I have a lot of respect for Anjanette Young, the Black woman whose dignity and wellbeing Chicago police officers had such little regard for that they made her wait handcuffed and naked for over half an hour while they searched the wrong home for a suspect in Feb. 2019.
Some victims of police violence let the system break them and beat them into silence. Some seek justice for a while then give up because America is gonna America. Both are natural responses, as citizens shouldn’t be tasked with fighting for respect and basic rights from those whose job it is to protect and serve. Young has spent nearly two years seeking justice for what happened to her, and during a rally that took place outside her church on Chicago’s South Side on MLK Day, she let it be known that she ain’t stopping.
ABC 7 Chicago reports that dozens of people gathered in front of Progressive Baptist Church Monday to hear Young speak on the egregious and racist injustice she suffered at the hands of police.
“I would tell it again today, I would tell it again tomorrow,” Young said of her story. “I will tell it again until no other woman in the city of Chicago is ever treated that way again.”
She also wasn’t shy about calling a spade a spade when she noted that “a man stood close enough to me while I was naked to put handcuffs on me.”
“That’s sexual assault,” she said.
As the Chicago Tribune reports, Young criticized Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s legal department, which tried to block police body camera footage from being aired and denied her Freedom of Information Act request for the video, “which I have a civic duty and a right to have,” she said. Lightfoot originally claimed she had no knowledge of Young’s case, but she later admitted that wasn’t exactly true.
Other attendees at the rally had the same attitude in regard to never being silent about the injustice Young faced and that many are still facing.
“People will not be silent and we’re not going to just let this go,” attendee Courtney Peterson told ABC. “We will continue to fight for justice for her and every single person who has been a victim of police violence.”
From ABC 7:
Young and her attorney Kennan Saulter are calling for a new city ordinance that would require the automatic public release of police body and dashcam video and a requirement to diversify warrant teams.
“If you are going to have a warrant and you’re gonna send a team in, make sure that there is a woman who is with that team,” Saulter said.
Until there is real reform, Young said she will continue to stand up for herself and others who have been mistreated by police.
“I leave here today asking you to walk away with fire and passion to continue to do this work as we tell the city of Chicago: enough is enough,” Young said.
Young’s energy needs to be the energy we all keep in 2021 and beyond. If “back the blue” America wants us to shut up about police violence and racial injustice, they need to show us true equality and accountability. Otherwise, enough will never be enough when it comes to us speaking out. No justice, no peace.