Calls for charges against strangler of shoplifting suspect

May 18, 2010

Anthony Kyser was strangled by the store manager of a CVS Pharmacy in the Little Village community more than a week ago.

Kyser's mother and some community leaders say the case is a homicide even though police say the death was accidental.

The medical examiner ruled Kyser's death a homicide, but police call his death accidental.

"No charges has been brought against those responsible for Anthony Kyser's death," said Congressman Bobby Rush (D-Chicago).

Rush, community leaders, clergy and Kyser's mother are demanding justice. They say they are outraged that charges have not been filed.

"As long as we have a system - a municipal system as well as a business system that allows things to take place and wash it under the rug in the community is going to act as if everything is okay," said Kyser's pastor, Rev. Simon Gordon.

"I want to see justice. I'm not interested in a check put in front of me. Give me justice so I can go to sleep," said Ann Marie Kyser, the victim's mother. "My son didn't deserve to die like that."

The group questions why an off-duty Cook County Sheriff's deputy stood by and watched as Kyser was strangled in the alley of the CVS store in the 2600-block of S. Pulaski road.

In a statement, Steve Patterson, spokesperson for the Cook County Sheriff's Office, said: "I've not heard anyone say they wanted to see criminal charges filed against the correctional officer. She was a witness to the incident, nothing more."

"Anthony Kyser was heard pleading for his very life, while an armed officer of the law stood by idly and the store manager and possibly others continued to strangle him to death," said Rep. Rush.

The group is accusing Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis and State's Attorney Anita Alvarez of sweeping the case under the rug.

Rush says if charges are not filed by noon this Friday, the group will march from police headquarters to the States' Attorney's office to protest.

"When I took this job, I said I would make charging decisions based on the law and the fact and the evidence, and so I won't let any political pressure, you know, make my decision for me," said Alvarez.

Officials at CVS could not be reached Tuesday.

Community leaders and the victim's mother say they will not go away until justice prevails in the case.

The victim's father filed a lawsuit last week against CVS and the unnamed employee.

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