Chicago mayor says cops were ‘taken off the street’ in a failed raid

Lightfoot’s move comes a day after the city’s top lawyer, Mark Flessner, announced his resignation after outrage over the incident. Flessner’s office, reporting to Lightfoot, asked a federal judge to stop CNN-affiliated WBBM from broadcasting footage of the raid.

“I applied for and received his resignation yesterday,” Lightfoot said at a news conference. “I firmly believe that delayed justice is justice. And frankly, there is no excuse that this case has been languishing for a year without any significant movement on the part of COPA (the civil oversight board).”

Meanwhile, the social worker whose home was raided based on bad information – and who was found naked and distraught after officers slammed her front door – is suing Chicago police for blocking the release of camera images of the body.

Sunday’s resignation and other changes announced last week come as mayors and government leaders have moved elsewhere this year to reform police departments following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other black civilians.

Anjanette Young, whose home was raided in February 2019, is asking the city to release videos she requested last year. She also wants a judge to punish the city for refusing her request for files.

“This mayor doesn’t seem to have done anything about transparency, just a continuation of what Rahm (Emanuel) and (Mayor Richard M.) Daley did before them,” said Matt Topic, the attorney representing Young. “They just refuse to follow what the law says, they’re not about to obey the law.”

The Chicago Police Department has a history of refusing open file requests. The city’s most recent mayor came under fire for blocking the release of videos in which a Chicago police officer murdered Laquan McDonald when he ran away from the police in 2014.

Lightfoot oversaw two police oversight bodies before running as a reformer and hailed as one after her election.

The lawsuit may be outdated on the basis of video release alone. Lightfoot released the videos Thursday, but they are tagged with an internal reference number that goes back to WBBM’s request for records.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks at a press conference Monday about the failed raid.

An attempt to keep records of their own mistake and heartless humiliation of Ms. Young by the public, (Chicago Police Department), denied Ms. Young’s (records) request based on legal positions that have been repeatedly rejected in previous lawsuits , and later unsuccessfully attempted to obtain a preliminary restraint order against the news media to ban publication, “Young’s lawsuit states.

Young, who had filed a lawsuit against the city at the time of her request last year, searched all camera footage of the robbery. The city opened a surveillance investigation after her archive request and then cited that ongoing investigation as a reason for refusing her archive request.

Behind the robbery

The raid took place in February 2019 before Lightfoot was chosen. The raid was cleared by a lawyer from Cook County State’s Attorney Office Kim Foxx and by a Cook County judge, based on an informant’s sworn testimony conveyed to them by Chicago police officers.

Police broke open Young’s door, expecting to find a criminal armed with a gun. Instead, they found only Young, a nurse who had just gotten home from work and who was naked and seemed distraught when officers entered her house.

One officer handcuffed her and covered her, although her front was still visible, and another brought her a blanket in about a minute. She was covered or partially covered for 12 minutes until an officer took her to the bathroom to get dressed.

A Chicago police spokesperson declined to answer questions about the informant or what had been done to confirm the information. A search warrant, made public in Young’s civil rights case, noted that the informant pointed to the door of Young’s house and vowed that they had seen the target of the warrant with a gun and ammunition in the apartment for the past 48 hours.

In public comments, the mayor, police commissioner and state attorney did not state whether anyone involved in obtaining the warrant or expressing it was violating any rules or laws.

Young sued the city in the summer of 2019 for alleging that its civil rights had been violated. After Young’s request for data was denied last November, Lightfoot’s administration asked a judge to dismiss Young’s lawsuit against the city.

The city argued that the raid was lawful even though no criminal or weapon was found, as a Cook County judge and a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney found a likely reason to allow the search. Before the judge ruled on the city’s request to dismiss the case, Young’s attorney asked for the camera images of the body.

The judge ordered the city to hand in camera videos of the body, but also ordered to keep the videos and other data provided confidential. Young’s attorney then asked the judge to dismiss her federal lawsuit, and the judge did.

Had the judge dismissed the charge at the request of the city, it would have been more difficult for Young to file a civil rights complaint against the city. Since the judge dismissed it at Young’s request, her attorney is free to take the case back to federal court.

Nearly nine months after the case was dismissed, and without Young’s attorney re-filing the case in federal court or seeking other damages in state court, WBBM informed the Lightfoot administration that it intended to take images of the broadcast raid. Then city attorneys tried to stop WBBM from broadcasting the footage, and also accused Young’s attorney of violating the injunctions for confidentiality after Young’s lawsuit was dismissed.

Lightfoot apologized for her city attorneys attempting to restrain WBBM and reversed their stance on the sanctions against Young’s attorney after an enraged councilor called a special city council meeting.

A federal judge has scheduled a hearing on the matter for Tuesday. Young’s attorney has since maintained a private attorney.