If a police informant gave cops a tip that led to a typical search warrant and he later got arrested for throwing a bunch of heroin out of an ordinary person’s car, we’d never report it.
But this story, according to public records, involves the informant who provided the tip that led Chicago police to conduct a wrongful raid on the home of Anjanette Young. And he got arrested this month for allegedly throwing $6,300 worth of heroin from a car owned by CPD’s chief of internal affairs.
The erroneous police raid of Anjanette Young’s home on the evening of February 21, 2019, might be the most well-known search warrant execution in Chicago history. And for all the wrong reasons.
Cops, working from information provided by an unnamed “John Doe” informant, secured a search warrant for a Near West Side home. Based on John Doe’s tip, police entered the home expecting to find a man with a gun while on house arrest for allegedly being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Instead, after breaching the door with a battering ram, they found Anjanette Young, naked, alone, and watching TV.
Young, shaken, embarrassed, and confused, stood in her living room, eventually draped by a blanket, as a dozen male cops milled around her home looking for someone who was never there.
An investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) found a host of problems with the way CPD handled the mistaken raid. Among them was a failure to properly vet the information provided by John Doe.
Young’s experience became household news when CBS2 aired bodycam footage of the raid in December 2020. Just two months ago, the city council agreed to pay Young a $2.9 million settlement.
As the settlement neared completion, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city needed to “heal from this and move forward.”
The COPA report explains how John Doe came into contact with police on the day before the botched raid at Young’s home.
At approximately 2:00 PM on February 20, 2019, 11th District Tactical Officers conducted a routine narcotics arrest and transported the arrestee to 11th District Police Station. This arrestee served as J.Doe for the Warrant. While being processed for the narcotics arrest, Doe stated that he had information about an illegal weapon.
CWB Chicago located a CPD case that aligns with COPA’s summary. Four men were detained, according to the case report and CPD arrest records:
- A man accused of soliciting drug sales. He was ticketed and released from the police station within hours.
- Two men accused of buying single pink baggies of heroin. One was charged. The other, likely directed to a diversion program according to a source, was not.
- A man who allegedly conducted hand-to-hand transactions with the two buyers. He was allegedly carrying 30 pink baggies of suspected heroin and $217 cash when cops arrested him.
Late on February 20, 2019, a police supervisor made a note on the arrest report of the fourth man, who was facing the most serious charges: “Arrestee looked for [arresting officer] to take subject to John Doe [search warrant] in AM on 21Feb19.”
The name of the arrestee on that police report is Kenneth Miles.
The next morning, police took the man charged with buying a pink baggie of heroin to bond court. But Miles remained in police custody for another full day, according to CPD records. That’s the day police secured the John Doe warrant and raided Young’s home.
Miles, 34, made headlines last week when it was revealed that he allegedly threw 84 pink bags of heroin worth $6,300 from the passenger seat of a Lexus registered to Yolanda Talley, the Chief of the Bureau of Internal Affairs at CPD. Talley’s niece was reportedly driving the car but Talley was not present.
Miles has been arrested repeatedly on allegations of drugs sales and distribution on the West Side since 2015. Some of those arrests were chronicled in our report last week. According to prosecutors, he has been sent to prison at least five times for narcotics.
Most recently, he received 30 months for the case that started the day before the Young raid. He picked up another felony narcotics case shortly after being paroled. Now, he has a second felony drug case pending, which happens to involve the chief of internal affairs’ Lexus.
Chief Talley is no stranger to drug investigations. She has worked as an undercover narcotics officer and served on the city’s DEA task force, according to biographical information released by CPD.
She’s been a rising star, too. Since October 2019, Talley has gone from being a district watch lieutenant to commander of the Austin (15th) District, to deputy chief of Area 1, and then deputy chief of CPD’s recruiting efforts. She was promoted to chief and given charge of internal affairs in December.
More questions than answers
Asked to confirm Miles’ involvement in the Young search warrant, a CPD spokesperson wrote, “To ensure the safety of all involved and to maintain the integrity of the ongoing investigation, CPD cannot and will not comment on whether someone is or is not a confidential source.”
But other questions that need to be answered are voluminous.
For starters, why is the man identified in CPD records as the source of the John Doe warrant riding around in the chief’s car at all — much less allegedly dumping 84 bags of heroin from it — less than two months after the mayor called for the city to “heal” and “move forward” from the debacle at Anjanette Young’s home?
Editor’s note: Because this report discloses information contained in public records that identifies a person as a police informant, we notified CPD of the story’s primary elements 24 hours before publication so they could take appropriate action. Law enforcement agencies at other levels of government were also given notice ahead of publication out of an abundance of caution.
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