A Chicago City Council committee on Monday recommended paying $2.9 million to a woman who was handcuffed while naked by police officers during a botched raid of her home in 2019.
The Finance Committee’s unanimous approval to recommend the settlement for social worker Anjanette Young will be considered Wednesday by the full City Council, which almost always follows the committee’s recommendations.
“The city has never disputed Ms. Young suffered an indignity” during the raid, city Corporation Counsel Celia Meza told the Finance Committee, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Kristen Cabanban, a spokeswoman for the city’s legal department, said Young’s attorney agreed to the settlement. The attorney, Keenan Saulter, didn’t immediately reply to an Associated Press seeking comment.
The proposed settlement is an effort to make amends for a national embarrassment for the police department and a scandal for Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Not only did the officers who raided Young’s apartment not let her get dressed, but she was right when she repeatedly told them they were at the wrong address.
After the committee meeting, Cabanban said the investigation revealed that police forced Young to remain naked for 16 seconds and that what they put over her kept falling off before she was allowed to get dressed about 40 minutes after the officers arrived.
Meanwhile, Lightfoot’s claims that she had no knowledge of the raid were proven false when emails revealed that her staff had told her. Lightfoot came under more criticism when city attorneys tried to get a court order to prevent a local television station from airing video of the raid at Young’s home.
The episode was damaging to Lightfoot, who ran for office as a reformer only to be caught up in a scandal similar to the one that embroiled her predecessor, Rahm Emanuel, who just a few years earlier tried to prevent the release of dashcam video of the fatal police shooting of Black teenager Laquan McDonald.
Young filed a lawsuit in February that named the city and 12 police officers as defendants and contended that police officials had failed to independently investigate and verify the place to be searched. Young also filed a federal lawsuit against the city in connection with the raid, but that lawsuit was dismissed last year.
The proposed settlement was not a surprise, as the city’s legal department said earlier this year that it was working to resolve the matter. Such a settlement became even more likely when the city’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability called for the suspension or firing of eight officers in a report released last month.
The settlement will add to a staggering sum that the city has paid out in police misconduct cases in recent years. According to a 2016 AP analysis, the city had paid about $662 million on the cases since 2004, with the Chicago Tribune reporting in 2019 that the total had climbed to more than $750 million.
Since then, there have been other big payouts, including a settlement of more than $20 million to two men who had their murder convictions overturned after they were allegedly framed by the same detective. And settlements like the one for $1.2 million with the family of a teenager fatally shot by a police officer in 2014 that was announced by attorneys this month have become almost routine.