Chicago woman raided by police while naked in home has PTSD, seeking settlement
When 12 Chicago police officers wrongly burst into her home instead of the correct one on Feb. 21, 2019, social worker Anjanette Young was forever changed.
“My life before was just a quiet life,” Young told New York Times contributing writer Esau McCaulley. “I lived a very quiet and simple life, and now my life has been completely turned upside down. I can’t sleep at night.”
About a year ago, Young and her attorneys released the bodycam footage that recorded a dozen officers bursting into her apartment and handcuffing her, naked, while she repeatedly told them they were in the wrong place. For months, she had reportedly been “brushed aside by the City of Chicago.”
For a McCaulley Times opinion piece published Tuesday, Young recalled how she had come in from work, poured a glass of wine and was about to settle in to watch Grey’s Anatomy.
She noted that she was getting undressed for a night of comfort at home when she heard an “earth-shattering noise.” She said she grabbed a small jacket, went to investigate and Young “made her way to the front of the apartment. She was greeted by large guns, flashlights and the police demanding that she get her hands in the air.”
The officers were looking for a man who once lived at her address suspected of possessing an illegal weapon. That suspect wore an ankle monitor, and his actual whereabouts could have been determined by a simple search.
“Ms. Young was faced with a dilemma common to too many Black women: between her dignity and her life,” McCaulley wrote in The Tiimes. “The decision wasn’t conscious. She feared getting shot, so she threw her hands into the air and dropped the only thing covering her naked body. Within seconds, she was in her own home, handcuffed and naked in a room full of mostly white men.”
Reports have noted that Young remained mostly uncovered for at least 10 minutes. One officer tried to cover her with a blanket, which kept slipping off her shoulders because her hands were cuffed behind her back.
Officer Ella French — who, as previously reported, was shot and killed on the South Side in the line of duty in August — took Young into her bedroom to dress. Since her death, Young’s attorneys have praised French, noting in a statement she “was the only officer who showed Ms. Young any dignity or respect on the night of the raid.”
Since the incident, Young has been diagnosed with depression and PTSD, and she is on medication.
“I feel like the city continues to view me as invisible and not one who deserves respect or resolution or fairness,” she contended. “You have changed my life. You have harmed me.”
As previously reported, Young recently rejected a settlement offer of $1 million made at a mediation hearing this spring. While she is not seeking a specific dollar amount, her attorneys called that offer a “lowball,” at it’s less than half of what was paid out to a similar victim. She and her attorney say the city of Chicago is compounding her trauma and wasting taxpayer dollars fighting the case.
The Chicago Tribune reported last month that the Civilian Office of Police Accountability had completed a 16-month investigation into the incident and found more than 100 allegations of wrongdoing and misconduct by the numerous officers involved. Supervising Sgt. Alex Wolinski is facing dismissal for allegedly violating eight different Chicago Police Department rules in the raid.
The current police superintendent, David Brown, who was not in charge of the department at the time in 2019, filed disciplinary charges against Wolinski on Nov. 4 that include, in part, assertions the sergeant “failed to intervene in the disrespectful treatment” of Young, overseeing the warrant’s delivery with no practice of the knock and announce rule, as well as failing to give Young a copy of the warrant or notify a SWAT team to assist in its execution.