Statement from the Mayor’s Press Office – December 30, 2020
Mayor Lightfoot has been and remains committed to full transparency surrounding the police raid on Anjanette Young’s home and all subsequent actions and activity, as well as identifying all other victims and righting wrongs. The raid at Ms. Young’s home took place on February 21, 2019 – three months prior to Mayor Lightfoot taking office. Nonetheless, the Mayor has made clear that there must be full accountability for the actions of all involved in the incident as well as the City’s response.
As part of this commitment, the Mayor’s Office is proactively releasing the results of a preliminary search of staff emails related to November 2019 responses to reporting regarding the search warrant execution at the home of Ms. Young. This production can be accessed here. It includes the references made by the Mayor with regard to internal discussions within her office. In the interest of transparency, the City has only made redactions to these documents where necessary for purposes of privacy (such as cell phone numbers or home addresses) or attorney-client privilege.
These email communications, posted here illustrate:
- Confirmation of Mayor Lightfoot’s prior public statements that staff raised an issue regarding reporting about the raid on Ms. Young’s home on November 11, 2019.
- Staff did not give the Mayor a detailed briefing about the circumstances involving Ms. Young.
- On November 11, 2019, staff informed the Mayor that “victim FOIA request is in the works and to be released to her tomorrow. . .”
- The Mayor was not informed of nor involved in the subsequent denial of Ms. Young’s FOIA request for video footage related to the raid on her home.
- In light of the information provided to the Mayor on November 11, 2019, the Mayor’s personal response centered around a directive to the City’s chief risk officer to accelerate previously initiated systemic reforms to the search warrant process and related areas of policy and accountability.
This production of emails is not exhaustive or comprehensive of a full review of all emails surrounding the raid on Ms. Young’s home. They represent an initial production of materials in response to the Mayor’s public statements of making such materials available, in her ongoing commitment to transparency. As the Mayor has made clear, independent investigations into this incident and all subsequent activity will be conducted by the City’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) and the Office of the Inspector General. The law firm Jones Day – under the leadership of former federal Judge Ann Claire Williams - is conducting a comprehensive review of all City departments which played any role in the events surrounding the incident. Jones Day will also conduct a review of various policies, to include CPD’s Use of Force and Video Release Policy, and make recommendations on improvements or changes where needed. Additionally, Jones Day will review the current laws regarding the release of Body Worn Cameras and make any suggestions for legislative changes to ensure victims’ rights are at the forefront.
Throughout this process, the City anticipates the receipt of individual FOIA requests related to this matter. All responses provided to individuals will be posted here as well as provided directly to the requesting individuals. As of the launch of this site on December 30, 2020, in addition to the initial production of emails noted above, included here are a current production of the Claims File in response to a FOIA request; letters from CPD, COPA and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office in response to initial FOIA requests for video footage of the incident; and the Mayor’s calendar from November 11, 2019.