Video: A rough day in City Council. The Thompson Center is closer to being sold, and so much more with our Spotlight Politics team. (Produced by Alex Silets)
The Chicago City Council agreed Wednesday to pay $2.9 million to resolve the lawsuit brought by Anjanette Young after police officers handcuffed her while she was naked and ignored her pleas for help during a botched raid in February 2019.
The vote was unanimous and came without debate.
Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20th Ward), who had previously attempted to block Celia Meza's appointment as head of the Law Department in protest over the city's handling of Young's lawsuit, said Young was not the first person to suffer during a Chicago Police raid.
“I pray she is the last,” Taylor said.
In a statement released by her attorney Keenan Saulter, Young said the amount of the settlement was immaterial.
“No amount of money could provide Ms. Young with what she truly wants — which is to never have been placed in this situation in the first place,” Saulter said. “Because financial compensation is the only way civil suits can be resolved, Ms. Young is looking forward to closing this painful chapter of her life.”
After the firestorm, the Chicago Police Department changed its policy for serving search warrants to add a requirement that bureau chiefs sign off on any no-knock warrants. It also adds steps before, during and after the execution of a search warrant, such as requiring officers to account for the possible presence of children or vulnerable parties and mandating a lieutenant or higher-ranking official is on the scene.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul told WTTW News those changes are insufficient.
Young said she would continue to push for a measure backed by several alderpeople, including five Black female council members, that includes an outright ban on no-knock warrants and requires officers to use “tactics that are the least intrusive to people’s home, property and person and least harmful to people’s physical and emotional health” while tracking warrants.
That proposal has yet to get a hearing in the City Council.
The settlement comes nearly a year after Chicago’s CBS affiliate, WBBM-TV, aired video of the raid, which showed Young had been left unclothed by a group of male officers who were looking for someone else, touching off a political firestorm.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown told members of the Chicago City Council the officers who conducted the raid had violated Young’s human rights. Brown has asked the Chicago Police Board to fire the sergeant who led the raid.
A probe of the raid by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability found evidence that nearly a dozen officers committed nearly 100 acts of misconduct during the search of Young’s home.
COPA’s probe was one of three investigations into the raid.
Former Inspector General Joseph Ferguson sent a 163-page report of his own investigation to Lightfoot just hours before he left office Oct. 15.
Although Lightfoot promised “complete transparency” about what happened to Young, the mayor has repeatedly refused to commit to releasing Ferguson’s report and told WTTW News it was inadequate.
Lightfoot did not “fully cooperate” with his probe, Ferguson said.
A third probe, by retired Judge Ann Claire Williams and the law firm Jones Day, is still ongoing. That investigation into the raid and the conduct of the mayor’s office, the city’s Law Department and the police department started nearly a year ago. Its status is unclear.