State Watch

Chicago officials tried to block release of bodycam footage that showed police handcuffing naked woman in botched raid

City officials in Chicago tried to prevent a local CBS station from airing police body camera footage that shows officers carrying out a raid on the wrong home and handcuffing the homeowner while she was naked.

The city’s legal team had filed an emergency motion seeking to block the outlet from broadcasting the footage, according to the local station, CBS 2. However, the station said the motion was rejected by a judge as it aired the report Tuesday.

The body camera footage was captured in late February 2019 and shows the moment local police officers broke down the door of the residence belonging to Anjanette Young as part of a raid that was later revealed to have targeted the wrong home.

Young, a social worker, told the station that she had just made it home from work shortly before the officers’ arrival and had begun to undress.

“It was so traumatic to hear the thing that was hitting the door,” she said, referring to the battering ram the officers used to gain access to her residence. “And it happened so fast, I didn’t have time to put on clothes.”

When the police entered her home, Young was naked and said she was terrified as the officers shouted at her, ordering her to put her hands up. The officers then placed her in handcuffs while she was still naked. 

During the encounter Young repeatedly asked the officers what was happening, saying: “There’s nobody else here, I live alone. I mean, what is going on here? You’ve got the wrong house. I live alone.”

The station reported that one officer had put a blanket on Young minutes after they first entered her residence, but Young was still in handcuffs at the time and unable to hold it in place.

According to the station, Young told the officers more than 40 times during the raid that they had entered the wrong residence.

The police had reportedly secured a search warrant for the raid based on inaccurate information obtained from an informant who said a known felon had a gun and ammunition inside Young’s residence. It was later discovered, according to CBS 2, that the suspect officers had targeted in the raid lived next door to Young.

The suspect also reportedly had on an electronic monitoring device at the time.

In footage of the raid, Young can be seen telling officers, “I’ve been living here for four years and nobody lives here but me.”

“OK. You don’t have to shout,” one of the officers responded.

“I don’t have to shout?” Young replied. “This is f—ing ridiculous. You’ve got me in handcuffs. I’m naked, and you kicked my house in. I keep telling you, you’ve got the wrong place.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) in remarks Wednesday addressed her law department’s attempt to block the local station from releasing the footage, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Lightfoot said at a news conference then that she wanted to “tell Ms. Young (that) 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,” she continued. “It simply should not have happened. And I will make sure that there is full accountability for what took place.”

She also said she was “blindsided” by the emergency motion filed by her law department to block the video’s release. 

“Filing a motion against a media outlet to prevent something from being published is something that should rarely, if ever, happen,” she said. “And had I been advised that this was in the works, I would have stopped it in its tracks.”

Lightfoot’s comments came after her office faced heat from Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx over the law department’s actions. 

“The audacity that the city calculated its embarrassment over the release of the video, is a clear violation of Ms. Young’s body and autonomy. This was a complete and utter dismissal of her humanity. Her humanity was, literally, stripped from her,” Foxx tweeted earlier Wednesday.

“This disturbing video explicitly illustrates who the victim is, who deserves justice, and who holds the power. Let’s be clear, this is her body and this is her trauma,” she continued. “To imagine what Ms. Young experienced at the hands of those who were supposed to protect her is shameful.”

Keenan Saulter, an attorney representing Young, accused city officials of an attempted coverup in a statement to the paper this week.   

“This city has a history of attempting to cover up unfavorable video. That’s all we’re dealing with here,” Saulter said.

The city’s government also came under scrutiny for former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s response to the 2014 police killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. At the time, Emanuel reportedly worked to block the release of footage that showed a white police officer, Jason Van Dyke, fatally shoot the Black teenager.

His past handling of the case has garnered renewed interest in recent weeks amid reports he was being considered by the Biden administration to lead the Department of Transportation, a job that ultimately went to 2020 White House hopeful and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg

The incident involving Young took place months before Lightfoot assumed office as mayor in the spring of last year. However, the city also reportedly sought to block Young from obtaining footage of the raid in late 2019.

In reflecting on the night of the raid in her interview with CBS 2 this week, Young said: “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,” she said.

She made an appeal to Lightfoot in comments this week, urging her to do more to make sure situations like hers don’t happen again. 

“I was there when you came to my church and I did vote for you,” she said. “But I want you to come back to my church and tell me and the people at my church how you’re gonna fix this. It’s not OK.”

Tags Black Lives Matter chicago police Lori Lightfoot Lori Lightfoot Pete Buttigieg police brutality

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