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Black alderwomen renew push for Anjanette Young Ordinance to halt bad raids exposed for years by the CBS 2 Investigators

Alderwomen renews push for Anjanette Young Ordinance 00:37

CHICAGO (CBS) – A new version of the Anjanette Young ordinance introduced in City Council today would require Chicago police officers conduct a threat assessment matrix, a risk versus benefit test, to determine if they should raid a home. It also would require families wrongly raided be referred to supportive services by police.

Those are two of the many sweeping changes council members are pushing for as they try to create a new law governing how officers obtain and execute search warrants.

The ordinance was originally proposed in February 2021, by a group of five Black alderwomen, including Ald. Marie Hadden (49th). It now has 20 co-sponsors. 

"Chicagoans have been demanding these reforms for quite a long time," Hadden said last year. "City Council has an obligation. We have an obligation to change policy, and to make policy, and to suggest policy, and to of course manage our city code, and to do things differently if they are demanded of us."

The ordinance was created about two months after a CBS 2 Investigation into Chicago police officers wrongly raiding the home of Anjanette Young. The innocent social worker was changing her clothes when a team of officers burst into her home.  She was handcuffed naked as officers swarmed her home with guns drawn.  She can be seen on police body camera video repeatedly telling officers they were in the wrong place.  The CBS 2 Investigators found the suspect police were looking for, based on a tip from a confidential informant, was living in a neighboring apartment.  He also was wearing a police tracking device while awaiting trial for a recent arrest.

The revised ordinance highlights the city's attempt to keep CBS 2 from airing the police body camera video of the wrong raid on Anjanette Young's home.  Taking the station to court just hours before the story was to air, hoping to get a ruling preventing the video from becoming public.  CBS 2 received a court ruling in its favor as the story was airing.

A year after our investigation, the City of Chicago settled a lawsuit filed by Anjanette Young, paying her $2.9 million.  

The Anjanette Young Ordinance, if passed, would require Chicago police officers to follow what would be a new city law governing the execution of search warrants. The revised ordinance maintains most of the original language and requirements around property damage, concern for children, use of informants and weapons.  Here are some of the changes.

  • While still banning no-knock warrants and requiring officers to knock and give residents 30 seconds to answer the door, it gives officers the authority to immediately enter a home in emergency and to prevent physical harm to a person.
  • A required threat assessment matrix has been added to the proposed ordinance to determine risks to residents and officers too.  If the risk outweighs the benefits, the search warrant is not supposed to be executed.
  • The original mandate that raids only be executed between 9am and 7pm, has been removed from the revised ordinance.
  • The newly submitted ordinance has more child-focused training requirements for officers and a requirement to have supportive services from a social worker or mental health professional.
  • Officers would be prohibited from handcuffing adult caregivers in front of children, but the revised ordinance would allow it if there is an immediate threat of harm.
  • New to the ordinance, the Chicago Police Department would be required to give referrals for free supportive services to families with children or vulnerable adults when there is a negative warrant.  A negative warrant means no arrests were made and nothing was confiscated from the home. 

Supporters of the Anjanette Young ordinance want the search warrant rules to be governed by the city's municipal code, rather than only by CPD policy, which can be changed by the superintendent or mayor on their own.

Currently there are no city laws governing how officers execute search warrants.  They follow department directives, which have been changed as a result of CBS 2's years-long investigation into bad raids.   

The ongoing CBS 2 Investigation also led to other major reforms.

In March, 2022, a federal court judge granted a motion to change the Chicago Police Department consent decree to now include oversight on the department's search warrant policies and practices.

Craig Futterman is a clinical professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School and one of the lead attorneys who represent a community coalition in the Chicago Police Department consent decree. He explained what the addition of search warrant reforms to the consent decree means in practice.

"It means that wrong raids – that home raids that CBS has uncovered – are now governed expressly by the Chicago Police consent decree," Futterman said. "They are now under the supervision of a federal judge, and that means everything – everything from search warrant policies, training practices, CPD use of force, gun pointing at kids. Interactions with kids, discrimination, racism, the use of body cameras.  Actually giving people the opportunity to answer the door – reporting on this all going to be monitored by a federal judge and an independent monitor to ensure that everything the Chicago Police Department does is in compliance with the consent decree."

The consent decree, a series of mandated CPD reforms that a federal court is overseeing to make sure they are implemented, was first put into place in 2019.

The consent decree was created after a U.S. Department of Justice investigation found the Chicago Police Department engaged in a pattern of abusive policing in communities of color and the failure to hold officers accountable.

Our CBS 2 Investigation analyzed Chicago Police Department data and found raids primarily happening in Black and Brown communities. In fact primarily white communities, such as Wrigleyville, had zero raids during the same time period analyzed.

Chicago's Office of Inspector General later investigated the racial disparities and the findings were outlined in this revised ordinance: "Black men are targeted by Chicago police in home raids more than 25 times as often as white men. 79% of the women targeted in home raids are Black, and only 7% are white."

As a result of our investigation, which began in August 2018, the city Inspector General's office launched an extensive audit of the Chicago Police Department's search warrant policies and practices. While that is ongoing, the IG's office has released a few interim reports.  It has recommended a variety of immediate police directive changes, which CPD adopted.  It also found the city's handling of the raid at Anjanette Young's home was flawed.  It failed in how it responded to Young, failed to be transparent and, instead, prioritized public relations.

Other changes by CPD and City Hall, following our wrong raids investigation include:

  • Chicago Police overhauled their search warrant directive.
  • The mayor created a body camera executive order so victims can more easily obtain police video.
  • The officers who raided Anjanette Young's home were put on desk duty and face 100 misconduct allegations – action that was only taken after our investigation, nearly two years after the raid. Multiple officers face termination or suspension.
  • City council held an extensive hearing on search warrant reforms.
  • Chicago's Inspector General (IG) launched an investigation into possible wrongdoing, including in the mayor's office. The IG released a summary of that report, finding the city's response to the raid was "exceedingly harmful to Young," but Lightfoot has refused to release the full report.
  • The IG has an ongoing investigation into CPD search warrant policies and practices, and has released interim findings urging "urgent recommendations" for changes to search warrant policies, immediately adopted by police.
  • Search warrant legislation was created.
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