CHICAGO — The lawsuit that launched a year of soul-searching on how Chicago police and attorneys treat the targets of home raids is set to reach a final resolution this week.
The City Council Committee on Finance is set during its 10 a.m. meeting on Monday to consider a $2.9 million settlement in the lawsuit brought by Anjanette Young, who in February 2019 was handcuffed while naked as police officers rummaged through her home after mistakenly targeting her in the execution of a search warrant, multiple sources told The Daily Line on Sunday.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot blamed the Chicago Department of Law last year after CBS Chicago, which first made the video public, reported that city attorneys had fought Young’s request for body camera footage of the incident. Lightfoot’s administration also faced heat for asking a judge to punish Young and her attorney for sharing the video after they acquired it.
The fallout ran so deep that Lightfoot asked for the resignation of then-Corporation Counsel Mark Flessner last December.
The raid and its backlash also heaped pressure on the Chicago Police Department to overhaul its warrant execution policies. Police leaders rolled out a series of reforms in March, including by restricting the circle of police leaders who are allowed to approve a raid.
- Lightfoot commits to policy changes amid raid fallout
- Police, investigators vow policy changes as aldermen blast city agencies over botched raid: ‘This has become a circus’
- Lightfoot, Brown push to tighten rules on police warrants as Young raid investigations drag on
A city watchdog wrote in a May report this year that the rule changes had led to a nosedive in new raids, but that the police department lacked enough tools to weigh whether the changes have been successful.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability found in a long-awaited report on the Young raid last month that the police sergeant who oversaw the raid violated multiple departmental rules and should be fired.
Former Inspector General Joseph Ferguson sent a separate report on the incident to Lightfoot’s office shortly before his departure in October, but the mayor never released it.
The finance committee is also set to take up the following settlement agreements on Monday:
- A $1.2 million payment to settle a 2015 lawsuit brought by Pedro Rios, whose 14-year-old son, Pedros Rios Jr., was shot to death by Chicago police in 2014. Rios Jr. had been carrying a revolver and was running away from police in Portage Park when Officer Nicholas Redelsperger shot him twice, killing him, legal documents show. Redelsperger testified that the child had pointed his gun at him before the officer fired, but a medical examiner testified that the path of the bullets indicated that the boy was “running squarely away” from Reldesperger at the time of the first gunshot and his body was “essentially horizontal” on the ground when the officer fired his second shot.
- A $625,000 payment to settle a 2015 lawsuit brought by Lawrence Scott, then a 21-year-old man who suffered a brain injury when Chicago police Officer Robert Vahl allegedly hit him in the head with his rifle without provocation while searching him for drugs outside his Englewood home. The lawsuit sought a more than $1 million reward from the city, alleging Fourth Amendment violations.
- A $330,00 payment to settle a 2016 lawsuit brought by Frederick Bell, who was allegedly “physically attacked” and beaten during an “unprovoked” traffic stop in Chatham. The original lawsuit sought a jury trial for damages against the officers and the city, alleging “excessive force” and “malicious prosecution.”
Additionally on Monday, the finance committee is scheduled to approve a new annual round of municipal depositories, or banks who are allowed to hold a piece of the city’s approximately $9 billion in assets. The ordinance, which was not publicly posted as of Sunday, is set for direct introduction into the committee.
Despite an effort by city Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin to make it easier for smaller, community-based banks to apply for the right to hold city assets, the list of banks who applied this year is nearly identical to the roster of big-name national institutions who already hold city funds, Comptroller Reshma Soni told aldermen during a hearing on Monday.
But GN Bank, a Black-owned, Chicago-based bank currently designated as a Chicago municipal depository, did not reapply for the right to hold city funds. MUFG Union Bank, another relatively small institution, did not reapply either.
Representatives of the Illinois Bankers Association and the nonprofit Woodstock Institute suggested on Monday that new city rules (SO2021-2872) requiring banks to disclose their home lending data could be repelling smaller banks from applying.
Finally, the finance committee is set to take up an ordinance (O2021-5284) to extend the term of the 35th/Halsted tax-increment financing district from a 23-year term to a 35-year term. The change was already approved by the Illinois General Assembly in October.
And committee members are scheduled to approve a measure designed to ensure that minority-owned and women-owned accounting firms are chosen to be involved in the city’s annual financial audit next year. The item is set for direct introduction into the finance committee.