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Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office releases emails about botched Chicago police raid; activists call on her to resign

By Craig Wall, Rob Elgas and Jessica D’Onofrio, ABC7

Mayor Lori Lightfoot released a trove of emails Wednesday afternoon under pressure to be transparent about the botched police raid on an innocent woman’s home.

The botched raid on the home of Anjanette Young happened in February of 2019. The Chicago social worker was left handcuffed and naked for 40 minutes.

The Chicago Police Department also released internal documents, logs and video related to the case on Wednesday. Some of that video includes body-camera footage where you can hear Young telling someone that she pleaded with police.

“From the moment they came in, I told them they had the wrong apartment,” Young can be heard saying. “They didn’t listen to me. They just did what they needed to do.”

Meanwhile, some community activists are calling for Mayor Lightfoot to resign. They will be holding a press conference at City Hall Thursday morning.

Earlier this month, the mayor promised transparency in the investigation. In a massive pre-holiday document drop, her office has now released what is described as “a preliminary search” of staff emails from November 2019, nine months after the raid.

READ: Emails released by Lori Lightfoot’s office

On the 11th at 9:07 a.m., Lightfoot’s communication director, concerned about a pending news report on the raid, reached out to Deputy Mayor Susan Lee asking: “Susan, is MLL aware of this incident and situation?”

Lee, who oversaw public safety matters replied a minute later: “I told her there was a bad incident, but did not go into details.”

Eight minutes later, Lee emailed the mayor, saying: “Mayor, please see below for a pretty bad wrongful raid coming out tomorrow. Media FOIA was denied and victim FOIA request is in the works and to be released to her tomorrow within the deadline period.”

Thirty-three minutes later, Mayor Lightfoot responded to Lee, her chief of staff, her communications director and the city’s top risk officer saying: “I have a lot of questions about this one, can we do a quick call about it?”

Earlier this month, the mayor apologized for what happened and called it a colossal failure. Initially Lightfoot said she was unaware of the raid, saying she was in the middle of the budget at the time.

“The first I knew of this incident was yesterday morning,” Lightfoot said on December 16, 2020. “The search warrant, the video and the actions of the law department, the first I knew of any of this was yesterday morning.”

A day later, she corrected herself.

“What I now know, having looked at some emails, is my team knew this was an issue of great concern for me,” Lightfoot said on December 17.

What the emails from November 12, 2019, also show is the mayor was concerned about the fallout. She told key staffers: “We need to escalate the training for the 2+ search warrant affiants. We cannot afford any additional hits.”

The emails show there has been a number of requests for release of the video, but the mayor’s office insists Lightfoot was not involved in any decision related to efforts to suppress the video.

The mayor’s office said the more than 150 pages of emails released Wednesday is not an exhaustive list, but just the first review of staff emails and those related to COPA’s investigation.

Since then, the mayor has asked for and received the resignation of her corporation counsel.

She was supposed to have a private meeting Wednesday with Anjanette Young, but disagreements with her attorney about the format led Young’s attorney to cancel the meeting.

This article originally appeared on ABC7 News.

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