Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has admitted she has known for more than a year about a botched police raid where cops handcuffed an innocent black woman while she was naked in her own home – just days after claiming she had only learned of the incident this week.
Lightfoot claimed on Tuesday that she had only learned this week about the February 2019 raid on the home of 50-year-old Anjanette Young, the same day shocking bodycam footage of the incident was made public.
Officers raided Young’s home around 7 p.m. on February 21 2019 after she had just arrived home from her shift at the hospital and was getting undressed in her bedroom.
The cops were acting on a tip-off from an informant and had the wrong address.
Young was forced to stand naked and handcuffed in her apartment as officers swarmed around the property – ignoring her pleas that they had the wrong address.
On Tuesday, Lightfoot claimed the first she knew about the shocking incident was Monday.
‘The first I knew of this incident was yesterday morning – the search warrant, the video, and the actions of the law department. The first thing I knew of any of this was yesterday morning.’
Lightfoot had branded media reports that she was aware of the incident earlier ‘reckless and irresponsible.’
But she was forced to admit on Thursday that she has known about the police blunder for more than 12 months – after emails with her staff showed she had discussed the incident in November 2019.
Lightfoot said at a press conference Thursday that her team had reminded her after her comments Tuesday that several botched police raids including Young’s were brought to her attention back in November 2019.
‘What I now know, having looked at some emails, is my team knew that this was an issue of great concern for me – issues meaning about the search warrants,’ Lightfoot said.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot admitted Thursday (above)she knew back in 2019 about the botched no-knock raid where cops handcuffed an innocent naked black social worker and that the female victim did file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the bodycam footage – one day after she denied it
Lightfoot claimed on Tuesday that she had only learned this week about the February 2019 raid on the home of 50-year-old Anjanette Young, the same day the shocking bodycam footage (above) of the incident was made public
‘They knew that I had tasked our chief risk officer to look into this and to work on reforming the policy, so this was lifted up to me as yet another example.’
The mayor insisted she did not remember hearing of Young’s case specifically and that she had not seen the footage until this week.
‘Again, I don’t have any specific recollection of it,’ she said.
‘It was in November when I was probably focused on budget issues and getting our budget passed through City Council, but it was flagged for me.’
Lightfoot said she will make public the emails relating to her knowledge of the case.
The mayor also backpedaled on her claim that Young had not filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Chicago Police Department for bodycam footage from the incident.
She said Tuesday: ‘It is also not correct that Ms. Young was denied access to the video. The city provided her counsel with the video in March of this year almost nine months ago.’
But on Thursday the mayor admitted Young had filed a FOIA request back in November 2019 – a request that was denied by the force the same month.
‘In fact, Ms. Young did file a FOIA request, so I stand corrected on that. It was filed November 2019. It was denied,’ Lightfoot said.
MAYOR LIGHTFOOT’S WALKBACK:
On her knowledge of the raid on Anjanette Young’s home
‘The first I knew of this incident was yesterday morning – the search warrant, the video, and the actions of the law department.
‘The first thing I knew of any of this was yesterday morning.’
‘What I now know, having looked at some emails, is my team knew that this was an issue of great concern for me – issues meaning about the search warrants.
‘They knew that I had tasked our chief risk officer to look into this and to work on reforming the policy, so this was lifted up to me as yet another example…
‘Again, I don’t have any specific recollection of it.
‘It was in November when I was probably focused on budget issues and getting our budget passed through City Council, but it was flagged for me.’
On Anjanette Young filing a FOIA request for the bodycam footage
‘It is also not correct that Ms. Young was denied access to the video.
‘The city provided her counsel wit the video in March of this year almost nine months ago.’
‘In fact, Ms. Young did file a FOIA request, so I stand corrected on that.
It was filed November 2019. It was denied.’
The footage was finally handed over after Young filed a FOIA lawsuit in December 2019 and a judge ordered its release.
Lightfoot said she had ordered a ‘top-to-bottom’ review to find out why Young’s initial FOIA request was denied.
She also vowed an overhaul to city policies so that victims like Young don’t have to file a FOIA request at all to get access to bodycam footage involving them.
‘Anytime a person who is a victim requests information about an incident that happened to them, our government’s obligation is to respond in a fulsome, transparent, and immediate way,’ Lightfoot said.
‘We’ve got to be more responsive and do a better job, and we’re going to do that.’
Lightfoot has come under fire over the city’s attempts to block the footage after her administration went to federal court this week and filed a motion seeking to stop local station CBS Chicago from showing the footage.
The motion was denied and the outlet released the video.
The mayor said Tuesday she had been ‘blindsided’ by the city lawyers’ efforts to block the release of the footage from the raid.
‘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 at the time.
‘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.’
She also issued an apology to Young and described her as the victim.
‘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.’
The footage, first released by
‘A lot of trust that been breached and I know that there’s a lot of trust in me that has been breached and I have a responsibility to build back that trust,’ she said.
The mayor said she had reached out to Young in the hopes she can meet with her in person.
Young, who plans to sue the city over the ordeal, told CBS Chicago she wanted to meet Lightfoot at her church but that a time and date had not yet been set.
The 50-year-old victim told Good Morning America Friday she was ‘scared into compliance’ as she believed the officers might shoot her.
‘I was scared into compliance. Like I just did what they said to me because I was afraid if I did anything or made any moves that they would shoot me,’ she said.
‘They had guns pointed at me. I feared for my life that night.’
She said police broke into her home so fast she didn’t have time to put any clothes on before she was faced with guns pointing at her.
‘I ran into my living room, tried to grab something to cover myself. And before, you know, I could do anything the police were in,’ Young said
‘The room was dark so I could just see lights on, scopes on, guns pointed at me.’
Young’s treatment has drawn parallels with the shooting of Breonna Taylor by Louisiana police in March.
Taylor died in a hail of bullets in her apartment, when police forcibly entered her house in a drugs investigation focused on Taylor’s ex-boyfriend who was not present at the time.
Her death gained global attention in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, which shone a spotlight on the rate of deaths of black people in police custody and sparked protests demanding an end to police brutality and systemic racism.
Young told GMA: ‘I don’t take it lightly that I am sitting here in this moment in 2020 being able to say what happened to me but I very much embrace and relate to Breonna Taylor.
‘My incident happened before hers so when it happened to her I cried for days but I was also very thankful.’
She added: ‘They didn’t kill me that night because God was covering me.’
Lightfoot and Chicago Police Supt. David Brown have both vowed to overhaul processes within the city and the police force in the wake of the raid.
Brown said at Thursday’s press conference that changes were being made in the force so that others don’t face the same treatment as Young as he hit out at the lack of ‘respect’ shown to the social worker.
Lightfoot admitted Thursday that emails with her staff showed she knew about the incident back in November 2019.But she insisted she did not remember hearing of Young’s case specifically and that she had not seen the bodycam footage until this week
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said at Thursday’s press conference (above) that changes were being made in the force so that others don’t face the same treatment as Young as he hit out at the lack of ‘respect’ shown to the social worker
‘If that was your mother, how would you want her to be treated?’ he said.
‘You don’t train that in an academy. We hire people who we think know right from wrong, and if they don’t know right from wrong, they don’t need to be police officers.
‘It’s not complicated. Treat everyone with respect. Everyone deserves a measure of respect.’
Young filed the FOIA on November 1 2019 and it was denied by the Chicago Police Department on November 19
Officers will now need approval from a high-level bureau chief to execute a no-knock search warrant and such warrants will only be approved if there is an immediate risk to someone’s health and safety.
Other changes include that officers will now need to corroborate information from a paid informant through an independent, non-paid source if that information is being used to obtain a search warrant, Brown said.
The police chief also said a review was being carried out into all 2020 search warrants to determine how many were executed on the wrong homes.
Brown added that even if the officers had been at the right house, the treatment of the naked 50-year-old wasn’t right.
‘Even if we had been in the right house, Ms. Young should have been treated with respect,’ he said.
The disturbing footage shows officers breaking down Young’s door and she can be repeatedly heard screaming ‘You’ve got the wrong house!’
Young said she didn’t have time to dress before several officers stormed into her apartment.
‘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 this week.
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!’
Lightfoot had said Tuesday (above) ‘the first thing I knew of any of this was yesterday morning’. She also denied Young had filed a FOIA request with the Chicago Police Department which she then walked back Thursday
‘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 wailed.
It turned out that police had visited her home acting on 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.
Distressing police bodycamera footage shows the moment Chicago cops broke into the home of social worker Anjanette Young and handcuffed her in the nude on February 21, 2019, only to later realize they raided the wrong house
Young had returned home from her shift at a hospital and was undressed in her bedroom when a group of officers broke down her door with a battering ram and crowbar. They handcuffed her and ordered her to stand in the living room even as she had no clothes on
Officers tried to cover Young up by putting a hoodie on her and a blanket over her shoulders, but because she was handcuffed, they kept slipping off her shoulders leaving her exposed
The suspect was awaiting trial on home confinement and was wearing an electronic monitoring device, meaning cops could have easily tracked his exact location.
In one portion of the footage two officers seated in a squad car discuss the approval of the search warrant.
‘It wasn’t initially approved or some cr**,’ one officer said.
‘What does that mean?’ the second officer asked.
‘I have no idea. I mean, they told him it was approved, then I guess that person messed up on their end,’ the first officer said.
‘That piece of paper [search warrant] gives them the right to, you know, that says you can do X, Y, Z based on what’s on that paper. So if you get it wrong, you are taking 100 percent control of someone else’s life and treating them in a bad way,’ Young said.
Eventually the officers let Young put on clothes and said ‘We believe your story.’
They then left and tried to fix the badly damaged front door but couldn’t.
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
She told the officers a total of 43 times that they had raided the wrong address
Eventually the officers let Young put on clothes and said ‘We believe your story’
On Tuesday, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) said they’re investigating the footage and incident.
They didn’t launch the investigation until nine months after the incident when it was first reported by CBS2.
Last month COPA said it ‘is still in the process of serving allegations and conducting all necessary officer interviews.’