Victim of botched Chicago police raid cancels meeting with Lightfoot

A Black woman who was the victim of a mistaken 2019 raid on her Chicago home scrapped plans Monday to meet with Chicago’s mayor and host a public forum with aldermen over disagreements on how the gatherings would proceed.

Social worker Anjanette Young announced plans earlier in the day to meet privately with Mayor Lori Lightfoot Wednesday at Progressive Baptist Church where she is a member, Young’s attorney Keenan J. Saulter said. The meeting was to be followed by a public forum where Chicago’s 50 aldermen and Police Superintendent David Brown were invited.

It was billed as a gathering to discuss transparency, accountability and justice, which Saulter called a necessary step toward healing from the disturbing incident where officers raided Young’s home and and didn’t allow her to dress before handcuffing her. Footage of the incident, first reported by Chicago’s WBBM-TV, shows Young repeatedly telling officers executing a search warrant that they have the wrong home.

However, Lightfoot said Monday that an in-person meeting with dozens of aldermen indoors would violate coronavirus pandemic restrictions and could potentially be inconsistent with the Open Meetings Act. Lightfoot, who apologized for the raid and the city’s handling, said details were still being worked out.

"It is certainly my hope that Miss Young and I meet and meet soon," Lightfoot told reporters at an unrelated news conference.

Young’s attorney Keenan Saulter said Lightfoot’s apologies were "not justice" and failing to commit to both gatherings at a church with capacity of up to 2,000 people was offensive.

"The mayor’s apologies without action ring hollow and fall on deaf ears," he said in a statement canceling both meetings. He said Young would continue her lawsuit against the city.

The botched raid and the city’s handling of it has prompted anger from pastors, lawmakers and civil rights activists who’ve decried it as racist and an affront to a Black woman’s dignity.

Though the incident happened before Lightfoot took office in May 2019, her administration later tried to block the video from airing on television and rejected Young’s Freedom of Information Request to obtain video of the incident. Young later obtained it through a lawsuit.

In the fallout of the raid, Chicago’s top attorney resigned, Lightfoot announced an independent investigation and 12 officers were placed on administrative duty. Th e Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating.

Saulter has said the city’s actions are part of a troubled history of disturbing police officer conduct and trying to block sensitive video and documents from the public eye, as it did with the 2014 fatal police shooting of Black teenager Laquan McDonald.