $172 from a bedroom where Ramadan’s son, Dwight Gamble, lived. The report also said they stopped Gamble’s car in an alley outside the apartment and recovered $310 from him.
But Ramadan says the officers stole another $200 she kept in a blue envelope for car payments. Her son says about $2,000 he saved from disability payments was missing from his bedroom, too.
“It sounded like they were just throwing stuff against the wall. It was horrible,” Ramadan said of the raid.
Ramadan’s lawsuit says the officers planted drugs on her son during his arrest. The arrest report says 10 grams of heroin and 10 grams of marijuana were recovered.
The police report noted that Gamble was receiving mail in his name at the apartment. But his mother says he wasn’t on the lease and didn’t live there permanently.
On May 8, Ramadan received a letter from CHA proposing her termination from the housing choice voucher program.
The next day, federal prosecutors unsealed the indictment against the officers. And on June 5, the Cook County state’s attorney dismissed the charges against Gamble, who has prior felony drug convictions stemming from arrests in 2012 and 2014.
According to the officers’ warrant to search Ramadan’s apartment, an anonymous “John Doe” tipster said he bought drugs from Gamble there. But Ramadan insists she doesn’t know anything about that.
“All this stuff about people coming to the house, it’s impossible. I don’t live like that,” she said during an interview at the law office of Jayne Ingles, an attorney who represented Gamble in his 2017 criminal case.
Ramadan, a retired respiratory therapist, said she plans to remain in her apartment until she can appeal her threatened eviction.
Despite the raid, she says it didn’t “turn her off” to the police.
“I have great respect for the police. If something happened, they’re the first people I’d call,” she said.