The Civilian Office of Police Accountability has recommended the Chicago police officer who discharged his weapon be relieved of duty.
Body camera footage was released on Wednesday showing Chicago Police firing a fatal shot at 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez as he ran away.
USA Today reported Alvarez’s back was facing the officer, who fired multiple bullets. In the video, an officer gets out of his car, runs through a neighborhood, and shouts, “Drop the gun! Drop the gun!” while chasing Alvarez. About a second later, five gunshots are heard, Alvarez is seen on the ground, and he appears to drop a gun.
“Why are you shooting me?” Alvarez asked the officer, according to the news outlet.
“You had a gun,” the officer responded.
As one officer demands “Cuff him,” another responds, “No, I’m going to give him aid.”
In the video, officers can be seen performing chest compressions and first aid, USA Today reported. Alvarez was transported to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center where he died despite the efforts, said Chicago police Superintendent David Brown during a news conference.
“It’s really important as the final decision-maker that I withhold opinions,” Brown said. He was able to view the footage before it was released.
Alvarez’s family attorney, Todd Pugh, said the video did not provide thorough answers.
“But I know what I saw,” Pugh said after viewing the footage. “And I saw a Chicago police officer shoot their son as he ran away from them.”
Alvarez’s cousin Roxana Figueroa said “When I saw the video, it gave our family hella strength to show up today,” per USA Today.
According to ABC Chicago, on April 3, members of Black Lives Matter, Women of Faith and other organizations called for justice for Alvarez and Adam Toledo, the teenager fatally shot two days before Alvarez, and other victims of police violence.
“We are here because we are saying no more. We are here because we are saying our lives do matter. We are here because we want the world to know we are going nowhere,” said Lamar Whitfield, founder, No More Foundation.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called for change after Toledo, 13, was shot dead by police officers. The Chicago Tribune reported Lightfoot advocated for a new foot-chase policy.
“This is a complicated story. It’s not my story to tell, particularly not as our understanding of the facts is evolving,” Lightfoot said. “What I do know and what I will say is Ms. Toledo and her family need our love and support in this moment, not our withering judgment.”
Superintendent Brown said a new policy has been drafted and is being fast-tracked, according to USA Today.
“Obviously we are proceeding with a sense of urgency,” Brown said, adding, “It really is important for us to get it right.”
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability has recommended that the officer who fired his weapon be relieved from duty pending investigation.
“Chicago Police Department (CPD) tactical officers attempted to stop and speak with Mr. Anthony Alvarez – an individual familiar to the officers. Mr. Alvarez fled as officers approached, leading to a foot pursuit by the officers. During the brief foot pursuit, officers made verbal commands to Mr. Alvarez to drop the weapon. A Chicago Police Officer fired his weapon multiple times, fatally injuring Mr. Alvarez,” stated COPA in an official release.
“COPA’s investigation into the officer’s use of force is ongoing and we encourage members of the community who may have witnessed the incident or have additional information to contact COPA.”
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