CHICAGO (CBS) — Two City Council committees are holding a public hearing Tuesday morning to question Chicago Police Department officials about their search warrant policies, in the wake of a CBS 2 investigation that revealed officers wrongly raided innocent social worker Anjanette Young’s home last year, and handcuffed her while she was naked.

The Committee on Public Safety and Committee on Health and Human Relations were meeting jointly to give aldermen the opportunity to question CPD about how Young’s case was handled, and to look into the department’s overall policies and procedures regarding search warrants. No votes will be taken during the meeting.

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The hearing comes as three members of Chicago’s law department are out of their jobs, following what Mayor Lori Lightfoot calls the mishandling of the Anjanette Young case. The City Council Black Caucus is introducing a resolution calling for the city to abolish warrants based only on information from paid informants and changing the city’s police on the release of video footage.

This is a result of CBS 2 Investigators exposing Anjanette Young’s case and many other victims of bad raids. Young was a victim of a botched raid conducted by Chicago police, which was recorded in February of 2019. Lightfoot had criticized the city’s Law Department for seeking to block CBS 2 from airing video footage of the wrong raid of Young’s home. A federal judge denied that request, and Lightfoot has since said that it was a mistake, though she has denied knowing about the request beforehand.

Several aldermen had invited Lightfoot to personally appear at Tuesday’s hearing, but she has said she won’t attend, saying “I think the aldermen have it covered.”

Monday, Mayor Lightfoot also announced every officer involved in the wrong raid of Young’s home has been placed on desk duty until the city’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) concludes its investigation of the 2019 incident. The mayor said the officers were removed from the street at the direction of Chicago Police Supt. David Brown, amid a COPA investigation that has dragged on for more than a year.

CBS 2 will be following Tuesday’s joint committee hearing, and will have regular updates here:

6:56 p.m.

The hearing on CPD’s search warrant policies ended after nearly eight hours of questions and testimony.

At the end of Tuesday’s hearing, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown voiced support for the idea of licensing police officers in Illinois.

Brown, former police chief in Dallas, said, “I come from a state where I held a license.”

“You had to have a license and you had to have continuing education to maintain your license, and the license had restrictions. If you lost it due to misconduct, you could no longer be a police officer anywhere in the state,” he said. “I would say it would do the profession well in Illinois if we got that in legislation.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot also has embraced the idea of licensing police officers, and requiring them to undergo regular recertification.

The mayor in June said she was directing her legal team to draft legislation that would require officers to be licensed by the state. However, state lawmakers have not been in session since then, so the issue has yet to come up for debate in Springfield, much less a vote.

6:26 p.m.

Civilian Office of Police Accountability Chief Administrator Sydney Roberts said they expect to complete their investigation of the Young case in early 2021.

“Our report will be made public, and will identify the full extent of our investigation; how we reached our conclusions, and what our recommendations were,” Roberts said.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and several aldermen have criticized COPA for having taken more than a year already to investigate the case.

Lightfoot has called on COPA to wrap up the investigation “in an expeditious way.”

“I firmly believe in the value that justice delayed is justice denied, and frankly there is no excuse that this matter has languished for a year without any significant movement on the part of COPA,” Lightfoot said Monday.

Roberts, however, said it takes an average of 20 months to investigate misconduct cases, so they expect to complete the probe of the Young case quicker than normal.

“This was a priority for us,” she said. “I realize we would have liked this case to be concluded already, but it will conclude in advance of the normal length in which our cases are concluded.”

6:11 p.m.

Several aldermen expressed concerns that at least one officer involved in the raid on Young’s home turned off his body camera during the incident.

Chicago Police Internal Affairs Chief Karen Konow said officers face discipline for violating body camera policy, such as failing to activate a camera as required when interacting with the public, turning off a camera too early, or turning it on too late.

Konow said CPD policy does not specify particular discipline for violating body camera rules, however.

“The discipline can be through our summary punishment system, all the way up to a full investigation if necessary,” she said.

Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) said those disciplinary measures “are really nothing, and that’s a problem, that there’s no consequences.”

“There is nothing that is meaningful in place, and that is the first place we need to start,” Hairston said.

During the raid on Young’s home, at least one officer turned off his body camera. CPD did not respond to questions about why the camera was turned off – a pattern CBS 2 found both during wrong raids and in CPD’s every day interactions with civilians.

5:52 p.m.

Ald. Michael Rodriguez (22nd) said Young’s case serves as an example of why the Chicago Police Department needs a civilian oversight board.

“I think that [without] civilian oversight, we’re going to be back at ground zero here again, and very shortly. I feel like I’ve heard this song before, and I think, you know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the a different result. I’m not sure if that’s been used today, but it seems like it’s certainly applicable here,” he said.

A vote on a plan to create a civilian police oversight board has been delayed for months, amid a dispute over who would have ultimate authority for setting Chicago Police Department policy. The Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability, a group of community activists which has been negotiating the proposed Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, wants the new oversight board to approve all CPD general orders and policies, but the mayor wants to have final say.

Meantime, Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) said aldermen cannot afford to rely on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s hand-picked choice of retired federal judge Ann Claire Williams to lead an outside investigation of the Young case.

Sigcho-Lopez said aldermen need to find out who exactly in the city’s Law Department decided to try to stop CBS 2 from airing video of the raid, and to seek sanctions against Young and her attorney for releasing the video. He said the City Council also needs to know what directions the mayor’s office gave to the Law Department regarding the Young case before she ordered city attorneys to halt efforts to sanction Young or her attorney. The mayor also has said she did not authorize the attempt to block release of the video.

“It is abundantly clear that we need an independent investigation, and an independent investigation is not going to be an investigation appointed by Mayor Lightfoot. We in this body should not accept that. We in this body need an independent investigation, and we need sanctions,” Sigcho-Lopez said.

Lightfoot has said she supports a call from several aldermen to demand an independent investigation by the Chicago Inspector General’s office.

4:57 p.m.

Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) said it was particularly troubling to see a recent CBS 2 investigation that revealed CPD’s low success rate for finding illegal drugs. According to the police department’s own data, officers primarily target drugs in search warrants but failed to find any in 95 percent of search warrants seeking narcotics in a three-year period, CBS 2 previously reported.

“We are going into someone’s space, under the pretense, under the color of law, and coming up with nothing,” he said. “These are traumatizing events. We’re breaking down doors, creating property damage, we’re going through all of this, and these are the results.”

Ervin asked if such a low success rate for search warrants was common for large cities, and Chicago Police Supt. David Brown claimed to have seen higher return rates in internal data, but could not provide specifics.

“We just need to send you the data we have, and we need to compare what this data compared to what we have, what’s more accurate,” Brown said.

Ervin also said he wants to know how many other cases like Young’s there have been.

“How many Ms. Youngs are out there where our officers have done something that may not have been to that extent, but have violated the sanctity of one’s personal place; and again, no guns, no dope, no nothing,” he said.

Brown said CPD is “reviewing that information” and will get back to the City Council with an answer.

4:32 p.m.

After extensive questioning by aldermen, the committees took a short recess at 4:30 p.m., with more questions yet to come.

3:53 p.m.

Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) said it’s maddening that no one at CPD, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, or anywhere else has been held accountable for what went wrong during the raid, nearly two years after the fact.

“I know one and one is two, but I can’t even get one and one here, and it leaves me with nothing,” she said.

Mitts said it is long past time to get at the root of systemic racism within the Chicago Police Department.

“That’s what we’re talking about,” she said. “There are racism within the Police Department that costs the city of Chicago to spend millions and billions of dollars [on misconduct cases] and they’re still working. Now that’s the best job in the world ain’t it?”

3:42 p.m.

Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) said CPD needs to implement a policy requiring a female officer be a part of every team executing a search warrant to help avoid any future incidents in which a woman is forced to remain naked in front of several male officers.

Brown said he agrees, and pledged to make sure that policy goes into place.

“That will happen,” Brown said.

The superintendent said, while there was a female officer present at some point during the raid of Young’s home, it’s not clear when she entered the home, and exactly how long Young was left without clothes before she was allowed to get dressed. He said that is one of the issues COPA is expected to determine as part of its probe.

Asked what the possible tactical reason for handcuffing a naked woman and leaving her exposed for as long as 45 minutes, even when her home had obviously been cleared, Brown said there is none.

“There’s no explanation or excuse for handcuffing Ms. Young, and again, even though I wasn’t here when this happened, I take full responsibility in correcting it,” Brown said.

3:17 p.m.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said it has been “beyond frustrating” that officers involved in the raid of Young’s home have yet to face any disciplinary action, because he has to wait for the Civilian Office of Police Accountability to complete its investigation.

“This is the most frustrating part of the Chicago way of investigating misconduct. This gets forwarded to COPA for investigation, and I’m not accustomed to that process of such delayed consequences for misconduct,” Brown said. “Unfortunately, and really frustrating to me, it’s almost two years of delayed consequences for this behavior.”

Asked what disciplinary charges the officers involved in the raid could possibly face, Brown said it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to answer, given the case is still under investigation by COPA.

However, COPA Chief of Investigative Operations Andrea Kersten said some of the violations that might be in play would be whether it was necessary to handcuff Young, how long she was handcuffed, leaving her naked, violating CPD human rights orders, and whether they gave her sufficient time to answer the door after knocking.

“Officers’ conduct must be reasonable, and it has to be conduct commensurate with what a reasonable officer in this same situation would or wouldn’t do. So that’s what we’re tasked with looking at,” she said.

Kersten also pointed out that, while CPD rarely applies for no-knock warrants, they have seen many cases in which officers execute so-called “knock and announce” search warrants as if they were no-knock warrants.

2:45 p.m.

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Several aldermen said they were disappointed that neither the Law Department, nor Mayor Lori Lightfoot, nor anyone from the mayor’s office testified at Tuesday’s hearing.

“Not showing up is not good government,” Ald. Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez (33rd) said.

Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th) argued that the scope of the hearing was too limited, given the Law Department’s efforts to block the release of the video of the raid, and to seek sanctions against Young’s attorneys, apparently without notifying the mayor.

“We have all failed,” Vasquez said.

However, Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), who chairs the Health and Human Relations Committee, said he and Public Safety Committee Chair Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29th) are committed to further hearings on the case, including to vote on specific legislative changes the city might need.

“You go where information leads us, so depending on what happens today, we can find out where we need to go from here, but we had to have this first step. I think it was necessary for us to do this, in order for us to have a next step,” Sawyer said.

2:30 p.m.

CPD Supt. David Brown said he will be working with aldermen and the community on an effort to standardize the department’s procedures for obtaining a search warrant, as well as the tactics for executing search warrants, given the sheer number of units and officers who apply for them.

“Particularly in the Patrol Bureau, we likely would have a great benefit with everyone doing it the same way, rather than this scattershot way we currently are using our policy,” he said.

Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) said too many officers have made “egregious errors” in search warrant applications, and been allowed to continue to serve them.

Waguespack suggested that the department should have a specific group of officers trained on proper search warrant policies to take on that duty in the future, to make sure police know what they are doing when they seek warrants.

2:03 p.m.

Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) joined several other aldermen in calling for an independent investigation of the Young case by the Chicago Inspector General’s office.

“We all should be outraged, and we all should be extremely, extremely diligent in how we’re going to change this around,” Sigcho-Lopez said.

The alderman also asked why it took the case becoming a public scandal for the officers involved in the raid to be placed on desk duty, nearly two years after the raid.

“It’s because I believe that that’s warranted until the investigation is completed with COPA,” Brown said.

Sigcho-Lopez said “it’s a real shame” that it took a scandal to get to that point.

1:40 p.m.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has asked former federal judge Ann Claire Williams to launch an outside investigation of the wrong raid of Anjanette Young’s home, when officers handcuffed her while she was naked, and the city’s handling of the fallout.

In a letter to aldermen, Lightfoot said the city must “ensure what Ms. Young experienced never happens again.”

The mayor said Williams and her law firm, Jones Day, have agreed to handle the investigation for no cost to the city.

“Her mandate will include every relevant department, including the Mayor’s Office. We want a review of the procedures and processes in place that allowed this incident and subsequent actions to unfold as they did. I have directed that Judge Ann and her team should be given full cooperation. She will follow the facts where they lead. The results of her investigation will be shared with you, and the public,” Lightfoot told aldermen in her letter.

Lightfoot also said she supports calls for Inspector General Joseph Ferguson’s office to conduct its own probe of the case.

“We must get to the bottom of what transpired around the wrong raid of Ms. Young’s home and all that followed which is why I support the City’s Inspector General investigating this matter. I have directed my staff to cooperate with him and his team in any way that we can,” Lightfoot wrote.

1:15 p.m.

Civilian Office of Police Accountability Chief Administrator Sydney Roberts acknowledged the investigation of the Anjanette Young case “has not progressed through the investigative process expeditiously.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has criticized COPA for having taken more than a year with its investigation, and has yet to release any findings.

The raid happened in February 2019, and COPA began investigating in November 2019, but has not completed its probe.

Roberts said its heavy caseload might warrant increased staffing, and said she hopes the City Council will support such a request.

So far, COPA has obtained and reviewed all police body camera footage from the case, as well as all CPD records and evidence related to the acquisition and execution of the search warrant in the case, according to Roberts. COPA also has reviewed all litigation in the case, and is still working on interviewing all of the officers involved in the case.

1 p.m.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said what happened to Young was “entirely unacceptable,” noting Young easily could have been a member of his own family.

“It is always the right time to do the right thing. Everyone deserves a measure of respect, and basic human dignity, and we must be the first to admit our mistakes,” Brown said. “We have a responsibility to do better, and we are already working toward the goal of being better.”

Brown said the department has identified several areas of its search warrant policies that must be made clearer, including the need to “recognize that human dignity and human rights are at the core of how officers must conduct themselves in the field.”

“It is clear we still have significant work to do as we develop policies and training that are reflective of what the community expects of the Chicago Police Department,” he said.

Brown said the department needs to add a “human rights statement” to the beginning of its search warrant policies, and must standardize which teams of officers execute search warrants, and how warrants are served.

The superintendent also called for a virtual ban on no-knock warrants.

“It is time for CPD to ban no-knock warrants unless circumstances dictate that entry onto the property is immediately necessary to save human life,” he said.

However, a ban on no-knock warrants would not have changed anything in Young’s case, or the other wrong raids covered by the CBS 2 Investigators, as none of the warrants in those cases were no-knock warrants.

Brown also said CPD has become too reliant on informants alone to obtain search warrants, and policy should be changed to require third-party or evidentiary corroboration for all search warrants before they are served.

Brown also called for raising the bar for approval of search warrants, to require approval by a deputy chief or above; for requiring two on-scene supervisors who are at the rank of lieutenant or above; developing internal mechanisms to review all search warrant activity; and enhancing training on search warrant execution.

12:45 p.m.

Deputy Inspector General Deborah Witzburg said the inspector general’s office is already broadly studying two different types of wrong raids by CPD; those where CPD officers went to a location different than listed on the warrant, and those where officers went to the location listed on the warrant, but the information that led officers to that location proved faulty.

“We’re looking at the question of whether CPD trains it members appropriately on verifying the underlying information used to prepare search warrant requests,” she said. “We’re looking at whether CPD prepares search warrants in such a way as to ensure that they’re executed at the correct location.”

Witzburg said the OIG also is looking at whether CPD evaluates the execution of search warrants after the fact in order to come up with improvements, as well as the demographic and geographic distribution of wrong raids across the city to look for any patterns.

According to Witzburg, the inspector general’s office has been investigating wrong raids since late 2019, but because CPD doesn’t track wrong raids, it has taken an “enormously intensive effort to triangulate situations in which something went wrong.”

Witzburg also said police are only required to open disciplinary investigations when officers executing a search warrant go to the wrong location. When officers go to the location listed on a warrant, and it turns out the information that led them there was wrong, there is no requirement for a misconduct investigation.

Witzburg said the OIG sent preliminary findings on wrong raids to the Chicago Police Department on Monday, but did not detail those findings.

12:26 p.m.

The effort to question CPD top brass about search warrant policies was bogged down for more than half an hour as aldermen argued over whether or not they should consider a proposed order for a 12-month moratorium on “no-knock” warrants.

Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) wanted the committees to take up that proposal immediately, but Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), who chairs the Health and Human Relations Committee, said it would be improper to vote on any measures during the meeting, because it was scheduled as a subject matter hearing only, and voting at a subject matter hearing would violate the Open Meetings Act.

Beale, however, was not satisfied.

“The people are looking for action. The people are looking for results. The people are not looking for a subject matter hearing that has no teeth, that has no substance. We are being charged by our constituents across this city to move and move quick on some resolution to stop these problems that we’re having in this city,” Beale said. “When are we going to stop the madness? When are we finally going to finally step up and do the people’s business and stop basically tiptoeing around these issues?”

Ald. Jason Ervin (28th), however, pointed out the warrants in Young’s case and the other wrong raids covered by CBS 2 were not a no-knock warrants, essentially rendering the proposed order meaningless.

“The point that we were making is that these are not no-knock warrants, and I think people are conflating the issue of search warrants and no-knock warrants. The issue that happened with Ms. Young was not a no-knock warrant, and so if we stopped issuing no-knock warrants, it would do nothing, absolutely nothing, to change what happened to Ms. Young,” he said.

Ultimately, the effort to consider the proposed order on no-knock warrants at Tuesday’s meeting was voted down.

11:58 a.m.

Ald. Jason Ervin (28th), who chairs the City Council Black Caucus, said aldermen are committed to making a series of changes in city policies, and have called for a series of ordinances to address the issue of wrong raids:

  • Abolishing the practice of issuing warrants based solely upon the use of paid informants.
  • Keeping a database of reliability of sources used for search warrants, to see patterns of erroneous information.
  • A standardized process for search warrant applications, States Attorney review, judicial sign off, and post execution results.
  • Changing the City’s policy on the release of video footage. As under current rules, the release of video for this type of incident is NOT to be released, per the policy; and this must change.
  • Passage of Civilian Oversight measures for the Chicago Police Department
  • Question the actions and/or inactions of the City of Chicago employees including the COPA Administrator, CPD Chains of Command, members of the Law Department; and also review the roles of the Cook County States’ Attorney and members of the Judiciary. This must be answered with the appropriate individuals held accountable.
  • Call on the Inspector General to conduct a complete investigation of this incident.
  • The establishment of a City Council Committee on Litigation Review and Risk Management to provide oversight and review of our Risk Management, Litigation Strategy, and Settlement practices.

“At the end of the day, our job is to work and fix the policies that created the situations in which that we’re faced. I believe that, if we take these steps as a council working through our committee structure, we’ll be able to see the change that our citizens would like to see,” Ervin said.

Meantime, Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) and Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) have introduced a proposed order for a 12-month moratorium on the practice of “no-knock” warrants at CPD while the city weighs more sweeping search warrant policy changes, and called for the committees to consider that measure at Tuesday’s hearing. However, Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), who chairs the Health and Human Relations Committee, said Tuesday’s meeting was scheduled as a subject matter hearing only, and called for a 5-minute recess to consult with the city’s Law Department to determine if it would be proper to weigh the proposed order under those circumstances.

It’s important to note, however, that in the wrong raids covered extensively by CBS 2, police did not seek “no-knock” warrants in any of those cases, even though they carried out warrants as if they were; knocking on doors, but not giving the people who lived in the homes time to answer before breaking in.

11:30 a.m.

The meeting started with public comment from several people calling on aldermen to approve proposals for a civilian police oversight board, and accusing the city of trying to cover up the circumstances of the raid on Young’s home.

One caller said he’s not interested in any “crocodile tears or fake apologies” from the mayor, and demanded “systemic structural change” from the city.

A vote on a plan to create a civilian police oversight board has been delayed for months, amid a dispute over who would have ultimate authority for setting Chicago Police Department policy. The Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability, a group of community activists which has been negotiating the proposed Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, wants the new oversight board to approve all CPD general orders and policies, but the mayor wants to have final say.

Callers also said what happened to Young is not unique, and has happened far too many times before, accusing aldermen of doing nothing to protect minorities from such abuses by CPD.

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