Chicago Mayor's Office Tried To Suppress Bodycam Footage Of Police Raiding Innocent Woman’s Home

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

 

It looks like Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is emulating her predecessor Rahm Emanuel. Her office tried to block the publicizing of bodycam footage that would embarrass her administration and the Chicago Police Department (CPD).

Chicago’s Law Department attempted to block a local news station from showing body camera footage showing CPD officers conducting a raid on an innocent woman’s home. The officers broke into her home and handcuffed her while she was naked.

The department sought a court order barring the station from airing the footage. The city also filed a request to have Anjanette Young, a social worker and the woman whose house the police raided, sanctioned for allegedly violating a confidentiality order.

The Chicago Tribune reported :

“Lightfoot officials made the extraordinary request to prevent a television station from airing a news report in an emergency court filing Monday evening, which a federal judge rejected. The courts long have ruled against efforts to prevent news companies from publishing reports, saying it’s an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment.”

CBS aired the footage along with an interview with Young on Monday. During a press conference on Tuesday, Lightfoot told reporters, “I can’t comment on that. A federal judge put rules in place. It’s for that judge to determine whether or not that was appropriate.”

The mayor tried to distance herself from the incident, claiming that the raid occurred before she was elected. However, the city kept the video secret under her administration. She later released a statement stating that she “had no knowledge” of the matter until Tuesday. “I had a very emotional reaction to what was depicted on the video as I imagine that many people did,” Lightfoot said.

The video showed what happened on that night two years ago when officers forcibly entered her home with guns drawn and handcuffed her while she was nude. CBS Chicago reported that “last year, Anjanette Young filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the video to show the public what happened to her that day. CBS 2 also filed a request for the video. But the Chicago Police Department denied the requests.”

The court forced the CPD to turn the footage over to Young as part of her lawsuit against the department. “I feel like they didn’t want us to have this video because they knew how bad it was,” Young said. “They knew they had done something wrong. They knew that the way they treated me was not right.”

According to the video, nine officers entered Young’s home at 7 pm. She had arrived at her apartment shortly after finishing her shift at the hospital and undressed in her bedroom. The officers repeatedly struck her door using a battering ram.

“It was so traumatic to hear the thing that was hitting the door,” Young recalled. “And it happened so fast, I didn’t have time to put on clothes.”

As they rushed into Young’s home, the officers shouted “police search warrant,” and “Hands up, hands up, hands up.” The footage shows the social worker standing in her living room with her hands raised, completely nude.

Using body camera video and police and court records, CBS 2 pieced together – moment by moment – not only how Young was treated during the raid, but also how police failed to check the bad tip that led them there.

From CBS Chicago:

“With her hands bound behind her back, the video shows an officer wrapped a short coat around her shoulders. But the coat only covered her shoulders and upper back – leaving her front completely exposed as she stood against the wall. Officers stood around her home – in the kitchen, the living room and the hallways – while she remained naked.”

Throughout the incident, Young can be heard crying and asking the officers for answers. “You’ve got the wrong house, you’ve got the wrong house, you’ve got the wrong house,” Young kept saying. According to CBS, she told the officers 43 times that they were in the wrong home.

It turned out that the officers did have faulty information. CBS found that “they failed to do basic checks to confirm whether they had the correct address before getting the search warrant approved.”

The news outlet reported:

“According to CPD’s complaint for search warrant, one day before the raid, a confidential informant told the affiant – or lead officer on the raid – that he recently saw a 23-year-old man who was a known felon with gun and ammunition.

The document said the officer found a photo of the suspect in a police database and showed it to the informant, who confirmed it was him. The officer then drove the informant to the address where the informant claimed the suspect lived.”

The report added, “despite no evidence in the complaint that police made efforts to independently verify the informant’s tip, such as conducting any surveillance or additional checks as required by policy, the search warrant was approved by an assistant state’s attorney and a judge.”

The informant gave the police the wrong address. The suspect they were tracking lived in the unit next door to Young and was not connected to her. But CBS also found that the officers could have easily tracked the suspect’s whereabouts because he was wearing an electronic monitoring device.

One of the reasons why black residents of Chicago were furious with Rahm Emanuel is because he helped to cover up the police shooting of Laquan McDonald. The law enforcement official involved in the shooting was later convicted of second-degree murder. It was the former mayor’s actions that prompted calls for his resignation from thousands of residents who marched in the streets.

It’s not yet known whether or not Lightfoot is telling the truth regarding her knowledge of the incident. But if there is any indication that she was involved in the attempt to cover it up, she might meet the same fate as Emanuel

 

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