Kim Foxx’s office announces new search warrant policy in wake of botched police raids

Following a series of faulty raids, the new guidance goes into effect Dec. 16.

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Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx speaks at a September 2022 news conference.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx speaks at a September 2022 news conference.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office announced a new search warrant policy Friday in an effort to help prevent police from knocking down the wrong doors while tracking down criminals — a scene that has played out all too often in Chicago neighborhoods.

Under the new policy, officers who seek a review of a search warrant from the state’s attorney’s office will then also have to provide follow up information to the office on the outcome of the search.

However, officers are not required to have their warrants reviewed by the state’s attorney’s office before seeking a judge’s signature.

In a statement, State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said it will help her office “better understand the accuracy of information provided by police and informants and protect residents from inappropriate intrusion.”

The changes come in the wake of a series of botched police raids, like that of the Chicago home of Anjanette Young in 2019. She was forced to stand undressed before an all-male team of police officers who had the wrong address.

“The intrusion that search warrants legally authorize justifies greater disclosure and transparency to ensure that a search warrant is carried out on the correct individual and location,” Foxx said in the statement. “The new process will help us better understand if the evidence obtained justified using a search warrant.” 

The new policy requires law enforcement to follow up on the outcome of a search warrant if the officer requests a review from the state’s attorney’s office, including whether it was signed by a judge and then carried out by officers, the state’s attorney’s office said. If carried out, law enforcement are then required to disclose any items seized and/or any arrests made within 45 days.

The state’s attorney’s office said a digital database for search warrants was created to “follow search warrant requests throughout the process, including the details presented for issuance, whether it was carried out, and the evidence found.”

“Our commitment to addressing the inequities in the justice system requires regular examination of the practices and tools used to protect public safety,” state’s attorney’s office Chief Data Officer Matthew Saniie said.

The search warrant guidance goes into effect Dec. 16. 


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