News and Commentary

Chicago Mayor, Police Under Fire Over Leaked Video Showing Cops Raiding Wrong House
Lori Lightfoot, alcaldesa de Chicago, en conferencia de prensa el lunes 15 de junio de 2020. (Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Chicago’s mayor Lori Lightfoot is under fire Wednesday after a local news outlet aired disturbing Chicago Police Department bodycam footage showing cops raiding the wrong home and accusing a naked woman — footage that the mayor and police department reportedly went to court to keep under wraps.

The video, obtained by Chicago’s CBS affiliate, shows Chicago police raiding the home of social worker Anjanette Young.

“The video reveals on Feb. 21, 2019, nine body cameras rolled as a group of male officers entered her home at 7 p.m. Not long before, the licensed social worker finished her shift at the hospital and had undressed in her bedroom,” CBS 2 reported earlier this week. “As they rushed inside with guns drawn, officers yelled, ‘Police search warrant,’ and ‘Hands up, hands up, hands up.’ Seconds later, Young could be seen in the living room, shocked and completely naked, with her hands up.”

“Young looked terrified and confused as she watched officers search the home. An officer put her hands behind her back and handcuffed her as she stood naked,” the outlet noted. Young asks the officers over and over for information. Although it’s difficult to hear Young’s voice in the bodycam footage, she says she demanded answers more than 40 times.

Young’s house, CBS 2 reported, was raided by mistake. Although the warrant officers used listed Young’s address, it was based on information from a confidential informant that claimed to have seen a male suspect — a known felon — enter Young’s home. Police, the outlet says, made no effort to corroborate the information. The suspect actually lived in the house next door.

Young was traumatized by the incident, particularly in light of the Breonna Taylor case out of Louisville, Kentucky. Taylor was killed in the crossfire which Louisville officers raided her home pursuant to a warrant, only to end up in a shootout with her boyfriend. Details of that incident are unclear, but no officers were indicted in Taylor’s death.

Chicago Police Department repeatedly denied Young’s repeated Freedom of Information Act requests to get the bodycam footage from the raid. A federal court judge ordered CPD to turn over the video on Monday, and Young released the footage to news organizations.

Now, Lori Lightfoot is facing questions over why city officials refused to allow Young access to the tape and why hours before the tape went public, city lawyers tried to stop its release by demanding an emergency injunction.

Lightfoot told media on Wednesday that “That raid actually took place in February of [2019], even before the first of two elections was decided, so that was not something that happened on my watch.”

She later blamed the police civilian review board, Civilian Office of Police Accountability or COPA, for dragging their feet: “I respect the independence of COPA, but give me a break that we didn’t put this video out in all this time,” she said. “It’s ridiculous, it really is.”

Lightfoot did acknowledge that CPD has ongoing warrant issues, something CBS 2 has been investigating.

“I’m not going to sit here and tell you that we’ve solved every problem, but we responded to what we were seeing was way too many circumstances of officers going into the wrong home,” she said.

“I have further directed a review of how this matter was handled by various city departments to determine that there was compliance with city procedures,” she added in a later, written statement. “Since this matter is the subject of litigation and an open COPA investigation, I will have no further comment.”

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