CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot apologized Wednesday to a social worker whose home was wrongly raided by police officers who did not allow the woman to put on any clothes before handcuffing her.
A civilian review board is investigating the 2019 incident at Anjanette Young's home of which Chicago's WBBM-TV obtained body camera footage. Earlier this week Lightfoot's administration went to federal court to stop the station from airing the footage, but was denied.
Lightfoot initially tried to distance herself from the incident, saying it happened before she took office in May 2019 and blaming the Civilian Office of Police Accountability for not releasing the video earlier. COPA's investigation, which could include recommendations for disciplining officers, is ongoing.
But the disturbing video prompted wide criticism, including from Chicago aldermen who called for more hearings on the “cover-up of a wrongful police raid” and Black state legislators who called it an “act of racism, gendered violence and yet another violation of a Black woman’s dignity and safety.”
In the video, officers break down Young's door and she can be repeatedly heard screaming, “You’ve got the wrong house!” Young said she didn't have time to dress before several officers stormed into her apartment.
Lightfoot apologized to Young for the incident during an emotional news conference and for the attempt to block it from being aired.
“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," Lightfoot said. “It simply should not have happened. And I will make sure that there is full accountability for what took place.”
Lightfoot said concerns about officers searching the wrong homes has led to changes in search warrant protocol. She said the city would change its policies to make it easier to release body camera video in similar circumstances.
Young obtained the video as part of her lawsuit against the city. The city had also filed a request to have Young sanctioned for allegedly violating a confidentiality order. Lightfoot said Wednesday that Young should not be punished and she is a victim.
Young said Wednesday that she is a private person so having the video in the public sphere is difficult but necessary.
“I want accountability,” Young told reporters in Chicago. “I don’t need social media followers, I don’t need that type of stuff. Accountability.”
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