Alexis Wilson protesters appear in court (Dolton, IL) – Organizers arrested during a protest of 19-year-old Alexis Wilson’s fatal police shooting appeared in front of a judge at the Dolton Municipal Building Thursday.
On Sept. 1, the three were charged with disrupting a homeowners meeting held by the mayor at village hall. They will return before a judge on Nov. 4 in order to allow their attorneys to receive and review body cam footage from the incident. On that court date, they will also present cell phone footage in an attempt to show their arrest was unwarranted, they said.
The protesters say their arrest was a form of retaliation. It came after they had been demanding answers from Mayor Tiffany Henyard and the Dolton police department about the circumstances leading to Wilson’s death during a string of protests.
They’ve received no updates about the case, which is being investigated by the Illinois State Police, they said, noting the officers involved in the incident, Henyard, and the village have also not commented months after Wilson’s death. They have recently announced plans to take legal action against the village, claiming their civil rights were violated when they were arrested.
“I was targeted, I was arrested and those were scare tactics to cease my protest,” said Camiella Williams, who was arrested but not charged.
During a press conference, Rabbi Michael Ben Yosef said the group “won’t stop until justice is served.”
“We will show up, we won’t stand down, and we will say Alexis’ name,” said Yosef.
Shabbir Manjee, of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, and who was arrested on that September evening, said he wanted to raise his voice about the Alexis Wilson situation due to a video he saw of her being “ruthlessly gunned down.”
Video from the incident seemingly shows an officer punching Wilson in the face twice while she is parked at a Dolton restaurant. After that she sped off from the drive-thru. Police allege she was using her vehicle as a weapon, dragging an officer on the passenger side, which is why they fired their weapons. Critics of the way the incident was handled by police dispute these claims.
“Like anyone with a heart and with a brain, I made my way down here to demand justice,” Manjee said. “I was absolutely horrified the next day that Henyard came out to bat for the cops. That is unacceptable. That footage is out there, we all saw it and it’s crystal clear what happened that night. What we witnessed was a murder.”
“Then when we showed up to demand justice, how were we met?,” Manjee continued. “Four of us were arrested and you know what I think that is? Intimidation between the cops and the mayor so they can kick this under the rug. Well, I’m here to say we will not be intimidated.”
After the press conference, the protesters marched in front of the Dolton police station, chanting Wilson’s name.
Tomorrow is Alexis Wilson’s birthday, Williams said. The group will commemorate her at the Baba’s Steak and Lemonade in Dolton at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 8.
Alexis Wilson protesters appear in court