Give Anjanette Young and other victims of botched police raids the justice they ask for

Raids like these are civil rights violations. The City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department remain more concerned with covering them up than stopping them.

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What remedy exists for what happened to Anjanette Young in February 2019? What restitution is truly just when police, acting on poor information, raided her home and handcuffed her while she was naked and pleading with them, only to be yelled at and told to calm down?

Nearly two years later, there has been no disciplinary action against the officers. Indeed, we only heard of Anjanette’s terrifying situation 22 months after it occurred, following what appears to be a coordinated, bureaucratic effort to deny giving her footage of the incident from officers’ body cameras.

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The City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department remain more concerned with covering up these wrongful raids than stopping them.

Ms. Young was not guilty of any crime, and police raided her house in error. As I made clear when I sponsored the Peter Mendez Act (Public Act 101-224) mandating better training in the event of raids on homes where children are present, raids like these are civil rights violations.

Bursting into the home of someone who has not been convicted of a crime and handcuffing them naked, then forcing them to air this indignity publicly to have any hope for justice, is a civil rights violation whether or not that person is eventually convicted of a crime. These actions are not about public safety or deterring criminal activity. It is about sending a message that police may do as they please.

More than a year since the documentary “[un]warranted” aired young Peter Mendez’s story, people like Peter’s family and like Anjanette Young must fight tooth and nail for Chicago to even acknowledge the wrongs done to them. This cannot stand. We must see accountability on the part of the Chicago Police Department and the City of Chicago.

State Sen. Jacqueline Collins, 16th District, Chicago

SEND LETTERS TO:letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be 350 words or less.

Save the monarchs

Monarch butterflies are revered for their incredible migration and their beauty. But our iconic monarchs, along with other native pollinators, are in trouble.

In 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was petitioned to protect the monarch butterfly by listing it under the Endangered Species Act. Since the 1980s, the western monarch population has fallen by over 90% and the eastern monarch by 80%. The 2020 winter count of western monarchs came in at just under 30,000 individual butterflies. This staggering decline requires swift action. The Trump administration’s decision not to list the monarch as endangered is a disastrous response.

It’s going to take a community effort to successfully protect monarch and our other native pollinators. Please consider getting involved with the Pollinator Protectors campaign of the Endangered Species Coalition, planting native plants for pollinators, and sharing information about the importance of these species with friends and family.

Protecting wildlife creates a legacy for children and grandchildren, ensuring that all Americans can experience the rich variety of life that helps define our nation. The Endangered Species Act has prevented the extinction of hundreds of species, including the gray wolf, the grizzly bear and the humpback whale.

By working together, we can make sure the Endangered Species Act protects monarchs and other pollinators,

Cynthia Gach, Albany Park

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