CPD sergeant’s firing ‘only a small piece’ of justice, Anjanette Young says


A day after the Chicago Police Board fired the sergeant who oversaw the botched raid on her home, Anjanette Young said the board’s decision was “only a small piece of the Justice for which I have been waiting.”

At its monthly meeting Thursday night, the board voted 5-3 to fire Sgt. Alex Wolinski, the highest-ranking officer on scene during the Feb. 21, 2019, raid at Young’s Near West Side home.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, Young expressed disappointment that the vote was not unanimous.

“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,” Young said.

“Although this event does not atone for the traumatic injustice I faced, knowing that members of the Chicago Police Board are starting to see how carelessly some Officers engage with the community gives me a little bit of peace,” she added.

The three Police Board members who voted against Wolinski’s firing were Steven Block, Nanette Doorley and Andreas Safakas.

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Wolinski now has 60 days to appeal the board’s decision in Cook County Circuit Court, a process that typically takes several months, if not years, to resolve. Representatives for the CPD sergeants’ union did not respond to requests for comment Friday, and an attorney for Wolinski could not be reached.

Body-camera footage shows Chicago police officers conducting an errant raid on social worker Anjanette Young’s home on Feb. 21, 2019.

Acting on bad information, 13 CPD tactical officers used a no-knock warrant to enter Young’s home in search of a man believed to have an illegal gun. Police body-camera footage of the raid showed officers handcuffed Young, who was naked when police arrived, as she repeatedly told them that they were in the wrong place. Shortly after entering her home, one of the officers draped her with a blanket.

Video footage of the raid, first reported by CBS-2, prompted swift and harsh criticism of the CPD’s search warrant policy. However, a proposed city ordinance that would ban the Police Department’s use of no-knock warrants has stalled. Young also filed a lawsuit against the city that was settled last year for $2.9 million.

Then-police Superintendent David Brown brought administrative charges against Wolinski in November 2021, recommending that he be fired. Wolinski, who joined the 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.

Meanwhile, COPA said several other officers present during the raid should face suspensions, but to date, no other officers have faced Police Board charges for the raid.

Officers present at the raid also included Officer Ella French, who was shot and killed during a traffic stop in West Englewood in August 2021.


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