NASW-IL Statement on Violence Against Anjanette Young, LCSW
Updated: Dec 17, 2020
In February 2019, Anjanette Young, a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), experienced a traumatic incident that occurs in Chicago far too often—armed city officers abusing and traumatizing Black men and women under the guise of public safety. Her story is not unlike others, being reported in the news where city law enforcement wrongly traumatize communities of color with improper or incorrect warrants. In the video which Ms. Young fought to have released, a clearly vulnerable woman is shown pleading with Chicago law enforcement over 43 times that they have raided the wrong house but to no avail. The level of disdain, dehumanization, and humiliation at the hands of Chicago city officers is on full display throughout the now released video.
The National Association of Social Workers, Illinois Chapter (NASW-IL) strongly condemns these outrageous actions by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and asks our city leaders, When will the trauma end? When will enough be enough? We further condemn the actions of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her city of Chicago’s legal department for their efforts to further traumatize Ms. Young through the suppression of the body camera footage, and the now subsequent seeking of sanctions against Ms. Young for bringing into the light the reprehensible actions of CPD.
We call on Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and the Illinois State General Assembly to work to end no knock warrants and to aggressively address and enact meaningful police reforms which the city of Chicago is clearly unwilling to enact themselves. The era of deferring the safety of the residents of Chicago to powerful mayors needs to end.
Systemic oppression, racial discrimination and division, and the misappropriation of power has been ingrained in the fabric of our country and is on full display again today. There is no shortage of reforms and recommendations from the communities being traumatized to address this misappropriation of power, just a lack of will.
One of the core values of the social work profession contained in our code of ethics is that social workers respect the inherent dignity and worth of the person. As a city—and as a society at large—we are not living up to this core value. That needs to change.
The NASW-Illinois Chapter commends the bravery of Anjanette Young. We support Anjanette Young in her fight. No one should be exposed to this level of violence and trauma.
A GoFundMe has been set up to support Ms. Young. We encourage all to consider donating here: https://gf.me/u/zcx3pz