Lightfoot admits she knew about botched CPD raid, orders changes after bodycam video released

ByMichelle Gallardo, Liz Nagy, Diane Pathieu, Craig Wall, Chuck Goudie, Eric Horng, and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel, Ross Weidner WLS logo
Friday, December 18, 2020
Lightfoot admits she knew about botched CPD raid, orders changes
Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the incident a "colossal failure" and has ordered changes, but some are accusing her of scapegoating and hypocrisy.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot admitted Thursday that she knew about the botched police raid that left an innocent woman handcuffed with no clothes on. She called what happened in that home a "colossal failure" and has ordered changes to make sure it doesn't happen again.

But some are accusing her of scapegoating and hypocrisy.

Twenty-four hours after claiming she only learned about the case of Anjenette Young on Tuesday, Mayor Lightfoot admitted she didn't remember the case until seeing the video for the first time this week and reviewing emails.

"I don't have any specific recollection of it," Lightfoot said. "It was in November when I was probably focused on budget issues and getting our budget passed through city council."

WATCH: Chicago mayor becomes emotional while discussing wrong raid video

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown and Mayor Lori LIghtfoot speak about the body camera video showing a CPD raid on a wrong house in 2019.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city can't let what happened to Young in February 2019 happen again, when the social worker's home was raided by police who had the wrong address. The Chicago woman was terrified and humiliated, handcuffed while naked before police finally allowed her to cover up.

"I have an obligation to make that wrong, right," Lightfoot said Thursday, becoming emotional. "It's been painful, painful and upsetting."

The bodycam video shows six seconds elapse between the first knock on Young's door and Chicago police officers using a ram to forcibly break into her apartment.

WATCH: Bodycam video sheds light on botched CPD raid

Raiding wrong addresses has cost the city lots of money in legal fees settlements and good will.

"Under Supreme Court case law the reasonable amount to wait is 15 to 20 seconds," said attorney Al Hofeld. "What we find over and over in these cases, even when it's not a no-knock warrant, they nevertheless do not knock and announce.

As Young tried to convince CPD that they had the wrong address, an officer - with search warrant in hand - seemed to realize that was true fairly quickly, even as police continued to process her home.

Young was given the rationale for why officers were in her apartment, wrong one or not.

"If that was your mother, how would you want her be treated?" Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said. "You don't train that in academy. We hire people who we think know right from wrong. And if they don't know right from wrong, they don't need to be police officers."

While Supt. Brown announced a review of all search warrants Thursday, he said the changes applied to no-knock warrants only, which defense attorneys say represent a very small portion of all those signed off by judges.

"We need to ensure this never happens again with reforms, policies procedures and accountability for the mistake," Brown said.

John Catanzara, Jr., head of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, said cops are being scapegoated.

"Oh, there's no doubt she's trying to deflect the issue from the fact that she was part of a coverup," Catanzara said. "The same ranting and raving she did about Rahm Emanuel is the same thing she's guilty of equally."

INTERVIEW: Lightfoot vows to regain trust after botched CPD raid

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is vowing change after bodycam video of a Chicago police raid on the wrong house was released, even as city legal officials tried to suppress it.

The mayor said she wants to personally speak to Young and has reached out to her attorney. Young's case and the city's attempt to prevent the release of the video prompting the mayor to push for changes and to order the release all the video in her case.

Going forward, victims who reach out for case information will get it quickly, including video, the mayor said. The Law Department will review all pending search warrant cases, she said. The video release policy will be reviewed and the mayor wants the timeframe for release shortened.

Raiding wrong addresses has cost the city lots of money in legal fees settlements and good will.

Hofeld currently represents 10 clients who've had their homes raided by police where no arrests were made or evidence seized. They include Sharon Lyons, who in February had officers rush into her Back of the Yards apartment, pointing guns at herself, her autistic son and 4-year-old granddaughter.

"They done knocked the door in, the panel fell off the side of the wall, they got guns all in my face, all in my kid's face," Lyons said.

That warrant was executed a month after the city implemented reforms on the the search warrant process, to both prevent wrongful raids and protect children who might be in the home. They are said to now only be approved when there's a danger to life and safety.

"The new policy is too cosmetic and it needs to be made more specific," Hofeld said. "The evidence they seize will not be thrown out in criminal court, it won't be excluded if they fail to knock and announce. Therefore they don't care...some kind of direct consequence to them personally such as direct discipline."

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown announced a review of all search warrants Thursday, he said the changes applied to no-knock warrants only.

Critics are calling this case Lightfoot's Laquan McDonald.

"We are demanding an immediate push and approval of the civilian all elected civilian police accountability council there has to be a mechanism outside of City Hall," said Aislinn Pulley, with Black Lives Matter Chicago.

"There is no trust, there is just no trust with her," said 20th Ward Ald. Jeanette Taylor. "I have constituents saying she was saying she did not turn out to be what I thought she would be, and I have the same feelings."

The mayor ordered a top-to-bottom review of the case Thursday.

"There's a lot of trust that's been breached," Lightfoot said. "I know that there's a lot of trust in me, that's been breached. And I have a responsibility to build back that trust 37 of responsibility build that the trust of our city of our police department, and all of government."

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The mayor was asked if she's considering personnel changes at the city's law department, which fought the video's release. She said she is still reviewing what happened.