CHICAGO (CBS) — 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.
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.
On Friday, the city’s Law Department dropped a motion seeking sanctions against the attorney for Young, after CBS 2 obtained video of a police raid in which Young was handcuffed naked as police wrongly searched her home. Lightfoot called the effort by the Law Department to seek sanctions against Young’s attorney “a colossal mistake.”
The mayor said, had she been advised of the move beforehand, she never would have allowed the Law Department to seek sanctions.
Also Tuesday at a joint City Council hearing, police Supt. David Brown announced plans to improve upon the search warrant process that the CBS 2 Investigators have poked holes in for years.
As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported, a deputy chief will now have to sign off on a search warrant and it will be mandatory for a lieutenant to be on scene during raids. It was a sergeant at Young’s home that night in February 2019.
The superintendent acknowledged even with some of the search warrant procedures changed last year, there was no accountability for getting it wrong.
“Over the years, we have also become too reliant on informants without third-party or evidentiary corroboration,” Brown said. “As such, CPD policy should require third-party and/or evidentiary cooperation for all search warrants prior to its service, without exception.”
But critics of the mayor said ringing in an outside attorney appears to be mayor Lori Lightfoot’s latest attempt to lessen the blow and fallout from the botched raid at Young’s home.
And some city aldermen say as of now, it’s all talk.
“You have to do better,” said Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th). “You have to do better.”
Hairston was just one voice in chorus of city leaders calling out mayor Lightfoot and Supt. Brown during the hours-long virtual City Council committee hearing Tuesday.
“If the goal of the consent decree is to create impartial policing, what is your plan to ensure that the execution of warrants are impartial?” Hairston said.
In August, months before the Young raid came to light, a group of attorneys instrumental in the Chicago Police consent decree sent a scathing 14-page letter to the city demanding an overhaul of the departments search warrant policy – calling it unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, all of the officers involved in the raid were placed on desk duty earlier this week, pending the conclusion of a Civilian Office of Police Accountability investigation into the incident. Lightfoot has criticized COPA for taking so long with the probe, and has called on the agency to wrap up its investigation soon.
Three members of the Law Department also are out of their jobs. Corporation Counsel Mark Flessner resigned Sunday at Lightfoot’s request. Deputy Corporation Counsel Caryn Jacobs and Law Department Director of Public Affairs Kathleen Fieweger also “are no longer employed with the City” the mayor’s office confirmed Monday evening.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar contributed to this report.
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