The Chicago Police officers involved in last year’s shooting deaths of 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez will not face criminal charges, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said on Tuesday.
“This is a somber announcement,” Foxx said. “There are no winners in this situation.”
Foxx told reporters that while Officer Eric Stillman, who chased down and then shot Toledo in a Little Village alley on March 29, and Officer Evan Solano, who chased down and then shot Alvarez in the northwest neighborhood of Portage Park two days later, “created the conditions” that culminated in the shooting deaths, “her office’s investigation and a review by an outside agency found no evidence to support criminal charges,” according to a report by the Chicago Sun-Times.
“Family members are committed in their efforts to bring justice for Anthony, which includes holding the Chicago Police officers involved in the shooting accountable for their actions,” Tania Dimitrova, an attorney for the Alvarez family, said in a statement. “We hope that Kim Foxx and her office continues their investigation into the reckless and inexcusable conduct of Officer Evan Solano.”
Officer Stillman’s bodycam footage shows him chasing Toledo down an alley in the early morning hours of March 29. The boy appears to have a gun in his hand when the officer shouts, “Hands! Show me your f—ing hands!” Just as Toledo drops the object and lifts his empty hands, Officer Stillman fires a single round. The boy drops to the ground and is pronounced at the scene minutes later.
Foxx admitted that Officer Stilman may have violated the Chicago Police Department’s chase policy —which was revised after both shootings—but that his actions didn’t warrant criminal charges.
Two days later, Alvarez was at a Shell gas station on the corner of Addison and Laramie when he was approached by officers who identified him as the same man they tried to arrest during a traffic stop the day before. Alvarez took off running, gun in hand, with Officer Solano and another officer in pursuit. In Solano’s bodycam video you see Alvarez turn the corner into a residential neighborhood and Solano on his heels yelling, “Drop the gun! Drop the gun!” before firing five shots at Alvarez.
Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara called it “a 100% good shooting.”
“The offender was trying to turn to the left, you don’t wait until the guy turns all the way around and squares up to you until you shoot,” Catanzara explained.
Members of the public, however, took issue with Toledo and Alvarez being chased and gun downed for non-violent crimes, which is now strictly prohibited under the Department’s revised foot pursuit policy. Thousands marched in the Logan Square neighborhood on April 16, the day after the City released Stillman’s bodycam footage.
“The officers were aware of Mr. Alvarez’s home address and could have sought to contact him there,” Foxx said on Tuesday. “We got into this situation because of the actions of the officers initially. … It was the escalation of events that gets us to our final conclusion.”
currently in logan square… this guy gets out his car and draws his gun cuz he was mad about traffic. is that a cpd uniform? pic.twitter.com/fyiOddezMp
— ?ghoulie? (@SLLIME64) May 21, 2021
Two months later, Officer Solano became the subject of an internal investigation after a video recorded on May 21 showed him exiting his red Ford Mustang and holding a gun as he confronts another driver who is partially blocking the intersection of Logan Boulevard and Richmond Street.
Solano “has had nearly a dozen investigations launched into his actions from CPD’s Bureau of Internal Affairs” and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, according to the Sun-Times.