Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot did not purposefully conceal any information about a botched raid in 2019 at a social worker’s home as the woman stood naked and handcuffed in her living room as officers searched her residence with guns drawn, according to the findings of an independent probe released on Thursday.
Retired Judge Ann Claire Williams, a former federal prosecutor, and attorneys with the Jones Day law firm were hired by Lightfoot last year to conduct an independent investigation into the city’s response to the execution of the search warrant at the home of Anjanette Young on February 21, 2019.
“Our review did not reveal any evidence suggesting that the mayor or any current or former City employee took action with malicious intent to add to Ms. Young’s mistreatment or to otherwise harm her in connection with the city’s response to the search of her home,” the report concluded.
But the review did find that, at times, city officials “failed to recognize the seriousness” of what occurred at Young’s home, including the events, which were caught on body camera video, were “undeniably dehumanizing and deeply traumatizing.”
CNN reached out to Young’s attorney for a statement in response to the review but did not immediately hear back.
The findings of the investigation come a day after the Chicago City Council unanimously approved a $2.9 million settlement for Young. The deal was approved earlier this week by the council’s finance committee and had the backing of Lightfoot.
The Jones Day team held a news conference on Thursday to discuss the findings of the investigation, which focused on the mayor’s office, the department of law, the civilian office of police accountability and the Chicago Police Department.
Young’s “suffering at the hands of the Chicago Police Department began February 21st, 2019, but it didn’t end there,” Williams said during the news conference. “The system failed Ms. Young on many levels. The suffering inflicted upon her was made worse by the treatment she received from numerous city departments. Departments entrusted with providing citizens, whenever CPD misconduct occurs, with meaningful and robust oversight and accountability mandates.”
The city failed Young, the report says, and then “compounded this failure with additional failures in how its departments handled matters in the aftermath of the botched search.”
The warrant of Young’s home was approved by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and a county judge. A review revealed that the warrant was based on bad testimony from an informant who pointed out the door of Young’s home and swore that they had seen the suspect of the warrant with a gun and ammunition inside.
In December 2020, Lightfoot released body camera footage from the officers involved in the encounter. The footage shows Young, a Black woman, repeatedly telling officers that they had the wrong home and asked to see the warrant.
“Ms. Young’s ordeal shook the City of Chicago and, unfortunately, reinforced the lack of trust that many of Chicago’s Black residents have in the police,” the report says.
The footage prompted proposals to reform the city’s policy and procedures on search warrants. The Chicago City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a $2.9 million settlement for Young after the deal was approved by the council’s finance committee and had Lightfoot’s support.
Lightfoot released a statement in response to the report on Thursday, saying Young was “denied her basic dignity as a human being.”
The mayor said she sat for an extensive interview and gave investigators “full access” to her office and relevant city departments.
“We look forward to reviewing the full report and implementing any policies and procedures that may result as indicated in the investigation,” the statement reads.
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