Anjanette Young Ordinance To Reform CPD Search warrant rules hits roadblock


CHICAGO (TBEN)– A long-delayed proposal to revise the Chicago Police Department’s search warrant policy, known as the Anjanette Young Ordinance, ran into a roadblock on Thursday, when a major city council committee voted against the desired changes.

The Public Safety Commission voted 10-4 against the Anjanette Young Ordinance on Thursday. While proponents still have the option of asking the full City Council to overturn the vote of the Public Safety Commission, even if the full City Council passed the ordinance, it would almost certainly be vetoed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who opposes it. is.

Young was moved to tears by the failed vote after he personally urged councilors to approve the proposed search warrant reforms.

“Families will never get the support and help they need if we continue down this path,” she said.

The Anjanette Young OrdinanceIf passed, Chicago police officers would have to follow what would be a new city law governing the execution of search warrants.

“We can be better. We can do better. This is common sense legislation that puts us on that path,” Ald. Maria Hadden (49th), the ordinance’s main sponsor, told her colleagues ahead of Thursday’s vote.

As she testified at the hearing on Thursday, Young tearfully recalled her horrific experience during that failed raid on her home.

“When they entered my house I was unclothed and they were more focused on finding guns, ammunition and drugs than securing the dignity of a female citizen. It was clear that my safety and dignity was not the highest priority.” Where was the service and protection for me? I was handcuffed, ignored and when I asked questions I was told to calm down and not yell at them,” she said.

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The ordinance named after Young was released about two months after a TBEN 2 investigation into how Chicago police officers mistakenly raided her home. The innocent social worker was changing her clothes when a team of officers stormed into her home. She was handcuffed naked as officers flooded her house with rifles drawn.

She can be seen on the CCTV footage of the police repeatedly telling the officers that they were in the wrong place.

“I didn’t lose my physical life that night, but I lost a big part of my life that night. My life will never be the same,” said Young.

The TBEN 2 detectives found that agents could and should have known they were in the wrong apartment. The suspect the police were looking for, based on a tip from a counselor, lived in a neighboring apartment. He also carried a police tracking device while awaiting trial for a recent arrest.

Since then, the Chicago Police Department has made several changes, including banning no-knock warrants except in cases where lives are at risk. All other search warrants should be approved by a deputy chief or above.

Hadden and a number of other progressive aldermen want to go further by demanding other changes through city ordinances that can only be changed by votes of the city council and not by internal policies of the CPD that can ultimately be changed by the mayor or the police commissioner.

Here are some of the changes the ordinance would require under the city law:

  • While the no-knock prohibition and requiring officers to knock and give residents 30 seconds to answer the door, prohibits officers from entering a home immediately in an emergency and prevent physical injury to a person.
  • Search warrants should not be based solely on tips from an informant, requiring the police to independently confirm an informant’s information and confirm that the target of a warrant is at the scene of a raid.
  • A mandatory threat assessment matrix has been added to the proposed decision to also determine the risks for local residents and officers. If the risk outweighs the benefits, the search warrant should not be executed.
  • The original mandate that raids should only be carried out between 9am and 7pm has been removed from the revised regulation.
  • If children are present while officers are executing a search warrant, the police may not point weapons at a child “unless the child presents an immediate risk of death or serious bodily harm to another person.”
  • The newly filed ordinance has increased child-centered training requirements for officers and a requirement to have support services from a social worker or mental health professional.
  • Officers would be prohibited from handcuffing adult guardians in front of children, but the revised ordinance would allow this if there is an imminent threat of injury.
  • New to the ordinance is that the Chicago Police Department would be required to refer families with children or vulnerable adults for free support services when there is a negative warrant. A negative warrant means no arrests have been made and nothing has been seized from the home.
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Supporters of the Anjanette Young Ordinance want search rules to be governed by the city’s municipal code, rather than just CPD policy, which can be changed by the inspector or mayor himself.

Currently, there are no city laws governing how officers execute search warrants. Officers executing search warrants follow the department’s guidelines, which have changed as a result of TBEN 2’s years of investigation into bad raids.

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The Lightfoot administration has fought Hadden’s efforts to pass search warrant reforms as part of the city code, arguing that those changes should only be made through the CPD’s internal policies.

Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Elena Gottreich told councilors that the CPD has made several changes to its search warrant policy since 2019, including that the investigation that led to a search warrant’s execution must be documented, and that there is a critical review. of incidents is anything described as a “mistaken robbery.”

“The Chicago Police Department has worked hard to ensure these rights are granted according to their policies,” she said.

Gottreich also argued that further changes through city laws, in addition to existing internal CPD policies, would be “sticky and duplicating”.

But Hadden said she believes it is the City Council’s responsibility to make sure city law protects against such botched raids as the one at Young’s house.

“I think I’ve heard a word of burden from the Deputy Mayor before. It’s not a burden, it’s a responsibility, and it’s a duty, and that’s an honor. We’re all here because we serve our constituents, and so sometimes have heavy things that we carry, and traumatic things that we listen to and experience through our residents and through our community members.We want to reduce damage, we want to improve professionalism and we want to protect our voters,” Hadden said.

It’s unclear what the next step is for supporters of the Anjanette Young Ordinance after it failed the Public Safety Committee, but Young said her battle is far from over.