Shaken and angry Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday apologized to Anjanette Young for a police raid on a bad house that humiliated an innocent woman and prompted police officers to handcuff her naked.
The mayor apologized on the day an outraged young man also spoke in front of CPD headquarters and city council members opposed him for the raid and demanded hearings and investigations.
Lightfoot said it first learned of the “terrible” incident of 2019 that was recorded on body camera video on Tuesday when WBBM-TV Channel 2 broadcast the video as part of a comprehensive report on filmed police raids.
It was also at that time that he learned of the actions taken by his own Legal Department to prevent Channel 2 from broadcasting the video.
The mayor said his voice was hoarse because he had since read the riot to corporate counselor Mark Flessner and the brass of the Chicago Police Department.
“I made it very clear to the corporate consultant that such issues are not blinding,” Lightfoot said.
“Filing a motion against the media to prevent something from being published is rarely, if ever, going to happen. And if I had been advised that this was being done, I would have stopped following him. That’s not how we work. Period.”
Even more outrageous to the mayor is what happened to Young.
“I watched that video with absolute horror. I showed it to my wife. We both wondered what might happen to us if we were in his circumstances, ”he said.
“If you hear my voice hoarse, it’s because I didn’t spare everyone in my remarks who was involved in the huge mess. … I don’t expect that to happen again. And if I have to, I won’t hesitate to act.
He added: “I want to tell Ms. Young that I am deeply sorry and worried that her home has been broken into and she has had to face the humiliation and trauma she has suffered. That’s just not right. This simply should not have happened. And I will make sure there is full accountability for what happened. ”
Lightfoot openly admits Young is “not the first or only person whose home has been violated based on misinformation”. And the mayor says he “can’t and won’t ignore” the fact that “this is happening disproportionately with black and brown people”.
That’s why we made wholesale changes to our search license policy earlier this year, and therefore further changes may occur.
These reforms already required “independent cooperation from a third party” who was not paid for the information before the search order was executed.
Body cameras must be “always” worn and activated. And two internal inspectors must sign the order “before it goes to the prosecutor and the court,” the mayor said.
At the beginning of the day, Ald. Stephanie Coleman (16), a black Caucasian representative from the city council, “demanded an immediate investigation to ensure accountability. No more hiding or anything. Justice must be served. Not just for Ms. Young, but for any other woman in Chicago, no matter what ward they live in. This is wrong. … I was shocked that 12 men would have done this to this woman.
But Coleman also expressed confidence in the mayor.
“Mayor Lightfoot is a fair and compassionate woman, and I am sure you will handle this this way and impeccably. It ran on transparency and good governance, and I know – I am very confident that justice will be provided for Ms. Young.
The Council’s Progressive Representative Body also considered and issued a statement calling for both the Council’s hearings and the Inspector General’s inquiry, which would explain, inter alia, “why it took nine months for COPA to open an inquiry and its to determine whether there has been such an attempt to frustrate transparency. “
The raid, they continued, “further exacerbates the already tight relationship between CPD and colorful people across the city. … Chicagoans deserve exactly what happened wrong here and what city leaders will do to fix it. “
Lightfoot apologized and made other comments on the matter at a press conference after Wednesday’s virtual meeting of the city council.
He got into a shouting match with Ald at that online council meeting. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) for the raid.
Sigcho-Lopez unloaded Lightfoot because of efforts by the legal department to block the release of the video.
“We have a systemic problem with police brutality. Ms. Young called the police 43 times. Forty-three times to condemn it was an illegal and erroneous, erroneous raid on his house, Sigcho-Lopez said.
“I hold you accountable, Mayor, for hearing the case … because the public deserves an explanation of what happened and why the Legal Department tried to sue the plaintiff, because it tried to make this public, as he was entitled to,” ” he said.
Lightfoot then accused Sigcho-Lopez of “making wildly inaccurate remarks” even though he didn’t “know the facts”.
“The images depicted in the video were shocking. No question. But I would ask you to get the facts, sir. He spent much of his time on issues he had no facts about. And this is very problematic. Irresponsibility. This undermines his fiduciary responsibility – not only with the Council, but also with the larger city of Chicago, ”he said.
Lightfoot, a former police president, was chairman of the police accountability task force following the police shooting at Laquan McDonald.
Former Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been ordered to publish sixteen times the video in which convicted Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shot McDonald after he was hidden until Emanuel was safely re-elected in 2015.
Lightfoot has personally developed a policy that requires the city to issue police videos within 60 days.
Apparently that’s why he was so enraged that he was accused of playing a role in the legal department’s efforts to hide the video.
“I have spent a significant portion of my career, not just supporting police reform, but leading these efforts. That’s part of why I ran for mayor. My determination to make sure that our police are accountable for the treatment of our residents, especially those of color, has not diminished. “- He told.
To justify the point, Lightfoot said he was leading another review of the video publishing guidelines and plans to ask for even more flexibility from Illinois legislation.
He also asked the Legal Department to review all pending search warrants and instructed the Police Liability Civil Office to complete an investigation as soon as possible into what had happened to “Young before, before, during and after the house.”
– It’s been a year. Do it, ”he said.
Lightfoot has vowed to release a “full-length” video camera of the scandalous police raid and use it as a “training tool” for Chicago police officers.
– Our officers need to understand that when someone executes a search warrant in their home, it is a significant and traumatic event. It is their duty to ensure that the facts are true about the evidence of the crime. The court and the prosecutor depend on this truth. And there is simply no possibility of error, ”he said.
“We can only violate the sanctity of someone’s home if we have complete certainty… about the resident’s crime, or if we find evidence of that crime in that room.”
But the mayor said he would not ask the CPD to stop executing search commands until the policy was reviewed once again.
“Do I know there’s a ticking bomb in someone’s house and I’m not going to do it?” … I know there is someone sitting on an arsenal of weapons that they intend to harm the people of our city, and I will not allow the police to carry out a circular order to resolve the matter? … Does that make sense? I don’t think so, he said.
Featuring: Sam Charles