Newly released body camera footage of a no-knock raid by the Chicago Police Department on the wrong home reveals what happened when officers stormed into Anjanette Young’s apartment nearly two years ago.
The video shows how police treated the 49-year-old, licensed social worker after they broke down her front door with a battering ram without a knock or a warning.
The raid took place in February of 2019 on a Thursday night when Young was home alone. Young told CBS Chicago that she used Thursday nights as an evening of self-care. She said on those nights she would watch television and enjoyed her time alone.
“My friends and family know — don’t call, don’t text,” Young said to the news outlet. “This is my night to myself. And that’s always been on a Thursday night.”
So you can imagine her shock and horror when her evening of peace was shattered by a group of gun wielding men bashing down her front door.
Young told CBS Chicago that she had just gotten home from work and was undressing when her door was broken in by police.
The body-camera footage, obtained after Young and the local news channel filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for video of the raid, shows a naked Anjanette handcuffed, crying, and pleading with officers to explain what is going on.
According to CBS Chicago, CPD initially denied the request for the body-cam video in an attempt to prevent the footage from being publicly released, but Young’s lawsuit against the department resulted in a court order for the police to release the footage.
The news outlet also claims that after releasing the video, the City of Chicago tried to keep them from airing the video by seeking a court order, however U.S. District Judge John Tharp, Jr. denied their request.
In the video, Young can be heard begging for clothes as she stands in front of multiple male officers completely naked. Eventually she is given a blanket to cover her body, but the handcuffs are not removed from her wrists.
Young repeatedly tells officers they have the wrong house as they rummage through her home.
“I can just remember crying and yelling, ‘Please let me put my clothes on…you have the wrong place,” she said in an interview with CBS Chicago. “I can see it all over again…I can see them walking around my house and feeling like, feeling humiliated,” she described to the news outlet last November. “Before I knew it, there was a swarm of police officers,” she said. “They had these big guns, long guns with scopes and lights… I thought they were going to shoot me.”
Documents obtained by CBS Chicago showed that police were at the wrong address. The news investigation revealed that police relied on incorrect information from an informant without performing “basic checks” to confirm the information before raiding Young’s home.
To make matters worse, the whereabouts of the suspect they were looking for would have been extremely easy for police to find because he was wearing an electronic monitoring device with GPS. According to CBS Chicago, the suspect was awaiting trail on home confinement in a different apartment in Young’s complex.
When police go back to their car to check their documents, body-cam video shows disturbing evidence regarding the approval of the warrant to search Young’s home. Officers reviewing the notes seemed confused about how the authorization for the raid was obtained.
“It wasn’t initially approved or some crap,” one officer can be heard saying. “What does that mean?” a second officer wondered.
“I have no idea,” the first officer answered, adding, “I mean, they told him it was approved, then I guess that person messed up on their end.”
According to CBS Chicago, even though the incident happened in 2019, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) didn’t open the investigation into the wrong raid or contact Young until nine months later when the news channel first broke the story online.
As of Nov. 25, 2020, COPA said it “is still in the process of serving allegations and conducting all necessary officer interviews.”