Constituent policy

Push to change search warrant policy fails

An order originally proposed by a group of black aldermen to establish new rules for residential search warrants in Chicago following the police department’s unwarranted raid on Anjanette Young’s home in 2019 failed to pass a key board committee on November 10.

The city council committee on public safety met last Thursday to discuss and vote on the proposal (SO2022-1226), a version of which was first proposed in 2020. Members of the public safety committee have rejected proposal 4-10, leaving it blocked. in committee.

“It’s shameful that it took us so long and it’s shameful that they didn’t move forward today,” Young said after Thursday’s committee meeting. “But shame on them and shame on the city for not supporting this because we’ll get this ordinance passed, whether it’s statewide or some other way, and then the city will have to think about the fact that it has missed an opportunity to make a real change.”

The version of the aldermen proposal voted on Thursday includes Ald. Maria Hadden (49) as lead sponsor and would make myriad changes to the police department’s search warrant policy and enshrine municipal code changes — an element of the proposal that has irked some aldermen.

As proposed, the order would prohibit the police department’s use of “do not knock” or “knock and announce” warrants and would require police to use the least intrusive method to execute search warrants. The proposal would also require corroboration of information provided by informants and ban police from pointing guns at children.

“A lot of what we do in this body is fix the things that are wrong,” Hadden said. “We’re not here to demonize the police department, we’re not here to take people’s jobs away. We are here to make the city of Chicago better.

Young attended Thursday’s committee meeting where she recounted the unwarranted raid in which she was handcuffed while naked as officers searched her home after mistakenly targeting her during the execution of a search warrant.

Young urged aldermen to approve the ordinance and spoke on behalf of other Chicagoans who suffered trauma from the raids.

“Imagine that was your mom standing there,” Young said. “See me as someone who deserves dignity and respect.”

“My door was not repaired that night by the city, nor have I heard from the city’s victim services department until today,” Young said of the incidents. city ​​communications following the unwarranted raid.

Young said the purpose of the order is “to increase transparency and public accountability regarding how the police department interacts with citizens in our communities.”

In response to a question from Ald. Jeanette Taylor, 20, Young said she had been diagnosed with “major depression” and post-traumatic stress disorder related to the trauma of the wanton raid. Additionally, Young said she had to take 11 months of sick leave after the raid.

“This trauma is forever,” Young said, speaking “for all the families in the city of Chicago.”

Elena Gottreich, deputy mayor of Lightfoot public safety, said Thursday that “no-knock warrants” have been “significantly regulated” since 2019.

Gottreich further attempted to argue that codifying police department policy into municipal law, as Anjanette Young’s order proposes, “becomes tacky and redundant”.

Some critics of the proposed order to change the police department’s search warrant policies argue that it would conflict with the federal consent decree the city has been subject to since 2019.

But Ald. Harry Osterman (48), who chaired the Public Safety Committee meeting in the absence of Committee Chairman Ald. Chris Taliaferro, 29, said if officials overseeing city performance under the consent decree had any issues with the ordinance, they would raise them with aldermen.

“Adoption of this ordinance by the city council…if the federal comptroller feels that there are provisions inconsistent with the consent decree…there is recourse for them to come back and say: here are some things that we want to change” , Osterman said.

Hadden called criticism related to the consent decree “scare tactics” and “red herrings.”

“We could have gone through [the] Full city council. The police department would then have been required to work on draft policies to align with our legislation and these would be reviewed by the Consent Decree Controller. If the Consent Decree Monitor discovers any issues, they will make recommendations, for which we will make changes,” Hadden told reporters Thursday. “We do these processes all the time.”

Speaking to reporters after Thursday’s committee meeting, Young pointed out that the city is in an election season with candidates lining up to challenge Lightfoot.

“You’ll hear more from me because I’ll support a candidate who supports me and we’ll keep pushing,” Young said.

Additionally, Young said she was disappointed that more aldermen did not vote in favor of the proposal, but did not feel defeated.

“There are other ways for this order to progress in the way that we have planned and the way that we expect it to,” Young said. “I’m still a champion for myself and for other families in the city of Chicago who have gone through this experience.”

“Shame on the city council for not moving forward with this today,” Young added. “But there is still a fight and I will keep fighting until we get the results we are looking for.”

The following aldermen voted against the ordinance: Ald. Nicole Lee (11), Ald. Monique Scott (24), Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30), Ald. Nick Sposato (38), Ald. Samantha Nugent (39), Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41), Ald. Timmy Knudsen (43), Ald. Tom Tunney (44), Ald. Jim Gardiner (45) and Ald. Debra Silverstein (50). The following aldermen voted for the measure: Ald. Harry Osterman (48), Ald. Raymond Lopez (15), Ald. Derrick Curtis (17) and Ald. Matt Martin (47).

A city inspector general investigation released in January of this year found that officials from several city departments mishandled the aftermath of the Chicago Police Department’s unwarranted raid on Young’s home and misled reporters. covering the fallout.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot blamed the Chicago Law Department last year after CBS Chicago, which first released video of the raid, reported that city prosecutors fought Young’s request for footage body camera of the incident. Lightfoot’s administration also faced heat for asking a judge to punish Young and his attorney for sharing the video after acquiring it.

The fallout was so profound that Lightfoot called for the resignation of then-company attorney Mark Flessner in December 2020.

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