The parents of an Illinois teen want answers after their daughter went to pick up dinner at a restaurant drive-thru but never made it home. The family of Alexis Wilson, 19, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Illinois police officers accused of punching and killing the teenager.
“Alexis was the sweetest girl in our family, like, she absolutely loved everybody,” said Cara Wilson, mother of Alexis Wilson.
On the one-year anniversary of her daughter’s death, Cara Wilson is still heartbroken by what happened to Alexis Wilson of Homewood, Illinois, on July 27, 2021. Homewood is about 25 miles south of Chicago, and the night Wilson was killed, she ordered food from Baba’s Famous Steak and Lemonade restaurant, but something was wrong with her order. Cara Wilson says the manager refused to correct the order or give a refund, causing Alexis Wilson to go through the drive-thru to try and get another employee’s attention.
“Her food wasn’t ready, there was a dispute at the window between my daughter and one of the workers. The workers got pissed off and said, we’re not giving you your order basically,” said Alonzo Wilson, Alexis’ father.
Alonzo Wilson says as his daughter was trying to get employee’s attention, she hit the drive-thru window with a stick. Employees considered the object in Alexis Wilson’s hand as a gun.
“Somebody in the restaurant called the police and said, hey, there’s a girl here beating on the window with a gun,” Alonzo Wilson said.
As police arrived things unraveled quickly. Surveillance and bodycam video shows what happened next, as the officers, asked Alexis and her boyfriend to exit the van she was driving. The lawsuit and video of the incident indicate Alexis Wilson’s boyfriend exited the van but Alexis refused, claiming she wasn’t properly dressed. She can be heard on camera saying, “I’m naked” and another person told her, “cover yourself with a robe or something.”
After Wilson’s refusal to get out of the van, one officer opened her door and allegedly started punching the 19-year-old in the head, her family’s attorney claims.
“Within 50 seconds of the police arriving, you have this officer punching this young lady in the car,” said Gregory Kulis, the attorney representing Alexis Wilson’s family in the wrongful death lawsuit.
Kulis says the police did everything but deescalate the situation.
“If somebody starts punching you, the first thing your reaction is to get away from that and that’s exactly what she did and the officers started firing and kill her,” Kulis said.
Bodycam video shows after the officer allegedly punched Alexis Wilson, she drove away causing officers to fire seven shots at her van. As Alexis Wilson drove away, she crashed into a nearby bike shop about a block away where she died from gunshot wounds according to the family’s attorney. Kulis also says, a gun was later found in Wilson’s van and her boyfriend was charged for possessing it.
“You know what happened after that? They left my daughter in a crushed building and tended to the officers,” said Alonzo Wilson of the moments after Alexis crashed.
As the one-year anniversary of Alexis Wilson’s death approaches, the shooting is still under investigation with the Illinois State Police.
“The state’s attorney office can go back and look at it and ask more questions, then the state’s attorney will decide whether they will prosecute these officers for criminal acts or not,” said Kulis.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office sent Atlanta Black Star a statement on the case, saying the case is still under investigation by prosecutors to determine if criminal charges are appropriate.
Kulis says the family does not have a dollar amount determined for their civil lawsuit at this time. The more pressing concern for Alexis Wilson’s parents is they want the investigation to wrap up soon and the officers involved criminally charged.
“They want answers, first of all, why did this happen? How did this happen and they want to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again,” said Kulis.