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  • Writer's pictureWes Hazard

Horrible and everyday

I first ran across this story a few weeks ago when it was breaking and I'd meant to include it in an earlier WesRecs but frankly I was just too appalled and furious to fully engage. Now, after the holidays, after a coup rehearsal in the capitol, and in a new year I'm still appalled and furious but this insanity needs to be highlighted. This story ultimately ended up getting a fair amount of attention but unfortunately Black Americans being dehumanized by law enforcement is a daily occurrence and this sort of thing is a feature, not a bug, of our criminal punishment system and until the entire system is brought down things like this (both national news and the far more common unheralded indignities) will continue.

In short: Nearly 2 years ago Chicago police executing an arrest warrant broke their way into an apartment with a battering ram, guns out, while barking orders and kept the screaming and terrified occupant (a middle aged social worker who lived alone) handcuffed, naked, and at gunpoint surrounded by male officers for 13 minutes until a female officer finally arrived who allowed her to dress...before putting her back in handcuffs.

I don't need to tell you that police had the wrong house and that this woman was absolutely traumatized for no reason whatsoever. What you might not guess is that none of it was even remotely necessary because the suspect they were actually looking for (who lived in the unit next door) was wearing an electronic monitoring device by order of the court.

So police broke down this woman's door, ransacked her home, had guns trained on her, left her standing handcuffed/screaming/naked in her own living room, provided no explanation as to what was happening, ignored her assertions that she lived alone and this was obviously a grave error, and then simply peaced out because they couldn't be bothered to use *their own* surveillance technology that was already in place to locate the dude they were actually looking for. Infuriating is insufficient here.

The police should be abolished period, but until that day every single officer who entered that home, their supervising officer, and the judge who signed that BS warrant should be out of a job immediately. This woman's life will never be the same off some incompetent commando bullshit and it's a miracle we know anything about this at all because stuff like this happens ALL THE TIME. Anjanette Young is, in a perverse way, "lucky to be alive" since we've all seen what can happen in the absolute worst of these situations (RIP Breonna Taylor) but this is an outrage and the type of thing Black, brown, & poor people suffer at the hands of law enforcement daily.

The video reveals on Feb. 21, 2019, nine body cameras rolled as a group of male officers entered her home at 7 p.m. Not long before, the licensed social worker finished her shift at the hospital and had undressed in her bedroom.

That’s when she said she heard a loud, pounding noise.

Outside, officers repeatedly struck her door with a battering ram. From various angles, the video captured the moments they broke down the door and burst through her home.

“It was so traumatic to hear the thing that was hitting the door,” Young said, as she watched the video. “And it happened so fast, I didn’t have time to put on clothes.”


Young told police at least 43 times they were in the wrong home. She repeatedly asked them to allow her to get dressed and told them she believed they had bad information.

“Oh my God, this cannot be right,” Young said during the raid. “How is this legal?”

Police did have bad information, CBS 2 Investigators uncovered, and they failed to do basic checks to confirm whether they had the correct address before getting the search warrant approved.


But CBS 2 quickly found, through police and court records, the informant gave police the wrong address. The 23-year-old suspect police were looking for actually lived in the unit next door to Young at the time of the raid and had no connection to her.

CBS 2 also found police could have easily tracked the suspect’s location and where he really lived because at the time of the raid, he was wearing an electronic monitoring device.

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