Body camera footage of Chicago police raiding an innocent Black woman’s home and handcuffing her while she was naked has been released. The incident occurred last February when a group of male police officers barged through Anjanette Young’s door with a battering ram.
“I had just gotten home from work,” the hospital social worker told CBS 2 Chicago. “I was undressing in my bedroom.”
“You see them running up to the apartment complex with the battering ram in their hand,” she said looking at the body camera footage after the incident. “… It was so traumatic to hear the way the thing was hitting the door.”
After bursting through Young’s door, the group of male officers ran in with guns raised.
“It happened so fast, I didn’t have time to put on clothes,” she recalled. “I was just standing there. Terrified. Humiliated. Not even understanding why this was happening to me.”
A report by CBS 2 found that Young told cops they were in the wrong house at least 43 times. The woman was left standing naked for almost 15 minutes, until a female police officer finally arrived and walked Young to her room so she could get dressed.
“There were big guns,” Young said. “Guns with lights and scopes on them. And they were yelling at me, you know, ‘Put your hands up!’”
“It’s one of those moments where I felt I could have died that night,” she added. “Like if I would have made one wrong move, it felt like they would have shot me. I truly believe they would have shot me.”
As Young had told the officers repeatedly, they were in the wrong house. CBS 2 found that police had relied solely on an anonymous tip about a male felon living at Young’s address. However, the informant was mistaken, and the suspect actually lived in the unit next door and had no connection to Young whatsoever.
According to CBS 2, the cops failed to do a basic check to make sure they had the correct address before the raid. The outlet also notes that police could have easily located the suspect because he was wearing an electronic monitoring device at the time.
A conversation between officers captured in the body camera footage also raises questions about how the search warrant was obtained.
“It wasn’t initially approved or some crap,” one officer could be a heard saying about the warrant.
“What does that mean?” a second officer asked.
“I have no idea,” the first responded. “I mean, they told him it was approved, then I guess that person messed up on their end.”
The Chicago Police Department tried several legal maneuvers to prevent the body camera footage from being released and aired on CBS 2. Young previously filed a Freedom of Information Act to request the video, but was denied. She was only recently granted access after suing the police department.
“If this had been a young woman in Lincoln Park by herself in her home naked; a young white woman — let’s just be frank – [would] the reaction would have been the same? I don’t think it would have been,” Young’s lawyer Keenan Saulter said. “I think [officers] would have saw that woman, rightfully so, as someone who was vulnerable; someone who deserved protection; someone who deserved to have their dignity maintained. They viewed Ms. Young as less than human.”