Congressional Inquiry Hears Riveting Testimony on Illegal Police Raids
More than a half dozen victims of wrongful police raids testified at today’s congressional inquiry conducted by Chicago Congressman Danny K. Davis, including Anjanette Young whose case sparked national outrage.
Her videotaped message implored political and community leaders to take a defiant stand against bogus police raids to make sure others are not subjected to the kind of humiliation and terror she was forced to endure.
Young’s lawyer, Keenan Saulter described a systemic problem of racism that’s entrenched and openly resists change, including from the Chicago Police Department, COPA-Civilian Office of Police Accountability, the Fraternal Order of Police union and even the City’s legal department.
“Unfortunately, we have a serious culture problem within the CPD and like other major cities, many in its ranks identify with white supremacy,” concluded Saulter.
Among the sponsoring organizations is the Leaders Network whose member Rev. Ira Acree described ‘the bogus police raids on mostly Black and Brown communities as, “A tale of two cities”.
Acree added that, “Of the 6,800 police raids of private residences between 2016-2019, 46% were conducted in only six of the seventy-seven community areas in Chicago. Those community areas are Englewood, Austin, North Lawndale, Garfield Park, Humboldt, and Back of the Yards, are on the south and west sides of the city and their populations are ninety-percent black and brown. In contrast, five of Chicago’s whitest community areas, Edison Park, Wrigleyville, Museum Campus, Magnificent Mile, and Printer’s Row had zero police home raids.”
Nearly every speaker admitted that bogus police raids have been a problem for many years, including Crystal Archie, who revealed in her emotional testimony that Chicago police raided her home on three occasions. “They ransacked my home, destroying everything and traumatizing my young children, even pointing assault rifles at them”. Archie claims she was never charged with any crime and that in the end, it seemed as if it was some kind of “sick joke,” dangerously played with her and her children’s lives.
Chicago attorney Al Hofield, Jr. testified that he provides legal representation to more than 30 children, from one year old to 16 years old, who have been victimized by these raids. “I can tell you that all of these children suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder..PTSD, as a direct result of these raids”.
Congressman Davis encouraged participating community groups and individuals to remain vigilant and outspoken on this issue. He also expressed optimism, “That this may finally be the very best time to address this problem.” He also promised to continue to lead the fight in Congress against wrongful police raids.
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