Well, it only took the better part of three years, but it appears that law enforcement agencies in Chicago are finally taking steps toward holding the police officers accountable who left a then-50-year-old Black woman naked and handcuffed while officers searched her home for a suspect who did not live there during a botched raid that should never have happened.
It was the type of case that reminds us that cops often show a complete disregard for the respect, dignity and wellbeing of Black bodies and that neither age nor gender is always a deterrent for officers who are naturally more aggressive when dealing with Black people, and for Anjanette Young, finding some semblance of justice for what happened to her has been an emotional uphill battle.
The administration of Mayor Lori Lightfoot—who basically lied about not having any prior knowledge of the incident, which happened before she took office—tried to block police body camera footage from media access and rejected Young’s Freedom of Information request to obtain video, forcing her to file a lawsuit in order to obtain it. And despite the fact that an investigation into the egregious raid resulted in reports of nearly 100 misconduct claims against more than a dozen police officers who took part in it, so far, administrative leave and dest duty are the only consequences any of them have faced.
But Young declared that she would never stop speaking out about what she endured and now, a Chicago police oversight agency has recommended consequences ranging from suspension to potential termination for more than half a dozen of the cops who participated in the violation of Young’s home and her body.
According to the Associated Press, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, the agency that conducted the investigation that uncovered the dozens of misconduct complaints earlier this year, recommended between one day and one year of suspension for multiple officers and “up to and including separation” from the department for others.
The agency found that the raid “reveals problems far more pervasive than any individual incident of officer misconduct,” and it also determined there were “other concerns, including lack of adequate training and supervision surrounding the Department’s use of search warrants and the disproportionate impact of police actions on people of color.”
So basically, the Chicago Police Department is all police departments across the nation.
Now, we just have to hope the city follows through with the recommendations made by the agency. No one should have to endure the humiliation and violation that Young did. We hope the officers involved are truly held accountable and that Young is able to find peace and satisfaction.
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