CHICAGO — Chicago’s civilian police oversight agency announced Thursday it has completed a 16-month investigation into a wrongful 2019 raid during which a woman was forced to stand naked and handcuffed.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability says it found nearly 100 allegations of misconduct by about a dozen officers who wrongly raided the residence of social worker Anjanette Young.
According to COPA, although Young was naked when officers broke into her apartment, she was immediately handcuffed. It said an officer attempted to partially cover the woman with a jacket 30 seconds after police entered, and she was more fully covered with a blanket a few seconds later. Young remained handcuffed for nearly 10 minutes after which she was allowed to dress and then handcuffed again. In total, Young was handcuffed for nearly 17 minutes.
“The raid of Ms. Young’s home was truly painful to watch,” said COPA Chief Administrator Sydney Roberts, who added the agency assembled a 10-member team to evaluate the critical Fourth Amendment issues raised in this complaint. “While we cannot fully heal the pain Ms. Young experienced on that day and ever since, we hope that our investigation and recommendations will enable the healing process.”
COPA’s completion of its investigation into the raid of Young’s apartment comes as it investigates two fatal police shootings.
COPA released video two weeks ago showing the fatal police shooting of Adam Toledo, 13, at the end of a chase. The video shows Adam discarding a gun and raising his hand simultaneously, less than a second before being shot. Video was released this week showing the March 31 killing of Anthony Alvarez, 22, who had his back turned and appeared to be holding a gun when he was fatally shot by an officer.
Video of the apartment raid was obtained by Young as part of her lawsuit against the city. It shows her telling officers they were raiding the wrong apartment. The video was given to a local television station, the broadcast of which prompted severe criticism of Chicago police.
Attorney Simone Jackson, who represents Young, said COPA is employing some of the right platitudes and rhetoric, but is short on specifics.
“Ms. Young is not encouraged by this (release) in any way, and instead she continues to demand accountability for every officer that was present and any officer that was in any way involved in the approval of this warrant and the execution of this outrageous raid her home,” Jackson said in a statement.
Attorney Tim Grace, who is representing many of the officers involved in the raid, called Young’s ordeal “very tragic,” adding officers did everything they could to mitigate the situation.
“Efforts were made from the moment they were able to secure the home to protect her dignity,” Grace told the Chicago Tribune.
Grace also said the officers were sent to Young’s apartment on a tip by an informant about a gun in the apartment.
“Nobody knew that this (informant) was making all this up,” Grace said.
COPA says it has delivered its findings and recommendations to Superintendent David Brown, but won’t reveal them until he has reviewed them. In addition to the misconduct allegations, COPA said it found deficiencies in officers’ acquisition and execution of search warrants.
The investigation included more than 30 interviews including officers, civilians, a member of the judiciary, an assistant state’s attorney and the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, according to COPA. The agency also reviewed of hundreds of pages of documentary evidence and hours of video material relevant to this incident.