The Civilian Office of Police Accountability has just completed its 16-month-long investigation into the February 2019 raid conducted by Chicago police officers into the home of 50-year-old Anjanette Young, who was made to wait handcuffed and naked while officers searched her home for a suspect who did not live there. The findings of the investigation indicate something that wouldn’t surprise many Black people who are not named Tim Scott: it found that more than a dozen cops involved in the raid have been the subject of over 100 civilian complaints.
“The raid of Ms. Young’s home was truly painful to watch,” COPA Chief Administrator Sydney Roberts said in a statement, CBS 2 reports. “Given the significance of this investigation, COPA assigned this case to a uniquely constructed 10-member team to evaluate the critical Fourth Amendment issues raised in this complaint. While we cannot fully heal the pain Ms. Young experienced on that day and ever since, we hope that our investigation and recommendations will enable the healing process.”
COPA officials said their investigation included more than 30 interviews with Chicago police officers, civilians, prosecutors, one judge, and officials at the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators also reviewed documents and video footage related to the raid and found that Young told officers at least 43 times that they were at the wrong place and was left handcuffed and naked for around 10 minutes before she was finally permitted to get dressed, only to be handcuffed again afterward.
According to CBS, COPA sent the findings of its investigation—which included “significant deficiencies in CPD policy and training regarding officers’ acquisition and execution of search warrants,” according to the report—to Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown along with recommendations on how the department can do better in the future. Whether or not Brown and the police department will actually take the findings seriously and make necessary changes is another matter. But since Young has made it clear that she will not be silent and will keep telling her story “until no other woman in the city of Chicago is ever treated that way again,” it would behoove the department not to ignore its failings.
Here’s what COPA wrote in its statement as reported by CBS:
“Over the course of the investigation, COPA issued three letters to CPD highlighting concerns about its Fourth Amendment training and search warrant acquisition and execution policies. COPA also reviewed and commented on CPD’s revised search warrant directives, contributing remarks to further enhance and clarify standards of officer conduct and increase post-execution review and accountability as well as improve operations by centralizing expertise, resources, and review chains, to address the unacceptable diffusion of responsibility. COPA strongly encourages CPD to afford the concerns raised regarding CPD’s Fourth Amendment training, search warrant acquisition and execution policies the attention equal to that given the investigative findings and recommendations set forth in the report.”