Women coalitions protest as mayor declines to attend public forum requested by victim of botched raid
Crusader Staff Report
A proposed private meeting between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and social worker Anjanette Young, the victim of a botched “no knock” raid by the Chicago Police Department, was called off after the mayor reportedly declined to participate in a public forum with the victim.
The development came one day after a women’s 700 member coalition held a protest outside Chicago Police Department headquarters in Bronzeville, where Reverend Jesse Jackson and activists blasted the treatment of Young.
A recent video shows Young was handcuffed, naked, with guns pointed at her, as 12 police officers searched her home after they entered the wrong apartment.
CBS2 aired the video December 14 after the city’s law department lost a legal battle to block it. The city’s top lawyer, Mark Flessner was fired, and the 12 officers were placed on desk duty as the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) investigates the raid that occurred in February, 2019.
The video has renewed longstanding distrust in Chicago police and has further damaged Lightfoot’s reputation in the Black community. Many question why Young’s request for the video under the Freedom of Information Act was denied by Lightfoot’s administration.
The latest fallout occurred Monday, December 28, when Lightfoot declined a proposed meeting with Young after she reached out to her December 17 through an email to her attorney, Keenan Saulter. On December 26, Young agreed to meet privately with the mayor and requested it happen at her church later this week. In addition, Saulter requested a public forum afterward with police Superintendent David Brown and later amended the invitation to include all Chicago aldermen.
Saulter reportedly spoke with acting corporation counsel Celia Meza via email, where Meza said the mayor offered to meet Young privately before holding a press conference at noon Wednesday, December 30. Meza said Lightfoot accepted the invitation for a private meeting at the church but would not participate in the public forum at noon.
That’s when Saulter reportedly responded, “There was one invitation. Not two. The Mayor decided that she was going to reject the invitation that Ms. Young gave. That’s fine. Let’s not parse words or play games.”
Lightfoot’s office reportedly released a statement after the breakdown, reiterating that the mayor is eager to meet with Young “to continue the process of healing.”
Saulter said at the demonstration, “When the city decides that a police dashcam video or a body camera video fits their narrative, those videos are released immediately.
“It’s been 13 months since they allegedly have an ongoing investigation. More importantly, it’s been 20 months since this incident occurred. What’s left to investigate? She [Young] told the story on the video. Forty-three times [she said] you got the wrong house. They (police) admitted on the video they had the wrong house. There’s no need for further investigation.”
Reverend Jesse Jackson attended the demonstration.
Many speakers blasted the treatment of Young during the raid and the fact that no officers had been disciplined and are still on the force. Young’s supporters believe the names of the 12 officers involved should be released, and ultimately, want the officers to be fired.
“We want their names revealed,” said Reverend Janette Wilson with the Rainbow Push Coalition. “We want a background check on each officer and person involved in this action.”
Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton said, “Just as she had the courage to speak out, we too must speak out about the glaring truth that we cannot move forward as a society if we don’t commit to protecting Black women and girls… through policies and practices and truth telling.”
At Saturday’s rally, U.S. Representative Bobby Rush revealed he wrote a letter to the head of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, calling for further action and discussion on the case.
SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Greg Kelley said, “People across our city are working through emotions of outrage and frustration at yet another incident of Chicago Police Department wrongdoing, the city’s alleged attempts to cover it up and a continuing refusal to hold people accountable.”
Activist Ja’Mal Green said, “This is not how you treat a Black woman or any woman. But we all know that if this were in Lincoln Park, this would have not happened this way. A woman vulnerable in her own home, coming to have some peace, coming home from a long day at work, trying to get some rest, can’t even do that.”