Saturday, December 19, 2020

Chicago Police Raid Wrong Home And Hold Naked Black Woman At Gunpoint

The Chicago Police are notorious for both brutality and for getting things wrong. When you have the legal authority to detain, arrest, hurt and even kill people getting things wrong more than a few times is not something that society can tolerate. 
I have noticed that it seems as if a disproportionate percentage of the times the police get things wrong they do so with Black people. It's rare that I read about a mistaken militarized police raid in a white and/or wealthy area. 
The city of Chicago attempted to block a local news station from airing recently obtained body camera footage of police mistakenly raiding the wrong home with guns drawn and handcuffing a distressed, naked woman.
CBS2-TV released body camera footage on Monday night of officers forcing their way into the home of Anjanette Young nearly two years ago. 
The 50-year-old clinical social worker, who helps victims of violence and mentors people of color going into her profession, had just finished her work shift at a hospital and was undressing in her bedroom when a group of male officers broke down her door with a battering ram.
In the disturbing Feb. 21, 2019, footage, officers appear to have their guns drawn while they yell for Young to put her hands up. She can then be seen in the video fully naked with her hands raised, looking terrified and confused (CBS2 blurred parts of the video in which Young was shown naked). One officer puts Young’s hands behind her back and handcuffs her, leaving her with no way to cover herself as police search her home.

According to CBS2, Young told police at least 43 times that they were in the wrong home.
“When I asked them to show me, when I asked them to tell me what they are doing in my house, and their response to me was just ‘shut up and calm down,’” Young told the station, “that’s so disrespectful.” 

CBS2 found that the officers involved failed to check if they had the correct address before getting their search warrant approved. A confidential informant had told the raid’s lead officer that he’d recently seen a known felon with guns and ammunition at the address, according to the police department’s complaint for a search warrant, which the news station obtained.

The informant reportedly gave police the wrong address, and there’s no evidence that officers independently verified the informant’s claim. The person that officers were looking for actually lived in the unit next door to Young at the time of the raid and had no connection to her, CBS2 found. The suspect was also reportedly wearing an electronic monitoring device, making it even easier for officers to track his location.

What is really infuriating about this incident, besides the needless trauma caused to Ms. Young, is that the Chicago Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, tried to claim that because she was a Black woman she was on Ms. Young's side, even while Lightfoot was doing her best to cover up this incident against Young's wishes!! Lightfoot also lied about when she learned of this incident.
When Lightfoot was elected a lot of people who should have known better bloviated that because the Chicago population had elected a Black lesbian this showed how progressive policies and perspectives would be in place. There was a new boss in charge!!
Although most of the people who write negative things about "identity politics"  or even use that term tend to be reactionaries who want power structures to look just like they used to look in some happier and no doubt whiter past time there is and always has been a cogent critique from the left about the limits of "identity politics" or what was in the past derided as "cultural nationalism", "pork chop nationalism" or simply as "Black faces in high places".
What does it matter if an African nation successfully ejects the European colonizer if the Black leaders who take over continue to exploit the people they claim to represent? What moral difference does it make really, if a company that earns money by exploiting American or Chinese prison labor and looking the other way as Salvadoran union leaders are murdered hires a Black female chief counsel who defends and promotes the corporation's actions? 
If the Black record company owner or publisher rips off the Black talent just as much as the white record company owner or publisher does, then why spend time agitating for more Black ownership or management?
Where people have been systematically excluded it is important to change representation. But just having Black people or white women or gay people or whomever in a high place is meaningless unless they also fight to change the organization's policies. 
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