Chicago is set to pay $2.9 million to a Black woman who was handcuffed by police during a botched 2019 police raid.
The City Council’s Finance Committee unanimously approved the settlement on Monday, Dec. 13, for Anjanette Young, a social worker from the West Side.
“The city has never disputed Ms. Young suffered an indignity” during the raid, city corporation counsel Celia Meza said Monday when she presented the settlement to the city.
The settlement will appear on the council’s full agenda on Wednesday.
Alderpersons first learned about the settlement proposed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration over the weekend, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Young claims she was in her home getting ready for bed on the night of Feb. 21, 2019, when 13 police officers, acting on a bad tip about an illegal firearm in the residence, entered and announced they were conducting a raid.
Young stood handcuffed and naked except for a blanket an officer handed to her for 40 minutes while officers searched the home. She was completely naked in front of officers for about 16 seconds.
Officers neglected their duty to a standard of dare and engaged in willful wanton conduct, Young alleges.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability recommended five officers be disciplined, including that one be fired.
Meza told alderpersons that if the case went to trial, Young could be awarded $13 million or $1 million for each officer who raided her home or $16 million for each second she was naked during the raid.
“And a jury could find that one second was too long. Two seconds was too long. Three seconds, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, of which she stood in a complete state of undress,” Meza said.
Lightfoot said Monday that she is “comfortable” with the settlement, as are Young and her attorney Keenan Saulter.
“I think it’s a good thing this matter is resolved,” Lightfoot said.
Young and her attorney previously rejected an offer made during mediation this past spring. Saulter said the offer was “less than half of” a previous $2.5 million settlement reached by the city in a similar case.
Lightfoot initially claimed she didn’t learn about the raid until months after it happened but later admitted that she was aware of it previously but hadn’t realized it was the same case until she reviewed the footage.
In December 2020, it was also revealed that the city of Chicago tried to block CBS2 from airing footage of the raid at the last minute before it was televised, although a judge denied the motion. Lightfoot admitted that the attempt to block the footage was “a mistake.”
The city moved to dismiss the wrongful raid suit in June over the summer.
“I absolutely feel betrayed by the mayor,” Young said at a press conference after the city asked that the case be dismissed.
Officials say Young and Saulter signed off on the settlement. She’ll get the money after the City Council fully approves the measure on Wednesday, Dec. 15.
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