CHICAGO (AP) — A civilian police review board confirmed Tuesday it is investigating allegations that Chicago police officers serving a search warrant last year barged into the wrong home and handcuffed a naked woman who lived there.
The allegations were included in reports by WBBM-TV in Chicago late last year and most recently on Monday when it aired portions of videos of the Feb. 19, 2019 incident that Anjanette Young obtained as part of her lawsuit against the city. The woman’s attorney did not immediately return a call for comment, and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) said it has not released the video, according to a spokesman.
Young told WBBM-TV she had returned home after working as a social worker and was getting undressed for bed when the officers broke down her door with a battering ram and crowbar. She said did not have time to dress before several officers stormed into her apartment.
In the video, she can be heard screaming, “You’ve got the wrong house, you’ve got the wrong house.”
She said the officers handcuffed her, forcing her to stand in front of them without any clothes. She said an officer ultimately threw a blanket over her shoulders but because she was handcuffed the blanket slipped off her shoulders, leaving her exposed again.
As the scene was captured by body cameras officers on the scene were wearing, “I’m just standing there, terrified, humiliated, not even understanding why in that moment this is happening to me,” she said.
Neither the police department nor COPA would comment on the investigation. COPA spokesman Ephraim Eaddy would only say that under city policy the only videos it will release before an investigation is complete are those in which an officer has fired a weapon or in incidents when there is great bodily injury.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration tried to prevent the footage from being aired on television in an emergency court filing Monday, which a federal judge rejected.
Young’s attorney, Keenan Saulter, blasted the city’s handling of the case.
“This city has a history of attempting to cover up unfavorable video,” Saulter told the Chicago Tribune. “That’s all we’re dealing with here.”
On Tuesday, Lightfoot told reporters that the incident happened before she took office in May 2019 and blamed COPA for not releasing it earlier.
“I respect the independence of COPA, but give me a break that we didn’t put this video out in all this time,” she said at an unrelated press briefing. “It’s ridiculous, it really is.”
She said concerns about officers searching the wrong homes has led to changes in search warrant protocol.
“I’m not going to sit here and tell you that we’ve solved every problem, but we responded to what we were seeing was way too many circumstances of officers going into the wrong home,” she said.
Associated Press reporter Sophia Tareen contributed to this report.