Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot accepted the resignation of the city’s chief attorney, Mark Flessner, on Sunday. Flessner resigned because of an ongoing scandal surrounding a botched raid in 2019. Nam Y. Huh / AP hide caption
Nam Y. Huh / AP
Nam Y. Huh / AP
The Chicago city’s chief attorney resigned Sunday after a botched and mistaken police raid on a black woman almost a year ago.
Attorney Mark Flessner said in a quick email to staff that he had resigned as Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago. He simply said that he would be working on a transition plan for the next few days.
Flessner told The Chicago Tribune that his resignation was due to the police raid on Anjanette Young, a local social worker, last year. After announcing his resignation, he told the newspaper that he is accused of trying to hide the police camera video of the raid, which he denies.
It is unclear whether he was asked to resign.
The city’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, said in a statement on Sunday that she accepted Flessner’s resignation with immediate effect. The statements by Flessner and Lightfoot were shared on Twitter by grandstand reporter Gregory Pratt.
The video from the police body camera the night of the robbery last February shows officers breaking into Young’s door. They handcuffed the naked, crying woman who was home alone at the time, preparing to go to bed. She repeatedly yells at the officers, telling them that they have the wrong home. The officers ignore her requests while ransacking her home.
The video of the robbery on Young’s house, which turned out to be the wrong address, put city police and Chicago officials in hot water. Civil rights groups and lawmakers have criticized the police’s actions.
The video, published by WBBM-TV, was released earlier this month, but only after a legal battle between the City of Young and broadcaster Chicago. Lawyers for WBBM and lawyers for Young battled to get the video published.
Following the raid on Young’s house, the city’s handling of the incident only resulted in further public scrutiny.
The incident happened before Lightfoot became mayor. When the video first aired on WBBM, she claimed it was the first time she had seen or heard it. She later retracted this statement and admitted that she knew about the incident.
Young filed a Freedom of Information Act motion to have the video released, but the city refused. She then filed a lawsuit to get it. City lawyers went to federal court to prevent WBBM from broadcasting a report on the video and attempted to sanction Young and her attorney after the video leaked. They said they broke a confidentiality agreement.
The city dropped the sanctions motion against Young and her lawyer on December 18. Flessner himself signed the file and told the court that it came at Lightfoot’s insistence.
Lightfoot said in a statement: “I would like to point out that at no point has the city ever sought sanctions against Ms. Young and for the avoidance of doubt we reiterate that no such sanctions have ever been imposed on her in that direction Corporation attorney officially attempting to withdraw sanctions “against Young’s attorney”.