Woman whose home Chicago police wrongfully raided says she feared for her life, relates to Breonna Taylor

Lightfoot's attempt to speak with her seems insincere, Young says

ByCraig Wall, Eric Horng, and Jesse Kirsch WLS logo
Saturday, December 19, 2020
Woman recounts night Chicago police wrongfully raided her home
The woman wrongly targeted in a Chicago Police raid sat down with ABC News and recounted the terror she felt that night.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A woman whose home was wrongfully raided by Chicago police last year is speaking out about what happened.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot admitted Thursday that she knew about the botched police raid that left Anjanette Young, 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 late Friday, Lightfoot's office acknowledged that they failed to turn over six videos to Anjanette Young's lawyers that were requested earlier this year, calling it "accidental."

Young told Good Morning America in an exclusive interview "they didn't kill me last night because God was covering me."

"I was scared into compliance, like I just did what they said to me because I was afraid that if I did anything or made any moves, that they would shoot me," she said. "They had guns pointed at me. I feared for my life that night."

The new fallout has community groups and activists continuing their calls for major changes to the police department.

A group of pastors are putting on the pressure for transparency from not only CPD, but also the mayor's office.

"Who knew what on the mayor's staff? And what did the mayor know? And when did she know it? And when they knew it, what did they do about it?" said Bishop Larry Trotter, with Sweet Holy Spirit Church.

The coalition of religious leaders, from the south and west sides, met with reporters after having a 3:00 p.m. Zoom call with Mayor Lightfoot Friday afternoon amid the growing fallout.

Religious leaders met with Mayor Lightfoot late Friday afternoon to express outrage over the incident.

They said they want discipline or firing for the officers involved in the raid, as well as for the leadership of the city's law department. They also want public hearings in the case.

Some are accusing Lightfoot of scapegoating and hypocrisy.

Twenty-four hours after claiming she only learned about the case of 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.

Lightfoot said the city can't let what happened to Young in February 2019 happen again.

"So from the very night that it happened, I knew that I physically, physically lived to tell the story because of the grace of God," Young said.

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

Young said she's disappointed by the mayor, who ran on a platform of reform.

"She let me down," Young said. "I want you to come back to my church and tell me how you're going to fix this."

On WVON 1690 AM Friday morning, Lightfoot said she should have done more last year.

"I wish and I, and I should have dug deeper into Ms. Young's individual case," the mayor said. "Had I done that at the time, I would have found out about it, and asked to see the video, and we would have been talking about this in November of (20)19, not December (20)20."

Now she has put her law department on notice, stressing that there cannot be another case like Young's.

"I told them -- every pleading that they file, every argument that they make, they are ambassadors of our values -- my values as a mayor and our values as an administration, and if they don't get that. That's a problem, and I want them out," Ligthfoot said.

"So I want accountability and not accountability in the sense of the word accountability [but] in the sense of action, concrete things that will happen," Young said.

So do pastors like Ira Acree with the Greater St. John Bible Church.

"We want the mayor to step up," Acree said. "Contrition is a start, but contrition must be followed up with correction."

Acree said that means heads must roll at city hall.

"Do the right thing... She can get the ball rolling with just one move, and that's is dismissing the corporation counsel," he added.

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.

"I ran into my living room, tried to grab something to cover myself and before I could do anything, the police were in," Young said. "The room was dark so I could just see lights and scopes on, guns pointed at me."

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 cover-up," 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.

But Young said Lightfoot's attempt is too late.

"This has been going on for two years and before the exposure of the bodycam this week, there was no interaction from this from mayor's office or herself directly to me or my attorney," Young said. "And so years later, now she's sorry. And to be quite honest, that doesn't register to me as sincere at this point."

Young's case and the city's attempt to prevent the release of the video prompted 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 have had their homes raided by police where no arrests were made or evidence seized.

"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.

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 of responsibility, build that trust of our city, of our police department and all of government."

RELATED: Bodycam video released in Walter Wallace Jr. shooting, Philadelphia officers involved identified

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.

WATCH: Political analyst Laura Washington discusses Lightfoot's comments on raid

Political analyst Laura Washington discussed Mayor Lightfoot's comments on a wrongful CPD raid Friday.

"I don't take it lightly that I'm sitting here in this moment ... being able to say what happened to me, but I very much embrace and relate to Breonna Taylor," Young said. "When it happened to her, I cried for days, but I was also very thankful and understood why I was sitting here watching her story when the same thing had just happened to me. But I lived to tell the story."