City IG’s report finds truth was a casualty of botched raid at home of Anjanette Young

In its handling of the aftermath of the CPD raid, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration fell short on promises her administration would be transparent and truthful.

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot promised her administration would be transparent and truthful. But too often she falls short.

Erin Hooley, AP Photos

Mayor Lori Lightfoot took office promising her administration would be transparent and truthful.

But the aftermath of the botched 2019 police raid at the home of Anjanette Young continues to be a giant ‘X’ on that pledge.

A recently released city Inspector General’s Office report shows Lightfoot and her administration attempted to duck, dodge and hide their mishandling of the event.

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“City government failed to appropriately respond to [Young] a victim of a CPD wrong raid, failed to act with transparency in City operations, and performed a series of governmental actions in a manner that prioritized communications and public relations concerns over the higher mission of City government,” the Inspector General’s Office found.

The report also said Lightfoot — who told the public she didn’t know about the raid until CBS2 began reporting about it in November 2019 — had actually participated in a conference call about the case months earlier. She even tasked her staffers with follow-up questions she wanted answered.

In addition, city attorneys initially denied Young’s request to publicly release police body camera footage of the raid, claiming it wound hamper their investigation. But the IG found the investigation didn’t even begin until after Young and CBS2 sought release of the police video.

A team of police officers raided Young’s West Side home in February 2019, leaving the social worker handcuffed while she repeatedly told cops they had the wrong house.

Young received a $2.9 million settlement from the city last December.

Frankly, we’ve never understood why Lightfoot didn’t use the raid, which happened three months before she took office, to become the problem-solver she claimed to be during her campaign. Instead, she made a serious problem worse.

Lightfoot sidestepped questions this week about the report and — predictably given the history of tension between the two — blamed the office’s previous leader, Joe Ferguson.

The mayor said Ferguson in July 2019 promised to investigate all the “so-called wrong raids,” but didn’t before leaving office last year.

“So, for the inspector general to cast a value judgment on other city departments without also talking about what it did or what it didn’t do, I think, is a huge problem and really undermines the legitimacy of the work that it did,” Lightfoot said.

That response strikes us as nothing more than deflection and casting blame.

City Hall has to be willing to step up and address its own wrong choices and missteps in the Young case— which includes misleading and stonewalling on the public’s right to know.

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