Report finds failed oversight in Anjanette Young botched raid

Chicago News

CHICAGO — New details have emerged on the city’s controversial handling of the Anjanette Young raid, the Chicago woman forced to stand naked in her apartment in 2019 as police mistakenly searched her home. 

One day after City Council officially approved a $2.9 million settlement for the botched raid, the results of an independent report, requested a year ago by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, revealed the city failed to follow proper procedure.

Headed by the Jones Day law firm, investigators made up of former federal prosecutors and an Appeals Court Judge pointed to failures across city departments. However, the report concludes there’s no evidence Lightfoot or city employees took action to conceal information with malicious intent to add to Young’s mistreatment.

“Now we did find failures in oversight and accountability by each of the four city departments,” said Jones Day attorney and former 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Ann Claire Williams at a Chicago press conference Thursday.

“The suffering inflicted upon her was made worse by the treatment she received from numerous city departments,” Williams said.

Police cam video from the botched police raid in February 2019 drew national and international attention. 

At the time, a prosecutor and judge approved the search warrant on what turned out to be an insufficient address.  The Jones Day report described the affair as a horrific example of insensitivity and humiliation. 

Report findings include:

  • The investigative team of 40 lawyers finding city employees failed to consider Young’s dignity
  • Failing to prioritize the clear misconduct for fast-track review. 
  • The city did not always follow procedures
  • City maintained flawed procedures
  • Inadequate communication across city departments.  

The report addressed a central question: when did Lightfoot first learn of the matter?

“Why did the mayor say she only learned about the matter in December of 2020 when she had been advised about the search in November 2019?” Williams asked.

The short answer, according to investigators, is that the mayor erred in her recollection of events when she first received a brief email from the Deputy Mayor of Public Safety. 

An entire year elapsing, the report concluding, before Lightfoot heard more details and viewed body cam video for the first time, with reporters asking questions.

“Our conclusion? No malicious intent to mislead of hide or deceive,” William said. “It was a mistake.”

Lightfoot says she hasn’t read the voluminous report yet, but she and her City Hall departments will look to drill down on the findings. 

“I think there’s a lot of valuable insight that will arise from the Jones Day investigation,” Lightfio because every department that touched any aspect of this will not be able to see what they did but how that was reflected in the work of their colleagues across city agencies.”

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