The city of Chicago has unanimously approved a $2.9-million settlement for Anjanette Young, who was humiliatingly forced to stand naked while handcuffed in front of a dozen officers during a police raid in 2019. Police officers mistakenly broke into her home during the botched event while pursuing a different individual who had no connection to Young.
Minyvonne Burke of NBC News reported that “Young, a social worker, was handcuffed while she was naked. She sobbed and told officers that they were at the wrong home, but she remained in handcuffs, according to a report from the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot apologized to Young for the incident in a statement, which took place before she was in office.
“Knowing that my words will not change what happened to you and your family almost two years ago, I nonetheless say I am sorry,” Lightfoot said. “If you can hear that my voice is hoarse, it is because I have been unsparing in my comments to all involved in this colossal mess.”
Chicago's City Council approved a $2.9 million settlement on Wednesday for Anjanette Young, a medical social worker who was forced to stand naked in front of a dozen police officers who burst into her home to execute a search warrant in 2019. https://t.co/lGvOxtTSvs
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 15, 2021
According to Burke, “Young’s first-floor apartment was raided in February 2019 after Officer Alain Aporongao obtained a search warrant using information from an anonymous source. The source told Aporongao that an acquaintance had brandished an illegal weapon at a home.”
Upon closer inspection, officials involved in the raid realized their mistake. The intended target of their search lived in an apartment building that was across the street and slightly south of Young’s address.
Burke reported that during the raid of Young’s home, “body camera video showed officers placing Young under arrest while she was naked. When she asked to see their warrant, she was ignored and was, instead, questioned about the target. She told police that she did not know the target.”
Young was kept fully naked and handcuffed for over a minute before an officer covered her with a blanket, which still left her partially exposed. It took more than 10 additional minutes for a female officer to escort Young to the restroom so she could get dressed. By that time, the police officers knew the suspect wasn’t present and that they had entered the wrong location. However, they remained in Young’s apartment, keeping her handcuffed and detained for about 17 minutes.
Following the incident, a report revealed that the officers violated numerous “applicable laws and policies.”
“Police Superintendent David Brown later called for Sgt. Alex Wolinski to be fired, saying in documents released by the city that Wolinski approved the warrant without adhering to the department’s ‘Knock and Announce’ rule, failed to intervene in the ‘disrespectful treatment’ of Young and did not promptly present Young with a copy of the search warrant,” Burke reported.
In an interview with The New York Times, Young said, “My life before was just a quiet life. I lived a very quiet and simple life, and now my life has been completely turned upside down. I can’t sleep at night.”
While happy with the settlement, a representative for Saulter Law, the firm representing Young in her case against the city, said Young still wants “the strictest discipline” possible for the police officers who violated their training, the department’s general orders and “basic human decency in their interactions with her.”