Lawyer for Anjanette Young calls off meeting with Mayor Lightfoot

Young’s lawyer said his client faced “some informal pushback from individuals associated with Mayor Lightfoot” after Young and her attorney invited a small group of aldermen to take part in a public forum, also planned for Wednesday.

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Lightfoot speaks at a press conference at Esperanza Health Center Dec. 28, 2020.

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A lawyer for Anjanette Young, the victim of a botched 2019 raid by Chicago police officers, canceled an upcoming meeting with Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday, saying the mayor’s apologies “without action ring hollow and fall on deaf ears.”

Young proposed meeting with Lightfoot Wednesday to discuss the raid and the city’s response.

In a statement later Monday, Keenan Saulter, Young’s lawyer, said his client faced “some informal pushback from individuals associated with Mayor Lightfoot” after Young and Saulter invited a small group of aldermen to take part in a public forum, also planned for Wednesday.

Acting Corporation Counsel Celia Meza told Saulter the mayor “accepted the invitation to meet with Ms. Young privately but declined to participate in the public forum,” Saulter said in the statement.

A spokesman for Lightfoot did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Meza expressed concern for the aldermen, regarding any public statement they might make and how that could compromise their fiduciary responsibility to the city as they may be in a position to decide whether to resolve the lawsuit Young has filed against the city.

“While Mr. Saulter and Ms. Young understand this argument, the Mayor and many Aldermen have already made their opinions well known regarding what happened to Ms. Young and how it should not have happened,” the statement said.

“For Ms. Young, the Mayor’s apologies without action ring hollow and fall on deaf ears.The Mayor’s apology, more than a year after she found out about Ms. Young’s treatment at the hands of the Chicago Police Department (by her own admission) is not justice.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said earlier Monday she hoped to “meet soon” with Young.

“It’s certainly my hope that Ms. Young and I will meet and meet soon; the details are being worked out, so once I have some specific confirmation we’ll certainly let folks know,” said Lightfoot, who fielded questions about meeting with Young at an unrelated press conference.

As for Young’s invitation to meet with members of the Chicago City Council, Lightfoot pointed to the pandemic and “specific guidance that’s been out for several months” that limits gatherings, as well as concerns about the Open Meetings Act.

Young previously agreed to meet privately with Lightfoot Wednesday morning at Progressive Baptist Church, 3658 S. Wentworth Ave.,“to start the healing process,” her lawyers said in a statement Sunday.

Despite her concerns, the mayor left the door open to meeting one on one with Young, saying, “I am anxious to meet directly with Ms. Young, and I’m hoping the details can be worked out so that will happen.”

Though Young’s Near West Side home was wrongly raided in February 2019, it wasn’t until earlier this month the raid came to light when Lightfoot’s Law Department tried to block CBS 2 from airing body camera footage that showed a naked and handcuffed Young telling officers more than 40 times they had the wrong home.

In response, Mark Flessner, the city’s corporation counsel, resigned, and the officers who took part in the raid were assigned to desk duty.

Lightfoot initially said she wasn’t aware of the raid on Young’s home but later acknowledged being informed of the raid more than a year ago.

At a protest outside of police headquarters Sunday, some demonstrators called for the firing of all the officers who participated in the raid as well as police reform and more transparency from the city and the Police Department.

As for any potential policy changes, Lightfoot said she’s been in contact with the organizers of Sunday’s protest and expressed optimism about getting “to the same place.”

“Many of the things they’re calling for are things that we have talked about either me individually or collectively with them, so I’m confident that we’ll get to the same place,” Lightfoot said.

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