Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday that all of the officers involved in the botched raid on Anjanette Young’s home have been placed on desk duty just a day after the city’s top lawyer resigned amid claims he tried to hide the bodycam footage of the incident.
Footage of the raid showed Chicago police executing a search warrant at Young’s apartment. Young, who is a social worker, was naked and continued to protest her innocence to officers during the February 2019 incident.
Lightfoot made the announcement during a press conference, telling reporters that ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ as she criticized the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA).
The COPA will be conducting an investigation into the behavior of the officers involved.
‘We must respect COPA’s independence, but as I have repeatedly told COPA’s chief administrator, I firmly believe in the value that justice delayed is justice denied and frankly there is no excuse that this matter has languished for a year without any significant movement on the part of COPA,’ Lightfoot said.
She then urged the COPA to ‘come to a conclusion in an expeditious manner’.
Lightfoot said the move was taken by police superintendent David Brown as part of their mission to rebuild trust with the residents.
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Mayor Lori Lightfoot said all of the officers involved in the raid on Anjanette Young’s (pictured) home have been placed on desk duty amid an investigation
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability will be conducting an investigation into the behavior of the officers involved. The suspect officers were looking for turned out to be Young’s neighbor whom she had no connection to
Young was forced to stand uncomfortably handcuffed and partially naked in front of the group of officers as they peppered her with questions in the botched raid
The announcement comes just a day after Chicago’s top attorney, Mark Flessner (pictured), resigned amid fallout from the raid
The announcement comes just a day after Chicago’s top lawyer resigned amid fallout from bodycam footage that shows the police wrongly raid Young’s home.
Mark Flessner announced his resignation on Sunday and made it abundantly clear that the incident was cause for his resignation.
‘I’m resigning because of the firestorm around the whole tape thing,’ Flessner told the Chicago Tribune. ‘I’m being accused of trying to hide it, which is not true.’
The crisis has consumed Lightfoot’s administration over the past week.
In a written statement Sunday she said how she accepted Flessner’s resignation as corporation counsel and thanked him for his service.
‘I am committed to a full review of everything that occurred surrounding this incident, will take corrective action where appropriate, and will hold people accountable,’ she said in the statement.
Flessner, who is also a longtime friend of the mayor, did not say whether he had been asked to resign.
Controversy escalated earlier in December after Lightfoot’s Law Department attempted to block Chicago television station WBBM-Channel 2 from airing body camera footage of Chicago police officers mistakenly raiding Young’s home in February 2019, before the mayor took office.
In a complaint Young filed, she stated how she was handcuffed naked for almost 45 minutes before she was allowed to get clothes when a female Chicago Police Officer was called to her home to help her get dressed.
Police had gone to the wrong home and were looking for someone who did not live at the address despite police claiming that they did.
When Chicago’s CBS TV station requested bodycam footage of the raid, the City of Chicago tried to obtain a court order to stop the network from airing the video.
A federal judge turned that request down.
As head of the city’s law department, it was Flessner who signed off on the legal filing that sought to stop the public from seeing footage of Young in clear distress.
Lightfoot told reporters that Monday that ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ as she criticized the COPA
In one portion of the footage two officers seated in a squad car discuss the approval of the search warrant. One officer says that the warrant wasn’t initially approved
Eventually the officers let Young put on clothes and said ‘we believe your story’
In a statement, Flessner denied being part of a cover-up: ‘Today, I offered my letter of resignation to Mayor Lori Lightfoot. It has been an honor to serve as Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago for the last two years and to be a part of my friend, Lori’s team. I am tremendously proud of my work for the Lightfoot Administration and all that we have accomplished.
‘There has recently been a great deal of attention drawn to the 2019 raid of Anjanette Young’s home. Monday was the first involvement that I had with the case surrounding Anjanette Young, pertaining to the video footage that was obtained by police. It is clear that the raid of Anjanette Young’s home was a tragedy that we must learn from.
‘Standing up for racial injustice and fighting for equality within our justice system are crucial matters that we must continue to work toward addressing as a community.’
On Friday, Lightfoot’s office acknowledged that they failed to turn over six videos to Young’s lawyers that were requested earlier this year, calling it ‘accidental’.
Flessner’s resignation marks the first major resignation over the raid.
Lightfoot apologized to Young during a press conference last Wednesday
‘I am deeply sorry and troubled that her home was invaded and that she had to face the humiliation and trauma that she suffered. That is just not right,’ Lightfoot said.
‘It simply should not have happened. And I will make sure that there is full accountability for what took place.’
‘Filing a motion against a media outlet to prevent something from being published is something that should rarely, if ever, happen. This is not how we operate,’ Lightfoot said.
‘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.’
Lightfoot apologized to Young (left and right), who is a social worker, during a press conference last Wednesday
‘I was completely and totally appalled as a human being, as a black woman and as a parent,’ Lightfoot told reporters. ‘Ms Young’s dignity, that she and all of us deserve, was taken from us and this is simply inexcusable.’
Lightfoot was campaigning to be mayor when the incident occurred under her predecessor Rahm Emanuel.
Lightfoot initially claimed she only learned of the incident after the TV station aired the footage showing Young but she has since acknowledged hearing about the raid in November 2019.
The mayor has also said that her administration will no longer withhold video from residents seeking police records about their cases.
The incident began unfolding on February 21, 2019, when Young had returned home from her shift at a hospital and was undressed in her bedroom when a group of officers, with at least nine body cameras, broke down her door with a battering ram and crowbar.
The officers were looking for a 23-year-old suspect who allegedly had a gun, but they didn’t verify the address before conducting the search warrant. That suspect lived in the unit next door to Young.
Video footage was released publicly for the first time last week and Young cried as she watched it back and revealed she’s still traumatized.
‘It’s one of those moments where I felt I could have died that night. Like if I would have made one wrong move, it felt like they would have shot me. I truly believe they would have shot me,’ Young tearfully said in an interview with CBS 2 Chicago.
Young had filed a Freedom of Information ACT (FOIA) request for the video to show the public. A court forced Chicago police to turn over the footage as a part of Young’s lawsuit against the department.
‘I feel like they didn’t want us to have this video because they knew how bad it was. They knew they had done something wrong. They knew that the way they treated me was not right,’ Young said.
In the disturbing footage Young appeared shocked when the officers burst into her home after tearing down the door and shouted ‘Police search warrant! and ‘Hands up, hands up!’
‘It was so traumatic to hear the thing that was hitting the door. And it happened so fast, I didn’t have time to put on clothes,’ Young said.
In the clip Young became distressed as she was forced to stand in the living room naked and handcuffed as officers swarmed her apartment.
She yelled at least 43 times: ‘You’ve got the wrong house!’
‘What is going on? There’s nobody else here, I live alone. I mean, what is going on here? You’ve got the wrong house. I live alone,’ she shouted at one point of the clip.
At first an officer tried to put a hoodie sweater on her but it kept falling off. Then another officer ultimately threw a blanket over her shoulders but because she was handcuffed the blanket slipped off her shoulders, leaving her exposed again.
‘I’m just standing there, terrified, humiliated, not even understanding why in that moment this is happening to me,’ she said reflecting on the incident.
In the clip she begged officers to let her get dressed and she told them she believed they had bad information. She had lived in the home alone for the past four years.
‘Oh my God, this cannot be right. How is this legal,’ she cried.
It turned out that police had received a bad tip. A day before the raid a confidential informant told the lead officer on the raid that he recently saw a 23-year-old man who was a known felon armed with a gun and ammunition.
They gave the faulty address to police and cops didn’t independently verify if the address was correct.
It turned out the suspect lived in the unit next door to Young and had no connection to her whatsoever.
The suspect was awaiting trial on home confinement and was wearing an electronic monitoring device, meaning cops could have easily tracked his exact location.
Eventually the officers let Young put on clothes and said: ‘We believe your story.’