Video shows Chicago cops terrorizing Black social worker in her home
This clip from police bodycam footage shows Anjanetter Young, wrapped in a blanket, as she was forced to stand against the wall in her living room when 12 Chicago cops raided her home by mistake. The video was shown on CBS Chicago.

CHICAGO—Video finally released after almost two years shows police in Chicago terrorizing an innocent Black woman social worker who had just undressed in her home after a long day on her job of two years.

Brandishing a completely baseless search warrant which was itself issued under highly questionable circumstances, they burst into her home as she was just getting into her night clothes.

It took almost two years to force the City of Chicago to release the video yesterday.

It was clear from the horrifying bodycam footage that the reason for trying to squash the video was that it would stir outrage when viewed by the public and add, as it has today, to the stigma of disgrace already borne by a Chicago police department that operates outside the law. Fortunately, this attack on an innocent African-American woman, like so many other unjustified attacks on Black people by Chicago police, did not end up with the death of the victim.

Anjanette Young on Wednesday described her traumatic experience to CBS News, revealing details about the post-traumatic stress syndrome she continues to suffer from the police attack on Feb. 21, 2019.

At about 7 p.m. that evening, police burst into her home with guns drawn as she undressed in her bedroom following a day of work as a social worker, her career of two decades.

“There were big guns,” Young said. “Guns with lights and scopes on them. And they were yelling at me, you know, put your hands up, put your hands up.”

The video shows police refused to answer any of Young’s desperate questions about who and what they were looking for.

“What is going on?” Young can be heard asking in the video. “There’s nobody else here, I live alone. I mean, what is going on here? You’ve got the wrong house. I live alone.”

Instead, as she feared for her life, they handcuffed her and forced her to stand naked against the wall in her living room for close to half an hour while they tore apart her townhome, looking for an individual who did not live there and who had nothing to do with Young. Incredibly, that individual was in the townhouse next door and was wearing an active ankle monitor.

The manner in which the warrant was obtained was itself highly questionable.

“Despite no evidence in the complaint that police made efforts to independently verify their informant’s tip, the search warrant was approved by an assistant state’s attorney and a judge,” CBS Chicago reported.

When police finally agreed that they had raided the wrong residence, they got nasty with Young for demanding answers.

CBS Chicago counted at least 43 times that Young told cops they were in the wrong place.

“OK, OK, you don’t have to shout,” an officer responded to Young as she stood naked against the wall in her own home.

The video footage shows that the cops turned their body cameras off and on throughout the raid.

“It’s one of those moments where I felt I could have died that night,” she said. “Like if I would have made one wrong move, it felt like they would have shot me. I truly believe they would have shot me.”

Young said she had been denied, on numerous occasions, access to the bodycam footage that she needs as evidence in a lawsuit she is mounting against the City of Chicago.

“I feel like they didn’t want us to have this video because they knew how bad it was,” Young told CBS Chicago. “They knew they had done something wrong. They knew that the way they treated me was not right.”

CBS Chicago itself had to battle an emergency motion Chicago filed in court to prevent the television station from airing the footage.

The release of the video yesterday and Young’s public statements are a reminder that what happened recently to Breonna Taylor, in the botched raid that resulted in her death, could be happening in other cases all across the country. Young says she is lucky that she did not suffer the fate suffered by Taylor and others victimized by out-of-control cops.

The attack on Young took place when Rahm Emanuel was mayor of Chicago. Emanuel was mayor when Laquan McDonald, a Black teenager, was killed by Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke, who shot him in the back 16 times.

Both the Chicago Police Department and the city tried to cover up that killing, too, by refusing to release the video.

Likewise, Chicago cops killed Harith Augustus, a 37-year-old Black barber in 2018, and withheld body camera footage.

Outrage after the Laquan McDonald killing forced Emanuel to cancel his plans to run for re-election as Chicago mayor.

Joe Biden’s decision to name Pete Buttigieg as Transportation Secretary was welcomed in Chicago because earlier talk of Emanuel getting that job was causing anger here. Black voters supported Biden overwhelmingly and in Chicago in particular they were not happy with the prospect of Emanuel in a Biden cabinet.


CONTRIBUTOR

John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is Editor-in-Chief of People's World. He joined the staff as Labor Editor in May 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There, he served as a shop steward, as a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee, and as an activist in the union's campaign to win public support for Wal-Mart workers. In the 1970s and '80s he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and was active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.

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