CHICAGO — A Chicago police sergeant has been fired for his role in a botched 2019 raid at the home of a Black woman who was handcuffed while naked after police officers were sent to the wrong address.
The Chicago Police Board voted 5-3 Thursday to fire Sgt. Alex Wolinski for multiple rules violations and “failure of leadership” in the raid at the apartment of Anjanette Young, according to a 31-page written ruling, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Young, a social worker, was getting ready for bed in February 2019 when several officers serving a no-knock warrant stormed into her apartment on Chicago’s Near West Side searching for a man believed to have an illegal gun.
Police body-camera footage of the raid showed that officers handcuffed Young, who was naked when police arrived, as she repeatedly told them that they were in the wrong place. The city’s law department said Young was naked for 16 seconds but the covering officers put on her kept falling off before she was allowed to get dressed several minutes later.
The botched raid and the city’s handling of it prompted anger from clergy, lawmakers and civil rights activists who decried it as racist and an affront to a Black woman’s dignity.
Young later sued the city over the raid, resulting in the Chicago City Council voting unanimously in December 2021 to pay her $2.9 million to settle her lawsuit.
Young said in a statement released Friday by her attorneys that Wolinski’s firing is “only a small piece of the Justice for which I have been waiting.”
“While my heart goes out to his family because they now suffer the consequences of his abhorrent misconduct, I wish all eight members of the Chicago Police Board would have recognized the need and urgency for Sergeant Wolinski’s removal,” she added.
Then-police Superintendent David Brown brought administrative charges against Wolinski in November 2021, recommending that he be fired.
Wolinski, who had joined the Chicago Police Department in 2002, was accused of violating eight departmental rules, including inattention to duty, disobedience of an order and disrespect to or maltreatment of any person.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability also called for Wolinski’s firing and for suspensions for several other officers present during the raid, although to date no other officers have faced Police Board charges for the raid, the Chicago Tribune reported.
While the incident happened before former Mayor Lori Lightfoot took office in May 2019, her administration later tried to block the police video from airing on television and rejected Young’s Freedom of Information request to obtain video of the incident. Young later obtained it through her lawsuit.