Fallen officer remembered at wake

June 5, 2009 (OAK LAWN, Ill.) The wake for Officer Alexander Valadez began Friday afternoon in Oak Lawn.

Officer Valadez was shot to death on Monday and now there are questions as to why the men accused of killing him were allowed to be freed.

On Friday afternoon, lines of officers waiting to get into the funeral home stretched through the parking lot and all the way down the block. Many Chicago police officers as well as officers from all around the Chicago area were in attendance.

Outside the funeral home, there were long lines and long looks from hundreds of fellow officers paying their respects, knowing it could have just as easily been any one of them.

Alejandro Valadez, 27, was a three year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, just doing his job, interviewing a witness about shots fired early Monday. Suddenly, a car pulled up and the suspect fired more shots. Two of them hit the officer.

"Unfortunately, criminals have more laws protecting them than officers have to basically put the criminals away," said Elias Agalianos, Waukegan police officer.

Two suspects, 21-year-old Kevin Walker and 20-year-old Shawn Gaston, are facing first degree murder charges. Police say Gaston fired the deadly shots.Police say both suspects have long criminal records.

The Fraternal Order of Police president wrote about that in a letter to Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans. It said, in part, "These violent criminals received little or no penalty for their violent acts. The Fraternal Order of Police is requesting a rationale for returning these individuals to the streets of this city."

"It is up to the people of this city, not just the police officers but everbody, getting together and fighting what we see in these streets," said Alderman Bob Fioretti, 2nd Ward.

The two suspects, Walker and Gaston, are being held without bond.

Chicago police Superintendent Jody Weis was expected at the wake. The funeral is set for Saturday.

A Benefit for Officer Alejandro 'Alex' Valadez
Date: June 12, 2009
Time: 7pm - 2am
Location: 3504 S. Western
Price: $25 at the door - includes food, music (cash bar)

All the proceeds will go toward Alex's child Trust Fund & College Fund.

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