The City of Chicago is shelling out more money to settle a lawsuit tied to police misconduct. City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to pay $2.9 million to resolve a lawsuit brought on by Anjanette Young. Officers left Young handcuffed and naked while they raided her home in February 2019, only to find out later they had the wrong home in the first place.
“I think you can’t put a price on a person’s dignity, but I am happy that this is finally resolved and hopeful that reforms will follow, said Anthony Driver, chair of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression’s Political Committee.
The case and video of the raid sparked outrage across the country and once again raised concerns and questions around how police handle incidents in Black communities. Activists are pushing for City Council to pass the “Anjanette Young Ordinance,” which has also received the backing of several alderpeople. The ordinance calls for several policies and procedures to become law including a ban on no-knock warrants, a requirement that officers wait at least 30 seconds during knock and announce raids to give residents a chance to open their doors, and a requirement CPD officers executing home raids act in a manner that is “least intrusive and least harmful” to Chicago families.
“I fully support the Anjanette Young ordinance. I think it is the bare minimum. I don’t think they’re asking for too much, giving someone noticed is the bare minimum that an officer can do before barging in someone’s house,” said Driver.
An investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability found nearly a dozen officers committed nearly 100 acts of misconduct during the raid of Young’s home. Superintendent David Brown has asked the Chicago Police Board to fire the sergeant who led the raid. COPA has also recommended multiple other officers be suspended.
“Here was a supervisor on that scene that should have actually stepped up and did what they were supposed to be done and that didn’t happen,” said Richard Wooten, a retired Chicago Police officer and founder of Gathering Point Community Council.
The Chicago police department did make some revisions to its policy for serving search warrants after Ms. Young’s home was raided including adding a requirement that bureau chiefs sign off on them, and mandating a high-ranking official be on the scene, but activists say there needs to be accountability.
“I think they need to be held accountable. I think the officers involved should be fired. I think there needs to be more levels of accountability,” said Driver, “One of things that stuck out to me was not necessarily the actions of them as police officers, but the actions of them as human beings, what is it about the Chicago Police Department that makes a regular human being feel like it’s OK to burst into someone’s home unannounced and never actually offered her clothing for nine minutes or so to proceed to tear things up in the house.”