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City Council Approves $2.9 Million Settlement For Anjanette Young, 'But It Will Never Give Ms. Young Back Her Dignity And Respect'

By Samah Assad, Dave Savini, Michele Youngerman, and Todd Feurer

CHICAGO (CBS)-- The City Council on Wednesday approved a $2.9 million settlement with Anjanette Young, the innocent social worker who was handcuffed naked during a wrongful police raid nearly three years ago.

"No amount of money could erase what Ms. Young has suffered. No amount of money could provide Ms. Young with what she truly wants—which is to never have been placed in this situation in the first place," her attorneys said in a statement on Wednesday. "Ms. Young wishes that those officers would have done proper police work and used basic logic to determine that the individual that they were looking for had no connection to her home on that fateful night."

Prior to the 48-0 vote by the City Council, South Side Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20th) said, "$2.9 million might seem like a lot, but it will never give Ms. Young back her dignity and respect, and the trust that she's lost."

Taylor noted that, although Young's settlement with the city only includes financial damages, she has also sought changes in the Chicago Police Department's search warrant policies to assure what happened to her doesn't happen to anyone else.

"I hope that we hear her; and not hear her to answer, but hear her to listen, to say let's do something different about how we do house raids, how we treat women, how we treat young people, because that's all an issue in this city," Taylor said. "Ms. Young wasn't the first, and I pray to God that she is the last, but in between time, let's do the right thing as a council."

Young's case spurred key search warrant reforms and policy changes within the Chicago Police Department.

Those changes include a first-ever requirement for CPD to track wrong raids that result from faulty information, such as the raid on Anjanette Young's home nearly three years ago.

So-called "no-knock" warrants also will be banned "except in specific cases where lives or safety are in danger," and must be approved by a bureau chief or higher, and will only be served by SWAT teams, rather than the officers who obtained the warrant.

All other search warrants will now have to be approved by a deputy chief or higher. That's a huge move, because that's three ranks above the previous requirement of a lieutenant approval.

During any raid, a female officer will now have to be present for the serving of all search warrants. A lieutenant or higher must be there to oversee the scene. And, in line with a previous policy, officers will also have to make note of any situation where they point a gun at any person.

All warrants also will require an independent investigation before approval and execution to corroborate the information used to obtain the warrant.

Before any search warrant is carried out, the team serving the warrant must conduct a planning session to "identify any potentially vulnerable people who may be present at the location in question, including children."

But Taylor is one of five black alderwomen who have backed the so-called "Anjanette Young Ordinance," which would mandate major overhauls to the way CPD executes search warrants through the city code, rather than rely solely on changes to Chicago Police Department policy.

Ald. Maria Hadden (49th) echoed Taylor's call for the City Council to do more to make changes to avoid mistakes like the ones that led to what happened to Young, although neither Hadden or Taylor specifically mentioned the "Anjanette Young Ordinance."

"The work that we have to do in council, and continue to do, is to fix the system, fix the process, and fix the policies so that we don't keep making the same mistakes," Hadden said.

The proposed Anjanette Young Ordinance is what some city leaders call nothing short of a full-court press to dismantle systemic racism in the city of Chicago – with a reengineering of what comes before, during, and after every CPD raid.

If passed, it would reform what happens before, during, and after moments like the wrong raid on Young's home two years, which was first exposed by CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini.

The ordinance calls for all raids to include a knock, an announcement, and no less than 30 seconds' wait to break down a door.

It also calls for residential search warrants to be limited between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. And any informants that provide bad tips can't be used again.

The ordinance further calls for body cameras to roll for the entire raid, and for police to limit raids when children and vulnerable people aren't there - and special plans if they are. If children are present while police are executing a search warrant, officers would be prohibited from handcuffing them, or pointing weapons at them.

The ordinance has yet to get a hearing, five months after it was introduced to the City Council.

In a statement on the settlement of her case, Young's attorneys said she is still urging aldermen and the mayor to pass the ordinance that bears her name.

However, Lightfoot pushed back on the idea of requiring further policy changes at CPD beyond what has already been done since the raid on Young's home.

"The City Council doesn't typically dictate policy for the Police Department, so that would be a very unusual departure," she said.

The mayor also noted that CPD policies are already under intense scrutiny from the court-appointed monitor overseeing the city's compliance with court-ordered reforms under a 2019 consent decree, as well as the judge and lawyers involved in the case.

Lightfoot said she's confident CPD has the right policies in place regarding search warrants.

"Since we learned about the unfortunate circumstances with Ms. Young, the search warrant policy has gone through at least two iterations that I'm aware of; one that I specifically directed before I knew about Ms. Young, because I was seeing this reporting on the so-called wrong raids, and then another round since has been signed off on by all of those folks," she said. "I think we have a very good policy."

Young agreed to show the world harrowing video of what happened to her in February of 2019. The CBS 2 Investigators first exposed the story.

A dozen male Chicago police officers barged into her home with guns and handcuffed her, while she was naked.

It was all based on bad information from a confidential informant.

Meanwhile, the CBS 2 Investigators have tracked more than a dozen lawsuits related to wrong raids.

But Young said she can't help but think of the others before her: the dozens of innocent families who CBS 2 uncovered were also wrongly raided by CPD. Many have since sued the city. While several of their cases predate Young's case, their lawsuits have not yet been resolved.

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