The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Handcuffed Naked by Chicago Police in Her Own Home

Jan 4, 2021

In February 2019, while she was naked in her own apartment on Chicago’s Near West Side, a dozen police broke down Anjanette Young’s door and stormed inside. Instead of allowing her to put on some clothes, the police handcuffed Young, leaving her standing naked while they ransacked her home.

Body cam video shows cops parading past her, one standing for some time directly in front of her, while she insists they are in the wrong house. Eventually, a cop drapes a coat over her shoulders that doesn’t even cover her body. After more than a minute, they drape a blanket over her—that she cannot hold closed because she is handcuffed. They do not let her put clothes on for twelve minutes.

As Young herself pointed out, breaking into a woman’s home and handcuffing her naked, while a dozen men parade around her; “In any other context, that’s sexual assault.”

The man the cops were looking for turned out to have no connection to Young—the warrant for this “no-knock” raid had been based on bad information.

The raid took place while Rahm Emanuel was still mayor. But it was Lori Lightfoot’s administration that denied Young’s request under the Freedom of Information Act to see the body cam video. It was Lightfoot’s Law Department that tried to block CBS from airing the footage this past December, and that threatened Young and her lawyer with sanctions for violating a “court confidentiality” order. Mayor Lightfoot herself was untruthful when she said that Young had never submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the city.

This case only came to light because Anjanette Young was willing to go up against the police and the entire machinery of the city government for almost two years. Young could do this, in part, because she is a social worker, with no record and some resources. How many similar assaults against the dignity of black women must take place in Chicago every day?