Newly released police body camera footage revealed what really happened when officers from the Chicago Police Department (CPD) wrongly raided a woman’s home nearly two years ago. The footage shows a naked Anjanette Young—a licensed social worker—handcuffed and crying as officers storm her apartment based on incorrect and unvetted information.
The footage was obtained after Young and local news channel CBS 2 filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for video of the raid. CPD initially denied the request in an attempt to prevent the footage from being publicly released, but Young’s subsequent lawsuit against the department resulted in a court order directing the police to turn over the footage.
The City of Chicago on Monday then sought a court order preventing CBS 2 from airing the video, which U.S. District Judge John Tharp, Jr. denied.
In the clip, multiple officers are shown repeatedly striking Young’s front door with a battering ram. The door soon busts open as officers enter the apartment with guns drawn, revealing a shocked and completely nude Young who is quickly handcuffed by one of the officers as she repeatedly yells “You’ve got the wrong house.”
According to CBS 2, after one officer “stood in front of Young” making “no attempt to cover her,” another officer put a coat on Young’s shoulders that only covered her upper-back, leaving her completely exposed for over two minutes before she was given a blanket. However, because her hands were cuffed behind her back, Young told CBS 2 that there was “no way for me to secure the blanket around me,” meaning she was continually forced to expose herself.
Making matters worse, the news investigation revealed that police relied on incorrect information from an informant without performing even “basic checks” to confirm whether they had the correct address before raiding Young’s apartment. Even a cursory vetting of the information would have revealed that police already knew the whereabouts of the suspect they were searching for because he was wearing an electronic monitoring device with GPS.
Also according to CBS 2, the video also presents disturbing evidence regarding the approval of the warrant to search Young’s home, with one clip showing several officers in a squad car reviewing notes seemingly discussing how the authorization was obtained.
“It wasn’t initially approved or some crap,” one officer can be heard saying. “What does that mean?” a second officer wondered.
“I have no idea,” the first officer answered, adding, “I mean, they told him it was approved, then I guess that person messed up on their end.”
In the story, CPD didn’t comment on the video or why the officers went forward with a raid without attempting to check the veracity of an informant’s tip. But Young’s attorney Keenan Saulter said he believed the raid was a violation of his client’s constitutional rights.
“If this had been a young woman in Lincoln Park by herself in her home naked, a young white woman — let’s just be frank – if the reaction would have been the same? I don’t think it would have been,” Saulter said. “I think [officers] would have saw that woman, rightfully so, as someone who was vulnerable, someone who deserved protection, someone who deserved to have their dignity maintained. They viewed Ms. Young as less than human.”
Additional footage of the raid can be viewed below:
[image via CBS 2/YouTube screengrab]
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