Chicago pays victim $2.9 million in settlement over botched raid of cuffed, naked woman

by Mike Creef, Staff Writer
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Chicago’s City Council Finance Committee unanimously approved the settlement Monday for Anjanette Young over a botched police raid in 2019 that left Young handcuffed and naked as 13 police officers raided her home.

The raid prompted the Chicago Police Department to change its policies, and was an embarrassment for the department as they tried to block the release of the bodycam footage.

Young had just returned home from a long day of work at a Chicago hospital when a battering ram smashed open her front door. A group of nine male police officers burst into Ms. Young’s home, pointing their weapons at the medical social worker as she was undressing in her bedroom. 

City acknowledges wrongdoing after attempted coverup

Handcuffed while naked, Young told the law enforcement officers that they had the wrong home 43 times. The officers claimed to have a no-knock search warrant, which had been issued based on information provided by a jailhouse informant. Young was restrained while she was getting ready for bed and forced to stand handcuffed and naked as officers searched her residence.

“The city has never disputed Ms. Young suffered an indignity” during the raid, city corporation counsel Celia Meza said Monday, when she took the unusual step of presenting the settlement to the Finance Committee herself.

Young is alleging willful and wanton conduct by the city and officers, that there was a standard of duty of care officers violated during the raid. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability found some officers engaged in such conduct during the raid, which would make it tougher for the city to defend itself in court, Meza said.

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (Bloomberg)

Mayor Lightfoot tried to block footage

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot initially denied knowledge of the raid, but as information began to be leaked to the media Lightfoot soon acknowledged that members of her staff had told her about the raid via emails in 2019.

Lightfoot’s administration sought an extraordinary order, suing for an emergency injunction, to stop the release of the bodycam footage to the media, but backed off as the scandal became more public.

Meza claimed that if the case had gone to trial, a jury might award Young $13 million, $1 million for each officer in the apartment.

The case will appear on the full City Council’s agenda Wednesday, where it is expected to be approved.

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