Report: Chicago cops in botched raid had prior complaints
Chicago – One of 12 officers placed on desk duty in the botched 2019 police raid on the home of a Black woman was accused in an earlier mistaken raid, while another of the officers was involved months later in a fatal shooting, according to a newspaper report.
The February 2019 wrongful raid on the home of social worker Anjanette Young has drawn wide criticism because police officers didn’t allow her to dress before handcuffing her. In police video footage, she repeatedly tells officers executing a search warrant that they have the wrong home. Lawmakers and civil rights activists have decried the incident, first aired by Chicago’s WBBM-TV, as racist and an affront to a Black woman’s dignity.
In the fallout, Chicago’s top attorney resigned, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced an independent investigation, and 12 officers were placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of an investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.
Chicago police declined to release details about the officers, calling it a personnel matter.
The Chicago Sun-Times, which doesn’t identify the officers because they haven’t been formally accused of misconduct, reported 18 civilian complaints have been filed against the officers over their careers. However, none of the complaints have been sustained. Many were dismissed for a lack of signed and sworn testimony from the accuser.
The newspaper looked at police reports, disciplinary records and court documents. The most complaints – 11 – are against a sergeant who joined the department in 2002. Records show he has also received dozens of department awards. Five of the officers face no complaints.
The officer accused in another raid was sued in 2017. The lawsuit, which is pending, says the officer handcuffed a man and searched the apartment while his wife and young sons watched. The targets actually lived in an upstairs apartment, according to the lawsuit. Chicago officials have denied the search was invalid.
“Chicago police terrorized the innocent family in their home,” the lawsuit says.
Another officer was involved months after the raid on Young’s house later in the 2019 fatal shooting of 26-year-old Sharell Brown. The officer was looking for a man with a gun, according to COPA. Brown family members, who have filed a wrongful death suit, say he didn’t have a gun. COPA is investigating.
Young has said it is difficult to have the video out publicly, but she wants accountability. Her attorney has said the city’s handling is part of its troubled history of disturbing police officer misconduct and trying to block sensitive video and documents from the public eye, including in the fatal police shooting of Black teenager Laquan McDonald.
Lightfoot has apologized repeatedly for the raid on Young’s apartment and missteps by her administration, including trying to block the footage from being aired on television and denying Young video of the incident which she later obtained through her lawsuit against the city.