Chicago Mayor Apologizes For Police Invasion Of Woman’s Home
After a social media backlash, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has publicly apologized to a woman whose home was raided by police, who handcuffed and detained her while she was disrobed.
In a search for a suspected felon, while acting on erroneous information, police broke down Anjanette Young’s door with a battering ram in Feb. 2019. At the time she was in her home, undressed and police placed her in handcuffs while she cried and told officers they had the wrong house. The video of the incident went viral with many calling out the mayor for refusing to release the bodycam footage.
“I am deeply sorry and troubled that her home was invaded and that she had to face the humiliation and trauma that she suffered,” said Lightfoot during a Wednesday news conference, referring to the invasion of Young’s apartment on the west side of the city, which was captured on a body camera. “That is just not right. It simply should not have happened. And I will make sure that there is full accountability for what took place.”
She said that she knows that similar incidents have taken place, particularly to people of color and has ordered the city’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability to complete its probe of what happened. She has also asked Chicago’s law department to review all search warrant cases that are still pending.
In a search for a suspected felon, while acting on erroneous information, police broke down Young’s door with a battering ram in Feb. 2019. At the time she was in her home, undressed and police placed her in handcuffs while she cried and told officers they had the wrong house.
In body camera footage, police are seen continuing to detain her although she has no clothes on. After 13 minutes a female officer enters the scene, walks her to her bedroom and allows her to put clothes on. However, police continue to hold her until it is finally determined between the attending sergeant and the officer who obtained the search warrant that they are at the wrong address.
Lightfoot said she would release the full video of the raid and use it as a “training tool” for officers, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
But her apology comes a day after she was confronted about the city’s law department making an effort in the courts to stop the video from surfacing at all. An investigative report by CBS Chicago followed what happened to Young. Both she and the station filed separate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Chicago Police Department to have the video released. The city’s law department filed a motion to block the report from being broadcast, but was denied by a judge.
Young appeared on MSNBC this week and recounted the harrowing episode in an interview with host Joy Reid.
“I wanted everyone to see how terrible I was treated in this incident,” said Young, speaking on her efforts to get the video to go public. “I don’t believe they gave any thought to adjusting what they were doing to protect me in any type of way.
“In that very moment I was terrified,” she continued. I tell people I was scared into compliance. I was afraid to move because in that moment I thought if I did anything out of the ordinary, that they would shoot me.
Lightfoot said that the incident took place prior to her taking office, and that she had no knowledge of the incident and only saw the video Tuesday. But the city’s lawyers still made the effort to block the news report.
In speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the mayor blasted her own administration for attempting to cover up the video.
“I made it very clear to the corporation counsel that I will not be blindsided by issues like this,” Lightfoot said. “Filing a motion against a media outlet to prevent something from being published is something that should rarely, if ever, happen. And had I been advised that this was in the works, I would have stopped it in its tracks. This is not how we operate. Period.”
Young has not commented on Lightfoot’s apology, but in comments made Wednesday, she was still distraught.
“It tells me that they don’t care about me – a person who lives in this city,” Young said, according to CBS Chicago. “I did vote for you. I told my friends to vote for you. I believed in you as a Black woman running as mayor of [the] City of Chicago.”
Photo Credit: Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images