‘Anjanette Young Ordinance’ Aims for Stricter Search Warrant Reforms

Members of City Council are pushing for stricter search warrant reforms with a new city ordinance named after Anjanette Young, the innocent social worker wrongly raided by Chicago Police officers. CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini reports.

Video Transcript

ANJANETTE YOUNG: My name is Anjanette Young! What is going on?

- Her name became the symbol of bad Chicago police raids. Now, five Black members of the city council want to memorialize it with the "Anjanette Young Ordinance," a sweeping proposal to permanently change how officers get and execute search warrants.

- And finally put an end to a practice of bad raids, a pattern. CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini has the exclusive.

ANJANETTE YOUNG: I just put my hands up and prayed that he wouldn't shoot me.

DAVE SAVINI: Two years after Anjanette Young stood naked in her own living room, handcuffed and surrounded by a team of male Chicago police officers, her ordeal could lead to major policy changes related to raids. The CBS 2 Investigators have learned an ordinance that would overhaul how officers obtain and execute search warrants will be introduced to the city council Wednesday. It's called the Anjanette Young Ordinance.

ANJANETTE YOUNG: So it's great that it's named after me. But it's more important that it passes. It's more important that the city uses it in the proper way.

MARIA HADDEN: The footage made it relatable, personally, like, as a Black woman.

DAVE SAVINI: Chicago alderwoman Maria Hadden is one of the sponsors.

MARIA HADDEN: Shame. For her, for us. Like, for Black women. For the city of Chicago. A lot of anger, and a lot of confusion and frustration.

DAVE SAVINI: Young's raid is one of more than 50 botched raids the CBS 2 Investigators uncovered during our more than two-year-long probe. Dozens of people, including children, had guns pointed at them or were handcuffed because police failed to do the proper research, failed to verify addresses, and just took the word of paid informants in getting their warrants.

MARIA HADDEN: And these wrong raids, time after time, are examples of rules not being followed, protocol not being followed, and everyday Chicagoans having their civil and human rights violated.

DAVE SAVINI: In the case of Anjanette Young, the target police were looking for lived in another unit in her apartment complex. She had never even heard of him. But she was the one who ended up held in handcuffs at gunpoint, a dozen police body cameras trained on her the whole time. The proposed ordinance calls for CPD to promptly turn over body-cam videos to victims like Young upon request. Video of her raid was withheld for over a year. When the city finally turned it over, six key recordings were held back, including body-cam video from the first officer to burst in and point a gun at her.

They withheld six videos, key videos from you. Do you remember that moment when that rifle was pointed right at you?

ANJANETTE YOUNG: In that moment, I believed that he would have shot me if I had done anything different than just stand there with my hands up.

DAVE SAVINI: So do you think they deliberately withheld these videos from you?

KEENAN SAULTER: This is a very clear pattern. And sadly, these are the same people who withheld videos from families in the past, and media outlets. They did everything within their power, as we learned, to keep this video from Ms. Young after she had properly filed a FOIA request.

MARIA HADDEN: We're looking for our privacy rights to be maintained, for our human rights to be upheld. But we've seen from these wrong raids that that is not the case. So that's what our ordinance is trying to cure for.

DAVE SAVINI: Hadden is one of five alderwoman sponsoring the ordinance. They're backed by seven community groups that helped draft it with University of Chicago law professor Craig Futterman.

CRAIG FUTTERMAN: The need for the ordinance is urgent. This isn't something that we can all afford to wait on. Families are being traumatized now. People are getting hurt.

DAVE SAVINI: In addition to the body-cam video release requirement, the ordinance lays out 19 other reforms, including a mandate that raid teams must knock and announce themselves, giving people at least 30 seconds to get to the door.

In our ongoing investigation, CBS 2 uncovered multiple raids where police just busted in.

ANJANETTE YOUNG: There was no time for me to consider that I didn't have clothes on.

DAVE SAVINI: The ordinance also calls for raids to be conducted between 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM, and for officers to do surveillance to make sure kids are not home at the time. It will also require every officer on a raid to wear a body camera and keep it rolling until the raid is over.

- Let's kill cameras.

- Kill cameras!

MARIA HADDEN: We've seen, from the reporting that you guys have done, right, from the investigations, that this is not the case.

DAVE SAVINI: So this ordinance is basically going to force the Chicago Police Department to make it a policy if it passes.

MARIA HADDEN: It's more than just a policy, right? It's more than just an executive order, even. It really becomes part of what our laws govern in our city. More grounds to demand the type of enforcement and compliance that we want to see.

ANJANETTE YOUNG: I wanted to fight to make sure that this doesn't happen to anyone else.

DAVE SAVINI: The ordinance will require the detailed tracking of all police raids. They must log the race of the people raided, and must report if children were involved or if force was used. Informants who give bad information will be banned from future use. And finally, if doors are broken, the city must be out to fix them within hours. Dave Savini, CBS 2 Investigators.

- To read the Anjanette Young Ordinance in its entirety, look for this story in the CBS Investigators section of the CBS Chicago app.