Chicago PD Oversight Says Officers Racked Up 100 Misconduct Allegations During A Single Wrong Address Raid
from the you-have-to-be-impressed-by-the-efficiency dept
More than two years after Chicago police officers terrorized a naked 50-year-old social worker during the raid of a wrong address, the PD’s independent oversight — the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) — has issued its report. How much of it will result in actual discipline remains to be seen, but there’s a whole lot of misconduct to be had. (via FourthAmendment.com)
COPA’s investigation led to more than 30 interviews including officers, civilians, a member of the judiciary, an assistant state’s attorney and the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, as well as the review of hundreds of pages of documentary evidence and hours of video material relevant to this incident. The investigation produced nearly one hundred allegations of misconduct stemming from the actions of more than a dozen officers.
Anjanette Young’s house was raided in February 2019. CPD officers bashed down her door just as she was headed to bed. Here’s COPA’s clinical description of that encounter, which still makes it pretty clear how traumatizing it was.
COPA’s investigation revealed that within entry to Ms. Young’s home, she was naked and immediately handcuffed. Within approximately 31 seconds after entry, an officer attempts to cover Ms. Young with a jacket and 14 seconds later covered her more fully with a blanket. Ms. Young remained handcuffed for nearly 10 minutes after which she was allowed to dress and then handcuffed again. In total, Ms. Young was handcuffed for nearly 17 minutes.
Young was handcuffed, covered in only a blanket, for more than 10 minutes. This was all captured by officers’ body cams. However, the cameras were off when the officers decided to acknowledge the fact that they were in the wrong apartment.
This investigation wouldn’t have happened without the release of the bodycam footage — something that was initially blocked by the Chicago PD. Making matters worse for everyone involved, Mayor Lori Lightfoot pretended she’d never heard about the raid until the local news had covered it.
The mayor initially insisted she knew nothing about the raid until WBBM-TV (Channel 2) aired the video in December.
But after reviewing internal emails, the mayor was forced to admit she learned about the raid in November 2019, when a top aide warned Lightfoot about a “pretty bad wrongful raid” by Chicago police.
“I have a lot of questions about this one,” she wrote at the time to top aides.
Lightfoot went as far as to demand the resignation of a city attorney over the failure to release the recordings earlier despite Lightfoot being instrumental in helping withhold the records from the raid victim and journalists making public records requests.
COPA itself was unaware of the raid until it was asked by the Chicago PD attorney handling Anjanette Young’s request for the recordings if there was an investigation underway. That was November 2019, seven months after the raid. The opportunistic PD then used this newly-initiated investigation as an excuse to deny requests for the videos.
This raid prompted calls for change from several city and state officials, including Illinois State Attorney General Kwame Raoul. The state sued the city over the PD’s “pattern and practice” of violating rights in January of this year, demanding a consent decree that would drastically modify how the department handled search warrants.
The Chicago PD has had years to improve. But it hasn’t. This traumatic wrong house raid isn’t anything unusual for the department. It’s just the latest — one that managed to expose how much city officials will do to protect the department, despite publicly claiming they want better policing.
The same month the CPD raided Anjanette Young’s house, they raided another wrong address, giving children celebrating a birthday the gift of lifelong PTSD.
A family in Chicago has filed a lawsuit, claiming that the Chicago Police raided the wrong home during a 4-year-old’s birthday party.
Stephanie Bures, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, claims that officers had the wrong house during the Feb. 10 raid, claiming that the suspect sought by police had not lived there for five years.
Bures claimed in the lawsuit that 17 officers raided the home during her son’s birthday party. The lawsuit claims that officers pointed guns at the 4-year-old, and Bures’ 7-year-old child.
Another lawsuit filed the same year claimed CPD officers engaged in multiple wrong house raids at the same address.
Chicago police incorrectly raided the same family’s home three times over the course of four months this year, according to a federal civil rights complaint filed Friday.
The complaint was filed against the city and Chicago Police Department on behalf of Krystal Archie and her three children: 14-year-old Savannah, 11-year-old Telia and 7-year-old Jhaimarion, according to a statement from Archie’s attorney Al Holfeld.
That’s all from a single year of the CPD engaging in warrant service. The problems with the PD and its officers date back years, though. It’s been the subject of DOJ investigations and federal court orders. And has long been seen as a place where corruption is not only ignored, but encouraged.
The conclusion of this investigation moves the CPD slightly towards accountability. But only slightly. It’s up to the police department to actually punish its officers and demand more accuracy and accountability from those engaging in guns-out raids of residents’ houses.