MSNBC Anjanette Young
On Feb. 21, 2019, at 7 p.m., Anjanette Young had just gotten home from work as a social worker in Chicago and was changing when police busted down her door with a battering ram.
“It was so traumatic to hear the thing that was hitting the door,” Young, 50, who has been a social worker for 20 years, exclusively told CBS 2 in Chicago. “And it happened so fast, I didn’t have time to put on clothes.”
What followed has haunted Young ever since – and now has the Chicago mayor apologizing for what has come to light as a troubling raid gone very wrong.
#AnjanetteYoung the story behind the story. She actually came to me team last year hoping we could unearth the video we did! Police Handcuff Her While Naked During Wrong Raid @GayleKing @CBSNews @CBSThisMorning @cbschicago https://t.co/8pX6K9sF7T
— Dave Savini CBS (@davesavinicbs2) December 17, 2020
In November 2019, Young filed a Freedom of Information Request for the body camera footage from the botched raid, but it was denied.
MSNBC Anjanette Young
As part of a lawsuit against police, a court forced the Chicago Police Department to hand the footage over to Young, CBS 2 reports.
In footage first aired by CBS 2, Young is shown standing naked as 9 male officers burst into her home that night “wielding guns with lights and scopes on them,” she told the outlet.
On Monday, lawyers for the city of Chicago fought to prevent the footage from being aired in an emergency motion filed in federal court.
A federal judge denied the motion.
CBS 2 did not say how it obtained the footage.
The officers, it turns out, were looking for a suspect: a 23-year-old felon who allegedly was in possession of a gun and ammunition, whose address they’d gotten from an informant, CBS 2 learned.
The address turned out to be wrong, with officers searching Young’s home with a warrant instead of the suspect they were looking for, who lived in the townhouse unit next door, CBS 2 reports.
As Young stood in her living room without any clothes on – while she was being filmed – she asked the officers what was going on.
“There’s nobody else here, I live alone,” she can be heard saying in the video.
At first, the officers did not give her anything to cover herself up with, cuffing her behind her back and leaving her to remain standing naked and terrified for her life.
“It’s one of those moments where I felt I could have died that night,” she told CBS 2. “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.”
At one point, an officer draped a coat around Young’s shoulders, which still left the front of her body exposed.
Eventually, an officer covered her with a blanket which she was unable to keep around her entire body because her hands were cuffed behind her, she told the outlet.
Some officers searched the house while others stood in the living room as Young sobbed, asking them what was happening, telling them 43 times, “You’ve got the wrong house,” as she's heard saying on the video.
“Oh my God, this cannot be right,” Young said during the raid. “How is this legal?”
At one point, a female officer brought Young into her bedroom so she could put clothes on, cuffing her immediately after, CBS 2 reports.
Toward the end of the video, when the sergeant asks the officer who allegedly obtained the warrant to go outside to talk, the officer’s camera turns off.
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Finally, an officer removed her handcuffs and the sergeant apologized, CBS 2 reports. He told her he would have the officers try to fix her door.
On Wednesday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot offered Young a public apology. “I want to tell Ms. Young (that) I am deeply sorry and troubled that her home was invaded, and that she had to face the humiliation and trauma that she suffered,” Lightfoot said, the Chicago Tribune reports.
“That is just not right. It simply should not have happened. And I will make sure that there is full accountability for what took place.”
On Wednesday, Young filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department for denying her FOIA request seeking footage of the raid.
“This was so terrifying for me that two years later I’m still dealing with it,” Young said Wednesday during a press conference, WTTW reports.
Her lawyer, Keenan Saulter, told CBS 2 he wondered if Young would have been treated differently if she were white.
“If this had been a young woman in Lincoln Park by herself in her home naked, a young white woman — let’s just be frank – if the reaction would have been the same?” he told the outlet.
“I don’t think it would have been,” Saulter said. “I think [officers] would have saw that woman, rightfully so, as someone who was vulnerable, someone who deserved protection, someone who deserved to have their dignity maintained. They viewed Ms. Young as less than human.”
The Chicago Police Department declined to comment when reached by PEOPLE.