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Chicago Mayor Criticized After City Lawyers Try to Suppress Video of Botched Police Raid

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Last week, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was under fire after it was revealed that city lawyers attempted to block the video release of a botched police raid caught on an officer’s body camera.

What We Know:

  • Anjanette Young, a social worker, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) last year requesting to show the public the body cam video exposing a botched raid of her home. Local TV station CBS Chicago also requested the video separately as part of a series on police raids, but the Chicago Police Department rejected both requests. A federal judge eventually forced CPD to turn over the footage as a part of Young’s lawsuit against the police department.
  • On February 21, 2019, authorities broke down the door to Young’s townhome as she was getting ready for bed. Young had just gotten undressed when she heard what she described as loud slams. She said she grabbed the closest jacket to conceal her body and ran to the door.

“Before I knew it, there was a swarm of police officers,” Young said. “They had these big guns, long guns with scopes and lights… I thought they were going to shoot me.”

  • The police were given a vague tip, but according to CBS 2, they did not conduct enough research to verify it. Through a brief search of public information, the news station found the suspect’s home was listed across the street from Young’s. Naked and handcuffed for over 40 minutes, she cried, yelling to police over and over again that they were in the wrong home. She said everything connected to the apartment was in her name, so had they done the appropriate research beforehand, she would never be telling this story.
  • A few hours before the footage was set to be released, CBS Chicago obtained it as part of an investigative report. In an effort to block the video’s release, city lawyers filed a last-minute emergency motion in federal court. Despite the city’s attempts, CBS went ahead with the report, and as it was being broadcasted, a judge denied the motion.

  • In a statement made last Wednesday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said:

“Today, I became aware of an incident involving Ms. Anjanette Young from February 2019, before I became Mayor, and I saw a video today for the first time. I had no knowledge of either until today. I had a very emotional reaction to what was depicted on the video as I imagine that many people did.”

  • Lightfoot claims she found out city lawyers tried to block the video from media reports and would not have allowed them to try to stop the story had she known. “This is not how we operate,” she said. Community activist, Ja’Mal Green dismissed the mayor’s claims. “How are you suppressing videos and the mayor don’t know about it? She has to be held accountable,” Green disputed. 
  • When asked what she would say to Mayor Lightfoot, Young said, “I was there when you came to my church, and I voted for you. I told people to vote for you. I believed in you as a black woman running for mayor.“ Young continued, “I want you to come back…tell the people in my church and me how you’re going to fix this. It’s not OK.”
  • During an online City Council meeting, Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) called out Lightfoot saying, “I hold you accountable, Mayor, to have a hearing on the matter … because the public deserves an explanation for what happened and why the Law Department was trying to sue the plaintiff because she was trying to make this public, as was her right.”
  • Lightfoot is the first Black woman and the first openly gay person to be Chicago Mayor. When elected, Chicago voters put faith in her to execute her plans promoted throughout her campaign to reconstruct CPD, positioning herself as the resolution to her predecessor Rahm Emmanuel who delayed footage of a white officer shooting a black teen in 2015.

Mayor Lightfoot asked Young’s lawyers to set up a meeting between the two of them.

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Crime

Michigan Girl, 14, Charged in Grandmother’s Killing

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A 14-year-old juvenile from Michigan has been accused of stabbing her grandmother multiple times with a kitchen knife.

What We Know:

  • The teenage girl is facing charges of first-degree murder as the result of stabbing her grandmother Cynthia Mosby. Mosby’s body was found face down in her bedroom on Monday morning by her son, who then called the authorities around 7:15 am.
  • Mosby worked as a nurse manager in Wayne County, Michigan, and had allegedly been raising the teenage girl before her untimely murder. It is not yet clear what the suspect’s motive was. The teenage girl is currently being held at Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility.
  • According to reports, police found the teenager at a motel 20 miles away from Mosby’s home address. The juvenile is currently facing first-degree murder and was arraigned on Saturday, February 27th. Her next court case will be sometime after April 15th, and it is not yet confirmed whether she will be tried as an adult or as a juvenile.

Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy states, “In this case, the 14-year-old girl is being ‘adult designated’ because upon conviction it gives the judge the most flexibility during sentencing to provide options for rehabilitation of this very troubled youth.”

  • The judge has the option of sentencing her as an adult, juvenile, or a combination of both. Before she is officially charged for first-degree murder, court officials are requesting the teenager face a competency review on April 15th. In this case, the teenager’s “mental health and ability to understand the proceedings” will be observed before any additional court action is taken.
  • Worthy calls the case “very sad and disturbing.” The Canton Director of Police Services Chad Baugh described Worthy’s statement and analysis as “invaluable following this challenging set of facts.” The father of the suspect suggests a possible motive as being that the juvenile had become upset over how much Mosby might’ve pressured her in regards to her education.

The teenage girl’s actual mental state and identity remain undisclosed as of late, and it is evident how it will impact her trial.

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Lady Gaga Offers $500,000 For Return of Dogs After Thief Steals Them, Shoots Dog Walker

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Lady Gaga’s dogs were targeted by thieves, leaving 2 dogs missing and her dog walker shot.

What We Know:

  • On Wednesday night, TMZ reports that thieves stole 2 of Lady Gaga’s beloved French Bulldogs. The dog walker, 30-year-old Ryan Fischer, was shot in the chest four times by two men in baseball caps in West Hollywood. Fischer is expected to make a full recovery.
  • Police were able to recover a third dog named Miss Asia, who ran away during the incident. Koji and Gustav, however, are still missing. USA Today reports that surveillance footage from a neighbors house caught the thieves leaving with the dogs in a white vehicle.
  • A source for US Magazine says, “Gaga is beside herself. She is hoping and praying for the safe return of Koji and Gustav and for the speedy recovery of their walker, who is doing as well as can be expected given the circumstances.” As of now, Lady Gaga is desperate to get her pups back, offering a $500,000 reward for their return “no questions asked.”
  • LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division has taken over the case but has yet to determine if the target was specifically on Lady Gaga’s dogs. French Bulldogs are an expensive breed in high demand, so it is possible that the gunmen did not know who the dogs belonged to.
  • The police have identified two potential suspects as Black men between the ages of 20 to 25 years old, one with blond dreadlocks and armed with a semi-automatic handgun.

Lady Gaga is asking that all tips be sent to KojiandGustav@gmail.com.

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NYC Man Indicted in Seven Attacks Targeting ‘Light-Skinned Women,’ Prosecutors Say

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Khari Covington was arraigned Wednesday on charges of assault, burglary, and strangulation.

What We Know:

  • The 29-year-old man is being held accountable for seven attacks against various women, all dating between August 2020 to January 2021. Covington was arrested on January 5th, after he assaulted Tina Francisco at her job. Francisco was working a shift at a smoke shop when Covington came in and attacked her. Francisco was a crucial witness in helping identify Covington and linking him to previous attacks on women at a local subway station.
  • Covington had been living at a transitional housing unit in close proximity to where the Morgan Avenue L subway station is. That subway station was the location of many of Covington’s attacks. Covington was arraigned this week before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun. He currently faces 25 years to life in prison, and bail has been posted at $150,000. Covington is scheduled to appear in court on April 13th.
  • Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzales indicted Covington with 52 counts of charges that include second-degree burglary, second-degree strangulation, and third-degree assault. Covington appears to have the majority of his crimes labeled as hate crimes as well because all of his victims fit into one demographic. In an announcement on Wednesday from Gonzales, he confirmed that Convington chose his victims because they were both women and light-skinned. One of the victims, Biance Fortis, claims Convington, “came out of nowhere” and attacked her. Fortis’ immediate thoughts after the attack were, “I really hope this doesn’t happen again to somebody else.”
  • Gonzales also said in his Wednesday statement that he is “committed to prosecuting all hate crimes where victims, including as alleged in this case, are targeted because of their gender, skin color or race.” Covington’s attorney, Murphy Martin Mitchell, could not be reached for any public comments.

We hope the women involved in these incidents find justice knowing that their attacker has finally been turned in.

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