No Charges in Fatal Police Shootings of Adam Toledo, Anthony Alvarez

They were killed in Chicago within days of each other
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 16, 2022 12:29 AM CDT
No Charges for Chicago Cops in 2 Fatal Shootings
Veronica Alvarez, foreground, the mother of 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez, reads a statement to the media on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, after watching video of her son's fatal shooting.   (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune via AP)

No charges will be filed against the Chicago police officers who chased and fatally shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez within days of each other last year, prompting sharp criticism of how the department handles foot pursuits, a prosecutor announced Tuesday. Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said there was insufficient evidence to charge the officers in the deaths, which were captured on video that showed both suspects appeared to have handguns prior to the shootings, the AP reports. The public release of the videos in April 2021 renewed calls for reform of the Chicago Police Department, which for decades has had a reputation for brutality, misconduct and racism. And it came as videos of police confrontations put departments around the country under heavy scrutiny, especially after the footage from 2020 that helped lead to a murder conviction in the death of George Floyd.

In both Chicago shootings, officers chased suspects on foot—a highly unpredictable situation that critics, including the US Department of Justice, have said is dangerous for both officers and suspects and leads to too many unnecessary shootings. The deaths led to protests and calls for Chicago to adopt clear guidelines for officers on pursuits, though a policy still has not been finalized. In February, Alvarez's family sued the city of Chicago, saying it is partly responsible for his death because of the lack of a foot pursuit policy. Foxx also was critical Tuesday of the officers in the shooting death of Alvarez, saying they created the situation that put them in danger.

But Tim Grace, an attorney who represented Solano as well as the other officer, Eric Stillman, said Foxx's criticism in the shooting of Alvarez was unfair. “Police have the duty to enforce the law and the idea that someone can break the law, drive without a license and run from the police is wrong,” he said. “If you don’t want (police officers) to enforce the law, just tell them.” The prosecutor said she met with families of both Toledo and Alvarez earlier Tuesday, describing them as “heartbroken.” In a statement, attorneys for Toledo's family said they are “profoundly disappointed” that Stillman will not face criminal charges and that they are pursuing a civil case against Stillman and the city. He is on active duty; Solano has been relieved of his police powers pending the results of internal investigation by the department.

(Read more Chicago stories.)

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