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The following letter to the editor from Senator Jacqueline Collins was published in the Chicago Sun-Times Dec. 17, 2020. You can view it here.

What remedy exists for what happened to Anjanette Young in February 2019? What restitution is truly just when police, acting on poor information, raided her home and handcuffed her while she was naked and pleading with them, only to be yelled at and told to calm down?

Nearly two years later, there has been no disciplinary action against the officers. Indeed, we only heard of Anjanette’s terrifying situation 22 months after it occurred, following what appears to be a coordinated, bureaucratic effort to deny giving her footage of the incident from officers’ body cameras.

The City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department remain more concerned with covering up these wrongful raids than stopping them.

Ms. Young was not guilty of any crime, and police raided her house in error. As I made clear when I sponsored the Peter Mendez Act (Public Act 101-224) mandating better training in the event of raids on homes where children are present, raids like these are civil rights violations.

Bursting into the home of someone who has not been convicted of a crime and handcuffing them naked, then forcing them to air this indignity publicly to have any hope for justice, is a civil rights violation whether or not that person is eventually convicted of a crime. These actions are not about public safety or deterring criminal activity. It is about sending a message that police may do as they please.

More than a year since the documentary “[un]warranted” aired young Peter Mendez’s story, people like Peter’s family and like Anjanette Young must fight tooth and nail for Chicago to even acknowledge the wrongs done to them. This cannot stand. We must see accountability on the part of the Chicago Police Department and the City of Chicago.

State Sen. Jacqueline Collins, 16th District, Chicago

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