A federal judge will not punish the attorney representing Anjanette Young for posting the video of the botched robbery in February 2019 in which Young was handcuffed naked and asking for help.
U.S. District Court judge John Tharp Jr. ruled Friday that disciplinary action against attorney Keenan Saulter was unnecessary as the Chicago attorney recognized that he had violated the court order of city officials.
“While this does not excuse Mr. Saulter’s mistake, it does suggest that the mistake was not the result of an intention to deliberately disregard the order, but rather an error in assessing the importation of state law on the status of materials, which were classified as confidential terms of the order, ”Tharp wrote.
A spokesman for Saulter said he was “very happy” with the decision.
“We look forward to returning our full focus to Ms. Young’s case in Cook County’s Circuit Court and continuing to push for reforms in the city of Chicago,” the statement said.
Tharp said the city’s decision to ask him not to punish Saulter also took his decision into account.
Requests for the video filed by CBS2-TV and Young under the state’s Freedom of Information Act were denied by city officials after the Civilian Office of Police Accountability opened an investigation into the robbery.
City lawyers initially asked the judge not only to punish Saulter for posting the video for CBS2-TV, but also to punish Young himself.
A city court motion argued that the city never wanted to sanction Young, but asked the judge to sanction Saulter because the city’s lawyers “take our responsibilities as court officials very seriously and were very concerned that a court order had been violated. ”
The city withdrew this request as excitement about the raid increased.
After CBS2-TV received the video, city lawyers asked a judge to block the news organization’s broadcast, although the first amendment prohibits the courts in almost any situation from preventing news organizations from publishing legitimately obtained, timely information.
Lightfoot said this was a mistake and later fired the best lawyer in town, Mark Flessner, and two other members of the legal department for their roles in the trials that the video was involved in.
Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]