On the day before New Year’s Eve, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration released more than 150 emails and other documents related to the botched CPD raid that took place at the home of Anjanette Young in 2019.
The emails show several top aides and the mayor discussing the raid, which took place before Lightfoot was sworn in as mayor. On several occasions this month, Lightfoot has denied knowing about the Young raid prior to the release of body camera footage from the incident, but the emails show that the mayor knew about the raid and discussed it with other city officials.
As part of the string of emails, Lightfoot’s chief of staff, several top aides, lawyers, and even the mayor herself discussed the raid.
In one of the emails, a brief written summary of the raid is provided, and the mayor replied to the email by requesting a conference call, saying “I have a lot of questions about this one.”
The mayor also added the city’s chief risk officer into the email chain.
In response to an email from the chief risk officer, who replied with possible reforms after reading over the sequence of events, Lightfoot replies that the city “needs to escalate training” of police officers, saying that “we cannot afford any additional hits.”
In the aftermath of the release of the video, several of the mayor’s top advisers, including city lawyers Susan Lee and Mark Flessner, have resigned their posts, but community activists are calling for still more changes.
“I think they failed Ms. Young. They failed the city, and they should be gone,” Father Michael Pfleger said.
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.
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, although she was later able to obtain the footage after filing a lawsuit against the city.