Apr 28, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Video shows Anthony Alvarez appeared to have a gun, back turned when police shot him

A Chicago Police car

Photo: Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Video of the fatal shooting of 22-year old Anthony Alvarez on March 31 in Chicago was released Wednesday by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, showing his back turned as he moved away from officers.

Driving the news: Alvarez appeared to be holding a gun in one hand and a cellphone in the other, body camera footage shows. COPA recommended to the Chicago Police Department that the officer who shot Alvarez "be relieved of his police powers" pending its investigation, the agency spokesperson Ephraim Eaddy said Wednesday.

Details, via AP: "[A]n officer’s body camera shows [the officer] chasing Alvarez. When Alvarez reaches a lawn in front of a house, the officer can be heard shouting, 'Drop the gun! Drop the gun!' before he opens fire. Alvarez appears to drop a gun after five shots ring out and he falls to the ground."

  • Police have not said whether Alvarez pointed a gun or fired shots, but a police spokesperson tweeted a photo of a firearm he said was found at the scene, according to the Chicago Tribune.
  • A police report that COPA posted along with the video identified the officer who shot Alvarez as 29-year-old Evan Solano, a six-year veteran of the force, the AP notes.

Context: Chicago’s police department is also grappling with the March 29 officer-involved shooting of 13-year old Adam Toledo.

  • But, but, but: COPA, an independent police review board, did not immediately recommend the officer who shot Toledo be stripped of his police powers.
  • Both Toledo and Alvarez were Latino.

What they're saying: John Catanzara, the head of the police union, said in a video statement that it’s important for the public “to look at this with an open mind.” He noted that the officer clearly saw Alvarez holding the weapon and that Alvarez was turning in the direction of the officer when he was shot, AP reports.

  • “The officer fears (he) would turn and fire because that’s the motion he was making,” Catanzara said.
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