Waukegan council to consider censuring alderman who posted severed-arm photo; ‘How could you do something like this?’

As Waukegan Ald. Keith Turner, 6th Ward, remained silent at Monday’s City Council meeting about his recent social media post in which he included the picture of a woman’s arm recently found along the city’s beach, Ald. Lynn Florian, 8th Ward, had plenty to say.

Talking about the arm believed to be that of a Milwaukee college student — Sade Robinson — who was murdered and dismembered there on April 1, Florian said elected officials like Turner and her other colleagues must, “hold ourselves to a higher standard of conduct.”

“I want to distance myself from what happened,” she said at the meeting. “I had nothing to do with that, and I want nothing to do with what was done. I am truly sorry anyone in our community added to (the victim’s family’s) grief.”

Florian successfully collected signatures of two other council members Monday in Waukegan to place a proposal to censure Turner’s behavior on the agenda of the next City Council meeting.

With three needed signatures including her own, Florian said after the meeting she gave the necessary paperwork to Stewart Weiss, an attorney with corporation counsel Elrod Friedman, to place a measure to censure Turner on the agenda for the council’s June 3 meeting at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

“This was an absolute lack of decency,” Florian said after the meeting, referring to Turner’s social media post. “Our only response is a censure. The family deserves some kind of response. What they must be feeling is incomprehensible grief.”

Along with the three council members signing the paperwork to place the action on the agenda, Florian said she believes there are at least five council members who will vote for it which would represent a majority of the nine-member panel.

Sheena Scarbrough, Robinson’s mother told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel she wanted to see Turner reprimanded for his actions. She criticized the public release of the photo in interviews over the weekend in Milwaukee media.

Waukegan Mayor Ann Taylor said after the meeting the city is very limited in what it can do to discipline elected officials.

“This was so wrong,” Taylor said. “It’s disgusting. How he could do this to the family is beyond me. It is beyond comprehensible. It’s an abuse of social media. We’re trying to teach our kids proper use of social media, and this is what a grown man does?”

While Florian was the only council member to talk about Turner’s social media post, Jim Domiano, a downtown Waukegan merchant, said during the public comment portion of the council meeting the fact anyone, let alone an elected official, could make the post was hard to believe.

“This was someone’s child,” Domiano said. “How could you do something like this? How could you? What is wrong with you people?”

After the right arm was found by someone walking on the beach on May 11, authorities said it likely belonged to Robinson. She was 19 and a student in Milwaukee. Other parts of her body were found earlier along the lake in Milwaukee.

Robinson met her killer on a dinner date the night she was killed, authorities said. That man has been charged in the killing. Taylor said local police believed the arm could have been Robinson’s and reached out to Milwaukee official.

The Lake County Coroner’s Office is conducting DNA tests to confirm the arm was Robinson’s.

Turner posted the pictures and criticized Waukegan officials for not initially reporting the incident. The post did not say where he obtained the picture. Representatives of the city, police and the coroner’s office all said they did not provide the photo to him.

Attempts to reach Turner were unsuccessful. He is running for mayor of Waukegan in the 2025 election against Taylor and former Mayor Sam Cunningham.

Clifford Ward contributed to this story.

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