The Chicago Police Watch Group has uncovered nearly 100 suspected cases of misconduct resulting from a violent and botched raid more than two years ago at the home of social worker Anjanette Young.
The Civil Police Accountability Office (COPA) released a statement on Thursday announcing the completion of its 16-month investigation into the 2019 raid, in which a dozen police officers knocked down Young’s door with guns and handcuffed her while she was naked and in distress.
The investigative report describes massive gaps in Chicago Police Department policies and training, and urged the department to prioritize improving these issues. COPA said it had already disclosed some of the issues it uncovered in previous public comments and recommendations to the Police Commissioner.
“During the investigation, COPA sent three letters to CPD, highlighting its concerns about its Fourth Amendment training and its policies for acquiring and executing search warrants,” the statement said. “COPA has also reviewed and commented on the CPD’s revised search warrant guidelines, contributing to remarks aimed at further improving and clarifying standards of officer conduct and increasing post-execution review and accountability. to fight against the unacceptable spread of responsibility.
Young’s attorney told HuffPost he plans to issue a statement on the investigation on Thursday evening.
WBBM-TV, the CBS Chicago affiliate, first obtained camera video of the police body from the February 2019 raid and aired it in December 2020. The disturbing footage showed officers breaking into the area. Young’s house with guns. The 50-year-old clinical social worker was undressing to bed and was undressed when a dozen officers rammed down her door with a ram and handcuffed her naked.
After about 30 seconds after entering, an officer attempts to cover Young – who was in extreme distress due to the raid – with a jacket that still exposed her forehead, and soon after, she no longer completely covered it with coverage. According to COPA, Young was handcuffed naked for almost 10 minutes before being allowed to dress, then handcuffed for an additional seven minutes.
Officers refused to tell him why they were leading the raid, although Young told them at least 43 times that they were in the wrong house and had the wrong information. After their break-in, officers realized their informant had given them the wrong address and that the raid was aimed at Young’s neighbor, who was already carrying an electronic surveillance device.
“The raid on Ms. Young’s house was really painful to watch,” COPA Chief Administrator Sydney Roberts said. “Given the importance of this investigation, COPA assigned this matter to a 10-member team specifically designed to assess the critical Fourth Amendment issues raised in this complaint.
“While we cannot fully heal the pain Ms. Young felt that day and since then, we hope that our investigation and recommendations will enable the healing process.”
COPA has not opened an investigation into Young’s case up to nine months after the raid – because he was unaware that the raid had taken place until he was asked if there was already an investigation into the incident.
The results and recommendations of the COPA investigation have been turned over to Police Commissioner David Brown for review, and will be made public after Brown reviews the report. Brown has 30 days to decide whether to discipline officers based on COPA’s findings. He hasn’t commented on them yet.
In November 2019, nine months after the raid, Young filed an Freedom of Information request to obtain body camera footage of the incident. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot – who only took office in May 2019 – first said Young did not (a claim she then backtracked). In fact, the police department rejected Young’s request 18 days after it was filed.
It wasn’t until CBS Chicago released the footage that Lightfoot apologized to Young and promised to resolve the matter. The city’s main lawyer also resigned after it was revealed that the city had sued the station in an attempt to prevent it from broadcasting the footage.
Young’s attorney, Keenan Saulter, filed a lawsuit in February seeking compensation for the distress and emotional trauma the raid caused him. But despite Lightfoot’s promises, CBS Chicago reported last month that the city still had not offered Young a settlement and was delaying actions that could help end the incident.
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