chicago police line tape
© Reuters / Shannon Stapleton
Chicago police tape marks a crime scene in the South Side of Chicago, Illinois.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot ignominiously fought to block local news from airing shocking police bodycam footage of cops raiding the wrong house and handcuffing a naked, terrified woman - and even threatening to sue the victim.

Hours before Chicago CBS affiliate WBBM aired the disturbing video it took Anjanette Young nearly two years of legal wrangling to obtain, Lightfoot's office intervened to try to block the broadcast, filing an emergency motion in court on Monday to have the footage suppressed.

Lawyers for the city even sought to have Young sanctioned for turning over the video to CBS, complaining the clip would be "shared with the media in a salacious and unfair manner designed to elicit a reactionary response" - apparently suggesting the public would otherwise look favorably on a bevy of heavily armed police raiding the home of an innocent woman who's just stepped out of the shower.


The 50-year-old social worker was getting dressed in her bedroom on February 21, 2019 when at least nine cops broke down the door and barged into her home, guns drawn. For 13 agonizing minutes, bodycam video shows them ransacking the apartment while refusing to allow Young to put on so much as a T-shirt. They briefly release her from cuffs so she can get dressed, then handcuff her again.

Recalling the traumatizing incident, Young told the network she "felt [she] could have died that night," telling police 43 times they had the wrong home, only to be ignored and abused.

Chicago residents savaged Lightfoot for dodging responsibility for the traumatizing assault on Young, holding her up as an example of "how much Black Mayors have fought against #BlackLivesMatter by covering for and covering up police abuse."


While the mayor deliberately avoided commenting on Young's case publicly, Lightfoot's public social media postings on every other topic were deluged with demands she apologize.



Lightfoot, a black lesbian Democrat, was initially hailed by progressives as a step forward from her predecessor Rahm Emanuel, whose office was accused of covering up the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Public opinion has been shifting against her, however, as the city faces a surge in violence and a heavy-handed response to the Covid-19 pandemic.



None of the police involved in the botched raid - the target of which was living next door, equipped with an electronic monitoring bracelet - have been disciplined, and an internal investigation into the incident was launched only after CBS broke the story of the raid nine months after the fact. The network found "dozens of victims" of similar wrongful raids, and at least 10 of those have sued the Chicago Police Department (CPD).

Young herself sued the CPD last August after the department initially refused her Freedom of Information Act request to see the footage. A judge subsequently ordered the department to cough it up, and while the city obtained an order of confidentiality suppressing it in February, CBS was not party to that agreement and was thus permitted to air the footage, a judge ruled earlier this week.