'Left... overnight in freezing conditions': Family of child plans to sue the city of Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Five Milwaukee police officers and the city of Milwaukee are being sued. 

“We tried to work with the city to get real compensation for our client, real accountability for our client and an apology for our client, and the city wouldn’t do that," William Sulton said. He is the family attorney.

The family of a 7-year-old girl filed a civil suit against five Milwaukee police officers and the city on Tuesday, February 2.

The suit is for unlawful seizure, deprivation of due process and negligence. The girl was 4 years old when the incident happened on Nov. 13, 2018. The criminal complaint says she was left inside a minivan at a tow lot overnight.

“It’s outrageous, it’s crazy," Sulton said.

A nearby city worker heard the child crying for her mommy and alerted the tow lot.

“A child left in the car overnight, in freezing conditions, all alone.”

Sulton says the day before the girl was found, she was asleep in the backseat of the van while her mom, Blair Springfield, was driving.

Also, in the car, were the girl’s aunt and 10-month-old sister. Milwaukee police stopped the van.

“They arrested Ms. Springfield on suspicion on OWI."

The complaint says the aunt and the mother told officers the little girl was in the back seat.

“The officers ignored her and allowed the van to be towed," he said. “The officers by law were required to search that vehicle.”

The girl now lives with her great aunt.

“She did experience very significant trauma, she’s still experiencing emotional stress from that event.”

Sulton says the mom lives in Milwaukee and regularly visits her daughter.

CBS 58 reached out to Milwaukee police. They said they will not comment on pending litigation.

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