Ordinance proposed to city council after botched Chicago police raid

Chicago News

CHICAGO — City council members will consider a proposed ordinance that aims to rein in Chicago officers as they conduct raids.

The news comes after a botched raid at the wrong house left Chicago social worker Anjanette Young standing naked and hysterical in her home for 40 minutes as police officers searched. The botched raid resulted in a political fiasco, a mayoral apology and national headlines. It also brought to the forefront how Chicago police officers execute warrants.

“They could have allowed me to get dressed and continued what they were doing,” Young said. “They could have allowed me a moment to compose myself. There were so many things that went wrong in this moment.”

Introduced Wednesday, advocates and alderman now say that police need to be constrained by the force of law. The ordinance was sent to the Committee on Public Safety, which will be discussed and voted on. Should the ordinance advance, the entire council could vote as early as next month.

“When they found me with no clothes on, this ordinance would at least hold them accountable for how they treat me in that moment,” Young said.

Joined by four members of the city council’s Progressive Caucus, Young helped unveil the proposed ordinance in a virtual news conference Wednesday before a scheduled city council meeting.

“This is personal for all of us,” said 4th Ward Aldermen Sophia King. “We saw ourselves, our mothers, sisters and daughters in Miss Young’s tragedy.”

The proposed raid reform ordinance would end “No Knock” warrants, require police to use the “least intrusive” tactics possible and limit the hours of raids. The ordinance would also require CPD to record and publish details of raids, noting the ages and races of people inside the home, and if property seizures of arrests resulted from the raid.

The proposal would also seek informant tips to be verified and require police to avoid raids when children under 16 are present. What if kids are in the home? The ordinance would forbid cops from handcuffing them or pointing guns at then unless there is an “imminent” risk of death.

The proposal also suggest police would have to make every effort to avoid damage to property.

Finally, all video and audio recordings of the raid must been saved and reviewed by superiors.

“What we are attempting to do today is to continue to dismantle the systemic racism in the city of Chicago,” said 5th Ward Aldermen Leslie Hairston.

Young agrees.

“There are very specific things in this ordinance that I believe will foster a better sense of safety,” she says, “for all families in Black and brown communities.” 

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