Editor’s note: Hours after this story published, the proposed meeting between Young and Lightfoot was called off. You can read more here.
CHICAGO — Anjanette Young, the woman whose home was targeted in a botched and controversial police raid, wants to meet privately Wednesday with Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Young has invited Lightfoot to talk in private to “start the healing process” over the raid, according to a news release from Young’s attorney’s office. The raid happened in February 2019, but it wasn’t until this month that video of the incident was released, creating controversy and generating heavy criticism of Lightfoot.
The Mayor’s Office did not confirm Lightfoot would attend, though Lightfoot has received an invitation to the meeting.
“The mayor has a sincere desire to hear from Ms. Young directly, in an environment where there can be a candid dialogue,” according to the Mayor’s Office.” We are in touch with attorney [Keenan] Saulter and are hopeful that this will happen. In the meantime, our efforts toward reform and accountability will and must continue.”
If the meeting happens, it will be held 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Progressive Baptist Church, 3658 S. Wentworth Ave., where Young is a member, according to her attorney’s office.
After the meeting, at noon Wednesday, Young’s attorney, Keenan Saulter, will host a forum where he’ll discuss his and Young’s concerns with how the case has been handled. They’ve invited Lightfoot, all 50 aldermen and Supt. David Brown to the forum. The forum will be livestreamed on Facebook.
The meeting would mark the first known conversation between Lightfoot and Young, whose case has shone a new light on how Chicago police conduct raids — and how the city has tried to cover up their mistakes.
Video from the raid shows officers bursting into Young’s home as she prepared for bed. She was unable to put on clothes or answer the door before officers barreled through.
The officers searched Young’s home as she was left naked and handcuffed. Young, visibly distressed in the video, told the officers she lives alone and they had the wrong home.
Lightfoot was not mayor when the raid took place, but her administration fought Young’s attempts to get videos of the raid and initially sought to punish Young’s attorney after CBS2 broadcast video of the incident.
Once the video and those actions came to light, Lightfoot apologized and asked for the resignation of the city’s top lawyer. The Police Department has implemented changes to its raid policies, and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability — which hadn’t made any significant movement on its investigation of the raid after a year — will soon have a conclusion, its head has said.
But the city has made a number of missteps in how it’s handled the case, adding fuel to the controversy.
Officials realized they didn’t provide Young with all of the video of the raid, finding and turning over six more videos. And Lightfoot initially denied knowing about the raid until CBS2 broadcast video of it — but then said she was informed of the raid a year ago. The city also tried to get the court to punish CBS2 and Saulter, but it’s now withdrawn those actions.
Aldermen excoriated Lightfoot and the Police Department for how they handled the raid and its aftermath during an hours-long hearing last week.
Saulter will also have a news conference after the forum.