Emails Surface Showing Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Discussing Botched February Raid With Top City Aides
Hundreds protested the raid of Anjanette Young's Chicago home as she was wrongfully accosted and handcuffed naked during the police encounter.
December 29, 2020 at 12:34 am
(Update, December 31, 2020) — Although previously maintaining she had not known about the February 2019 botched Chicago Police Department raid of Anjanette Young's home, Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office has released a slew of emails that show the mayor discussing the incident with top city aides prior to the release of bodycam footage.
More than 150 emails show a variety of discussions between Lightfoot, her chief of staff, other top aides and lawyers, NBC Chicago reported. Per the emails, Lightfoot was made aware of the incident in early November 2019 and not when bodycam footage was released as she had previously claimed.
Earlier this month, Lightfoot held on to her claims of not knowing about the incident, even apologizing to Young at a press conference after bodycam footage was aired on local news programs.
“I am deeply sorry and troubled that her home was invaded and that she had to face the humiliation and trauma that she suffered,” Lightfoot said at the press conference. "That is just not right. It simply should not have happened. And I will make sure that there is full accountability for what took place.”
A Nov. 11, 2019 email sent to Lightfoot from former deputy mayor for public safety, Susan Lee, gave an alert of the footage set to be released and details from the raid.
"Mayor please see below for pretty bad wrongful raid coming out tomorrow," Lee's email began.
The Lightfoot administration then sought to halt the release of the video, which Lightfoot alleged occurred without her knowledge.
“I made it very clear to the corporation counsel that I will not be blindsided by issues like this,” Lightfoot said. “Filing a motion against a media outlet to prevent something from being published is something that should rarely, if ever, happen. And had I been advised that this was in the works, I would have stopped it in its tracks. This is not how we operate. Period.”
However, the emails may prove that Lightfoot was a part of the attempts to withhold the bodycam footage from the public.
In a statement released with the emails, the mayor's office states that, "Mayor Lightfoot has been and remains committed to full transparency surrounding the police raid on Anjanette Young’s home and all subsequent actions and activity, as well as identifying all other victims and righting wrongs."
A previously-scheduled meeting between Young and Lightfoot has been canceled by Young’s attorney, Ken Saulter.
"The mayor's apologies without action ring hollow and fall on deaf ears," Saulter wrote in a statement, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
(Original Story, December 28, 2020) — The harrowing video of Chicago police officers mistakenly raiding and rifling through Anjanette Young's home has sparked protests in Chicago on Sunday, with hundreds of Black women showing out to express their outrage about the situation, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.
The women were joined at the Chicago Police headquarters protest by Rev. Jesse Jackson, Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, Chicago Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin, as well as Reps. Bobby Rush and Danny Davis.
“We just wanted to just say, in our outrage and our anger, ‘Hey girl, we with you.’ That’s what we need. Black women…we’ve always been that foundation, that glue for the family. And so to see us all come together and respond to demand fair justice for another sister… that was great, that’s awesome,” said organizer Mary Russell-Gardner in an interview with the Sun-Times.
Say her name … Anjanette Young. Today I marched with a coalition of women outside of the Chicago Police headquarters to protest the botched raid against a naked black female social worker. She is seen in a video telling officers they had the wrong house. Praying for justice. pic.twitter.com/5zmJ7GEXeb
— Sonya Whitaker (@drsonyawhitaker) December 28, 2020
"We were outraged, just speechless, can’t even fathom what that woman experienced coming into her house naked. So that’s the main reason I’m out here for this Black woman, Miss Anjanette Young, whom I don’t even know, but I felt every pain she felt,” she added.
Exclusive bodycam video from the 2019 raid on Young's home, showed more than seven officers barge into her home heavily armed and screaming, according to footage released by CBS2. Young was in the shower when they broke in. Officers left her handcuffed, naked and dripping wet as the men searched through her things and demanded answers. She was standing naked in front of the men for 15 minutes before a woman officer arrived and took her to her room where she could change.
The officers eventually were forced to apologize because they had the wrong address. The video also showed officers admitting that the warrant may not have gotten official approval from superiors.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has also faced backlash for claiming that she did not know members of her administration were fighting the release of the video in court for months.
Both CBS2 and Young's lawyers filed Freedom Of Information Act requests for the bodycam video of all the officers involved but were denied. Young's lawyer was able to get the video through discovery in her lawsuit against the city over the raid.