Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who ran for office on a platform of police reform and racial justice, said Friday that the city’s attempt to prevent a local TV station from airing police video of a botched raid was “a mistake.”
Her announcement came as the city formally withdrew a motion to prevent the CBS affiliate in Chicago from airing the video of police raiding the wrong home and handcuffing resident, Anjanette Young, who was naked.
“The action sought against the CBS2 news station that was filed by the City’s Law Department was a mistake,” Lightfoot said.
The city also withdrew a motion for sanctions against Young’s attorney, Keenan Saulter, who obtained the police body camera video of the botched raid through a federal court challenge. Lightfoot said she did not know about the video or the city’s attempts to keep it under wraps.
City attorneys had claimed that the apparent leak to the TV station, which aired the footage Thursday, violated the court order that had allowed Young to obtain it.
The city was “very concerned that a violation of a court order had occurred,” the lawyers said in their withdrawal.
Lightfoot had said earlier this week that the February 2019 raid occurred before she was inaugurated and that the video, which she claimed to have seen for the first time Tuesday, was appalling.
A dozen officers armed with guns burst into Young’s home as she was getting ready for bed and handcuffed her as she tried to use a comforter to cover her nude body.
“You got the wrong house!” Young, 50, pleaded repeatedly.
Police had been acting on a tip from a confidential informant about a suspect wanted for unlawful use of a handgun by a felon and possession of ammunition and a small amount of drugs. It turned out the suspect lived nearby and was already being electronically monitored by prison authorities.
Young, who is Black, filed a lawsuit against a police department that has long faced allegations of racism.
“To have my home invaded the way it was, and to have police officers for 40 minutes, yelling at me, telling me to calm down, while naked, putting handcuffs on me,” Young said at a news conference Wednesday. “No one should have to experience that.”
On Friday, Black clergy, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, were scheduled to hold a news conference about the matter. The Rev. Marshall Hatch of Chicago’s New Mount Pilgrim Church, released a statement demanding that the city council hold public hearings to hold the police department and its oversight panel accountable and to learn whether Lightfoot knew more about the case than she’s letting on.
“We’ve had enough cover ups in this city,” he said, “it’s time for transparency.”
Lightfoot was elected by a city rocked by the fatal shooting of Black teenager Laquan McDonald in October 2014. The city resisted releasing dashboard-camera video of the killing, which made a lie of police claims the shooting was justified.