Earlier today, the City of Chicago and Illinois Attorney General secured a three-year extension to the federal consent decree process overseen by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Dow. In addition, the parties agreed that the use of search warrants and home raids conducted by the Chicago Police Department should be addressed under the consent decree.  A coalition of 15 civil rights and community organizations, including the ACLU, earlier filed a motion asking that the court enforce the consent decree and require CPD to reform its racially discriminatory and unconstitutional search warrants and home raids. This motion was filed after the public release of video of a CPD raid on the home of Anjanette Young.  Ms. Young’s home was mistakenly raided when police went to the wrong address. Video showed Ms. Young held at gunpoint by CPD officers, naked and afraid, in her living room.   

The following can be attributed to Michelle García, Deputy Legal Director at the ACLU of Illinois: 

The three year extension approved by the court today simply recognizes reality. The City has failed to meet more than half the deadlines required under the decree during its first years of enforcement. We are encouraged that everyone involved recognizes that this process needs time – and the full attention of Mayor Lightfoot and the City – to be successful.  

We are also pleased to see the clear and unambiguous inclusion of search warrants and home raids under the rubric of the consent decree. Black and Brown individuals and families across Chicago have been victimized by racially discriminatory, unconstitutional and violent home raids by CPD for many years. We know that the illegal home raid of Anjanette Young was not a one-off. Given the harm and trauma these raids cause, judicial oversight is necessary to reform CPD’s illegal practices and make systemic change. In short, CPD is not going to fix search warrants and home raids by itself. The consent decree is the appropriate venue for addressing this pressing need for Chicago.