The administration of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tried to block CBS Chicago from broadcasting police body camera footage of officers erroneously raiding a woman’s home and handcuffing her while she was naked.
At the same time, Lightfoot herself said she had no prior knowledge of the case involving Anjanette Young, a clinical social worker whose home was invaded by Chicago police officers in Feb. 2019 who were acting on bad information that a dangerous suspect lived in the apartment.
“Today, I became aware of an incident involving Ms. Anjanette Young from February 2019, before I became Mayor, and I saw the video today for the first time,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “ I had no knowledge of either until today.”
While that may be, it was her administration’s law department that made efforts to block CBS Chicago from obtaining the video despite Young’s desire to have it go public. Young filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to get the video, but the Chicago Police Department denied it and also denied a similar request from CBS Chicago.
“I feel like they didn’t want us to have this video because they knew how bad it was,” Young said in an interview with the station. “They knew they had done something wrong. They knew that the way they treated me was not right.”
Young said while she stood naked in her bedroom, officers used a battering ram to enter her home, looking for a suspected felon. The problem is that Young lives by herself and the officers mistakenly rammed down the wrong door in the wrong complex. Police were looking for a suspect considered dangerous and was given an erroneous account by an informant that the suspect lived in Young’s apartment.
She maintained while in handcuffs that the police were in the wrong house and in the footage she is visibly upset. After 13 minutes, a female officer is seen entering and uncuffs her and walks her to her room so she can put clothes on, but then puts her back in the handcuffs.
Eventually, the sergeant at the scene walks outside of the apartment to talk to the officer who obtained the search warrant and they determine that they indeed have the wrong address.
A federal court has forced the CPD to turn over the video as part of Young’s lawsuit against them.
The station planned to air the video on Monday (Dec. 14) at 10 p.m., but just prior, city lawyers filed a motion to try to stop it from being broadcast. A judge denied that motion and the footage was finally released and aired. You can see it for yourself below.
Lightfoot was asked at a press conference why her administration tried to halt the airing of the report, and she repeated that the incident took place before she took office.
“That raid actually took place in February of , even before the first of two elections was decided, so that was not something that happened on my watch,” Lightfoot said, in reference to the mayoral primary, which she won five days after the raid and her subsequent victory in the runoff election on April 2.
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However, Young and CBS Chicago’s FOIA request was made after Lightfoot took office. She did not directly answer questions about that, instead referring to changes made to the CPD’s search warrant policy in January 2020. In her statement she said she has ordered a review of the incident to determine if all city departments were in compliance with the rules.
“Among the various changes, the new policy requires additional CPD supervisory review and sign off before a search warrant can be sought from a judge,” she said, “and there must be separate verification that the property in question is indeed the correct location in which evidence of criminal activity can be found.”
Lightfoot said she would have no further comment because the case is currently in litigation.
Photo Credit: Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images