Did CBS Chicago's Fake Warrant Story Drive Weak Politicos?
Elected officials cringe before blowhard newsreader Dave Savini.
Did CBS 2 and its avid newsreader Dave Savini invent a story about a warrant served on the wrong household to trigger another wave of anti-police hysteria throughout Chicago?
In February 2019, Chicago police officers serving a “John Doe” warrant mistakenly entered the home of a Chicago social worker, Anjanette Young. At the time of the execution of the warrant, police were searching for a man who was on electronic monitoring and allegedly armed with a weapon.
Several key elements of Savini’s story that originally aired in December 2020 are falling apart. The collapse of Savini’s story, along with numerous other reporting about Chicago Police by Chicago media figures, suggests there is a pattern and practice of false stories against law enforcement in Chicago.
To start, Savini cites a conversation between two officers outside the dwelling where the warrant was served. Savini suggests to viewers that the recorded comments of the officers reveals their own doubts about the validity of the search warrant.
Commenting on a recording capturing a discussion between police outside Young's home, Savini said:
"The body camera video also raises questions about the approval of the warrant. In one clip, officers in a squad car reviewed their notes and can be heard talking. CPD wouldn’t comment when CBS 2 asked what the conversation meant."
Savini’s claims are quite likely completely false. Sources reveal that the officer who made the statements had not even been inside Young’s home when the warrant was served. Additionally, sources indicate that the officer wasn’t even talking about the warrant on the dwelling, but discussing another, completely unrelated matter.
Then there is the second Savini claim that is equally suspect:
"Police did have bad information, CBS 2 Investigators uncovered, and they failed to do basic checks to confirm whether they had the correct address before getting the search warrant approved."
Did police involved with the execution of this search warrant not perform due diligence? Sources indicate that Chicago police officers did attempt to confirm the address of their target in the warrant because he was known to be on electronic monitoring, the system of tracking alleged offenders administered by Tom Dart’s Cook County Sheriff’s Department. According to sources, attempts to validate the address where the suspect was believed to have lived were denied by Dart's office. Indeed, sources also indicate that it is a matter of policy for the Sheriff's office not to provide this information to Chicago police unless the target has an active warrant.
Ignoring these matters calls into question the legitimacy of Savini’s reporting on the “wrong raid” story. Did the officers contact Dart’s office and were they rejected? Does Dart refuse such intelligence for the CPD officers as a matter of policy? Did the CPD in fact “do basic checks to confirm whether they had the correct address” as Savini claims?
This brings us to the third and possibly the worst potential untruth in Savini’s story:
"About two minutes after police entered the home, an officer found a blanket and wrapped it around Young as she sobbed and repeatedly asked officers who they were looking for."
Can Savini and his colleagues even count, or is the possibility of destroying careers of police officers so intoxicating that basic math, reasoning and observation skills are diminished? Despite Savini’s claim police waited two minutes to cover Young, video proves officers immediately grabbed a blanket to cover her thirty-three seconds after entering the home as they secured the scene and sorted out the facts. One sergeant apologized immediately after realizing that they had entered the wrong home. A hopeless mathematician, Savini was keen to mention in his reporting Young claimed forty-three times to police they were in the wrong home, but Savini fails to apply the same basic arithmetic skills to police securing a home they believed was inhabited by an armed man.
Not only does Savini get the time period wrong in what appears to many police as a blatant effort to portray the officers as indifferent and hellbent on humiliating Young, he ignores the elemental policy of officers clearing an area for safety. This is true anytime officers are called to any home, but particularly when serving a warrant. How would the officers know whether or not Young was a relative of or familiar with the target of the warrant until they secured the area?
Savini also demonstrates an intense indifference to the well-being of police officers by intimating the officers should have immediately covered up the woman before even ascertaining whether the target of the warrant was hiding in the home, possibly lying-in wait to ambush officers. This is a real danger to police that was ironically revealed weeks after Savini’s frantic diatribe against Chicago police. In an incident in Sunrise, Florida, five FBI agents were shot, two fatally, while serving a warrant in a child exploitation case. This distressing incident took place shortly after Savini’s hit piece on the officers was aired.
As reported in USA Today:
"Two FBI agents were killed and three were wounded in a shooting early Tuesday while agents were serving a warrant in a child exploitation case in Florida, according to the FBI. The suspect died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, a person familiar with the matter said."
A message to Jeff Harris, Vice President and News Director at CBS Chicago, to explain these potentially wrong facts in Savini’s story did not receive a reply.
Questionable coverage of police misconduct claims is nothing new for Savini or Chicago's media. Going back decades a long list of cases reveal that the media wasn’t so much covering the incidents as creating them, then promoting them. Savini's warrant story is starting to fit the bill.
With media figures like Savini running roughshod over the city, one wonders what the true function of body worn cameras will be. Are the body-worn cameras a boondoggle for Savini and his cohorts, in that they are reviewing video tapes and arbitrarily making claims about what is in them by discarding inconvenient facts? If so, videos of police will be a great source for further “police misconduct” claims by a media frothing to find something, anything, in which to vilify the police. A malevolent press can make use of them as they wish.
This question becomes all the more compelling when one considers that the recordings were released to Savini in defiance of a judge’s order to keep them out of the public view.
Nevertheless, despite the evidence that Savini’s coverage is filled with blatant untruths, Chicago’s elected leaders revealed yet again that the media mob in Chicago truly controls the political and legal system. Rather than confront the media narrative, the politicos caved to them by initiating witless and dangerous new warrant policies. They sold the police down the drain by tossing the complaints against the officers serving the warrants to the notoriously biased civilian oversight board.
Savini’s hit piece even triggered the departure of one of the only shining accomplishments in Lori Lightfoot’s two years as mayor, the appointment of Mark Flessner as the city’s top attorney. Flessner is one of the few top city attorneys willing to dispute and expose fraudulent claims of misconduct against the police. Indeed, one of the most potent tactics employed by Flessner in a host of police misconduct allegations was fingering the media for unfairly and untruthfully promoting the claims.
In a city rife with almost record-setting violent crime, it would seem bizarre that elected officials would bow to the media pressure imposed by media hustlers like Savini, but such a contention would reveal an abiding ignorance of the basic ways in which Chicago operates.
Chicago and Illinois have long been governed by a one-party system. The media is the propaganda outlet of the Democratic Party. This explains how figures like Savini have established a long, suspicious record of potential collusion with the anti-police movement, in particular the lawyers who file lawsuits against the police, all the while city officials refuse to address the evidence of this collusion.
This means that the police, and sometimes prosecutors and judges, are the fall guys for the city’s corruption.
Political courage is a most dangerous quality for an elected official to possess. This truth was on full display not only in the mayor’s bowing to the media hysterics of Savini, but also the aldermen. A December 22 Joint Committee on Human Relations and Public Safety hearing on the search warrant was particularly nauseating. With carjackings, shootings and homicides rampant throughout the city, alderman such as Michelle Smith, whose 43rd Ward is exploding with carjackings and robberies clearly made little effort to separate fact from fiction related to the incident and dutifully supported more limitations on warrants, one of the most vital law enforcement strategies.
Perhaps the most striking response the police error at Young’s home was from Alderwoman Maria Hadden, who represents the 49th Ward. Both the north and south ends of Hadden’s Rogers Park neighborhood are filled with warring factions of the Gangster Disciples, who regularly engage in armed robberies, car jackings, and shootings.
In response to Savini’s CBS 2 broadcasts, Hadden recently authored a new ordinance on serving warrants so thoughtless, pandering, and plain silly, it would all but eliminate its use in fighting crime.
With Chicago’s summer killing season rapidly approaching, Chicago’s media mob is in full control, its public servants kowtowing to narratives that don’t withstand the barest scrutiny and the police trying to protect the public.