Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot released on Wednesday some emails and FOIA responses about the wrongful raid of Anjanette Young’s home, including one in which a staffer calls it a “pretty bad wrongful raid.”
Young’s home was raided in February 2019, and body camera footage from police officers shows she was naked as she told police 43 times that they were raiding the wrong home. She filed suit against the city and recently released the video footage to the media, prompting protests and outrage from Chicago residents about the woman’s treatment.
Lightfoot herself has faced criticism about what and when she knew about the raid after she told reporters she’d only recently learned the details, but then backtracked to admit she’d been told by staff about it in November 2019. The city spent a year fighting the release of police body camera footage showing officers breaking down Young’s front door.
The city released statements indicating that the raid happened before Lightfoot was in office, and asserting that staff did not “fully brief” her on what happened.
The newly released emails show requests from November 2019 between CBS-2 reporters and the city’s FOIA officers as the news station attempted to get access to the police body camera video that Young and the station had requested, but not received.
While a FOIA officer in the Chicago Police Department indicated in the emails that the video would be released to Young, the city emails show that ultimately the woman’s FOIA was denied because of an ongoing Civilian Office of Police Accountability investigation.
The emails show, too, that Lightfoot was notified Nov. 11, 2019, about the raid, with an email from her former deputy mayor for Public Safety, Susan Lee.
“Mayor please see below for a pretty bad wrongful raid coming out tomorrow,” Lee wrote, in part.
Lightfoot responded shortly after, writing, “I have a lot of questions about this one. Can we do a quick call about it?”
The next day, Lightfoot’s risk assessment officer sent emails to Lightfoot and city staffers about escalating policy changes and training regarding search warrant use. Another email from Lightfoot showed her suggesting part of the training for Chicago police get sped up.
“We cannot afford any additional hits,” the mayor wrote.