CHICAGO (CBS) — Infuriated at the treatment of Anjanette Young, who was handcuffed naked during a botched police raid of the wrong home, the City Council Black Caucus is pushing for a series of changes aimed at preventing wrong raids in the future.

Ald. Jason Ervin (28th), who chairs the Black Caucus, introduced two measures on Wednesday, including one calling for public hearings to discuss several possible reforms:

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  • 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 pattems of erroneous information;
  • A standardized process for search warrant applications, including state’s 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;
  • 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’ Attomey 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 Inspector General’s office already has confirmed it is investigating “possible misconduct” by city officials, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office, for how they handled the botched raid on Young’s home and the aftermath of CBS 2’s reporting on the incident.

The Chicago Police Department also already has agreed to change its search warrant policy to independently verify information provided by paid informants. In a letter last week recommending “urgent” changes to CPD policy, the inspector general’s office recommended CPD amend its policy on search warrants “to require verification and corroboration of information in all circumstances” for all types of search warrants. The recommendations were the result of CBS 2’s years-long reporting that uncovered dozens of victims of CPD wrong raids, nearly all of them people of color. The reporting prompted an Inspector General investigation in 2019.

The inspector general’s office said Police Supt. David Brown accepted their recommendations and promised to make those changes. Brown also told OIG he plans to amend the search warrant policy to expand requirements for when disciplinary investigations are required, and has formed a “search warrant committee” to engage with the community regarding their concerns about search warrant policies.

The changes the Black Caucus are seeking stem from the 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 on body camera video 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.

In Young’s case, the officers who raided her home failed to do basic police investigative work to verify a tip from a confidential informant. CBS 2 Investigators found the suspect lived next door and was wearing a police electronic monitoring device.

Another proposal from the Black Caucus calls on the City Council Rules Committee to hold a public hearing to “discuss the creation of a committee on litigation and risk management to help achieve the transparency and reforms required to reduce the financial toll that the payment of litigation costs, settlements, and judgments have on the City and its residents.”

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The resolution calling for the creation of a Committee on Litigation and Risk Management notes the city spent $1.3 billion on settlements and judgments against the city between 2008 and 2017, mostly stemming from lawsuits accusing police of misconduct.

“Increased transparency, public input, and oversight are needed to ensure a robust risk management program is implemented that will reduce the financial burden and toll on City resources that claims, settlements, and judgments have on the City and its residents,” the proposal states.

The proposals from the Black Caucus would not make any changes to CPD or city policy, but would give aldermen another opportunity to publicly discuss what specific reforms the city should seek in order to stop incidents of wrong raids and to cut down on the costs of police misconduct cases.

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