A 2019 Chicago police drug raid that targeted the wrong address and led to community outrage over officers' treatment of the resident has spurred Mayor Lori Lightfoot to place new restrictions on warrant service operations. Footage of the incident was shown to the public in December 2020.
Even if Anjanette Young—the resident at the erroneous address—had been “the biggest drug kingpin” in Chicago and the raid on her home had been at the right address, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said she should have been treated with “dignity and respect,” the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
On Wednesday, Brown joined Mayor Lightfoot in unveiling an array of proposed reforms to the policies outlining what happens before, during and after search warrants are executed by Chicago police officers.
Under the new guidelines:
• No-knock warrants will be prohibited except in “specific cases where lives or safety are in danger.” And even then, they must be approved by a “bureau chief or higher.”
• All other search warrants must be approved by a “deputy chief or higher,” instead of by a lieutenant.
• Before either type of search warrant is executed, the team involved must conduct a “planning session” to identify “potentially vulnerable people who may be present at the location,” including children.
• An “independent investigation” will be required before warrants are served to “verify and corroborate that the information used to obtain the warrant is accurate.”
• At least one female officer must be present when search warrants are served. So must a “lieutenant or higher” (instead of a sergeant) who will command the scene. And officers will wear and activate body cameras and “document any and all instances in which a firearm is pointed” during the search.
• Any search warrant served at a wrong address or one obtained using information that turns out to be false will be “considered a wrong raid.” That triggers an internal investigation, a “critical incident after-action review” and a report to the presiding judge.