Amir Worship was 12 years old when a Richton Park police officer shot him in the knee during a 2019 raid at his home. In the wake of the incident, the officer accused of shooting Amir – Caleb Blood – claimed the gun he was armed with was faulty and accidentally discharged, Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Richton Park police recently agreed to pay $12 million to settle a lawsuit that was filed in connection with the incident. Besides the monetary settlement, Blood and Richton Park also rendered a public apology to Amir. But it is expected that Amir will require several knee replacements during the remainder of his life.
“Officer Blood should be fired,” attorney Al Hofeld Jr. told reporters last Wednesday. “Not only has he not been fired, but Officer Blood has not even been disciplined in any form or fashion for shooting a 12-year-old boy.”
Hofeld also asked the Cook County state’s attorney’s office to initiate another investigation into Blood as the three initial investigations into the incident were unsatisfactory. “I accept his apology but he was reckless that day,” Amir’s mother, Crystal Worship, said. “There’s a lot of healing we have to do.”
The suspect the officers were seeking during the 2019 raid was Crystal’s boyfriend. Hofeld said authorities brought drug possession charges against him after he was arrested. But those charges were ultimately dropped.
The officers who made their way into the home during the raid placed Amir’s 13-year-old brother in handcuffs, the lawsuit stated, adding that another officer also aimed a rifle at Amir. Hofeld said the officer’s gun discharged as Amir was sitting on his bed and obeying the officer’s orders, Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Hofeld also said Amir testified the gun discharged as the officer repositioned the rifle. Before the rifle went off, Hofeld said the officer had been aiming the weapon at Amir’s chest. The attorney explained the teen was instead struck in his right knee because he had leaned back to wear his shoes.
Hofeld said Amir has since gone under the knife on five different occasions and suffers from PTSD. Hofeld also said Officer Blood recently asked Richton Park police to assign him to desk duty, adding that the South Suburban Emergency Response Team relieved him of his duties in September 2020 for “committing multiple violations of firearm safety.”
Hofeld said Amir’s mother and two brothers were also previously paid $320,000 by Richton Park to settle a claim that their civil rights were violated during the raid, Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“From the bottom of our hearts, we apologize to Amir Worship, his mother Crystal Worship and their family for the tragic mistake made by a Richton Park police officer on May 26, 2019,” Richton Park said in a statement last Wednesday.
But Hofeld said children being shot by police will not stop so far as officers continue the tradition of “pointing guns indiscriminately at everyone in the home when they enter, including children.”
Amir’s family relocated to Texas in the aftermath of the incident.