Lawsuit alleges excessive force by Dolton police in shooting death of 19-year-old

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner via WLS logo
Tuesday, July 12, 2022
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The family of Alexis Wilson alleges Dolton police officers grossly overreacted to an argument over fast food that led to her shooting death.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The parents of Alexis Wilson told the I-Team they expected the Dolton Police to protect their daughter. Instead, they said she was a victim of excessive force when she was shot within three minutes of officers arriving at a drive-thru restaurant where she was arguing with staff about her food order.

In a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday, the suburban Homewood family alleges officers grossly overreacted, leading to Alexis' death.

RELATED | Dolton police shooting: Teen killed, 2 officers injured after confrontation, crash into bike shop

"Three minutes, that child is dead with seven bullets to in her head," said Alexis' mother, Cara Wilson. "That's an execution."

On July 27th, 2021, security camera footage from Baba's restaurant shows Dolton police officers arriving with their weapons drawn. Police say an employee called 911 claiming Wilson was threatening workers with a gun in the drive-thru lane.

Greg Kulis, the family's attorney, said it appeared the 19-year-old was hitting a stick against the glass, not a gun.

"This was senseless," Kulis said. "There was no reason for these police officers to come across so aggressively to this young lady and start punching a young lady in the face."

RELATED | Dolton police shooting bodycam video shows altercation before Alexis Wilson killed

The lawsuit filed late Tuesday names Dolton Police Officers Ryan Perez and Gerald Carlton, alleging they used excessive force against Wilson.

The officers asked Wilson and her boyfriend to get out of the minivan. Edited bodycam video released by Dolton police shows he complied, but Wilson did not. She said she wasn't properly dressed. When the officer tried getting in on the passenger side, Wilson took off.

"She was scared. She drove off," said Alexis' father, Alonzo Wilson.

Dolton police said both officers shot at Wilson. Her vehicle crashed into a nearby bike shop. Police have said a gun was found in Wilson's car.

"This didn't have to happen this way," her mother said. "Why is it that beauticians get more training than police? It should not have happened this way. There was so many choices to make that night that could have preserved that child's life."

Wilson said Alexis was extremely close to her younger brother, and she was about to begin classes at Prairie State.

"She was so happy and proud," said Alonzo Wilson.

The Cook County State's Attorney's office told the I-Team the shooting is under review by prosecutors in its Law Enforcement Accountability Division. They review investigations of all on-duty officer involved shootings to determine if criminal charges are appropriate. Dolton police had no comment on the case or the suit and have not provided us with the status of the officers.