On Sunday the lead attorney for the city of Chicago, Mark Flessner, resigned from his role as Corporation Counsel for the city of Chicago via an email sent to staff.
According to NPR, Flessner’s resignation was brought on because of the continual backlash surrounding the now-viral video of a 2019 botched police raid of the home of a local social worker, Anjanette Young. As previously reported by The Root, officers bombarded Young’s home after being falsely tipped off by an informant, breaking down her door, handcuffing her, and tearing up her home. This all happened while Young, who had just gotten out of the shower, stood naked, repeatedly telling police that they had the wrong home.
Chicago Tribune reporter Gregory Pratt shared an image of Flessner’s email in a tweet Sunday afternoon. “Dear Team, I have resigned as Corporation Counsel. I will work on a transition plan over the next few days,” Flessner wrote.
At this point, it’s unclear whether or not he was asked to resign, but Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot swiftly accepted his resignation saying:
‘I accepted the resignation of Corporation Counsel Mark Flessner effective immediately. I want to thank him for his service to the City of Chicago. I am committed to a full review of everything that occurred surrounding this incident, will take corrective action where appropriate, and will hold people accountable.”
After his resignation, Flessner told the Chicago Tribune that he felt he was being accused by the public of trying to conceal police body camera footage of the raid. But he maintains that it isn’t so. The video, which was released publicly by Chicago station WBBM-TV was brought to light earlier this month, but only after a long, legal fight with the city of Chicago. Speaking on behalf of his client’s traumatic and harrowing experience, Young’s attorney Keenan Saunter had this to say to Chicago’s CBS2:
“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? I don’t think it would have been. 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.”
As of now, Mayor Lightfoot has ordered a review of the city’s video release policy and apologized to Young on behalf of both herself and the City of Chicago.