Chicago Police Board rejects recommendation to fire officer who shot, killed Anthony Alvarez

Board issues Officer Evan Solano a 20-day suspension

ByCate Cauguiran and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team via WLS logo
Friday, July 22, 2022
EMBED <>More Videos

The Chicago Police Board has rejected a recommendation to fire the officer who shot and killed 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Police Board has rejected a recommendation to fire the officer who shot and killed 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez.

Instead, the board followed Superintendent David Brown's proposal to suspend the officer for 20 days.

Alvarez's mother said hearing the board's decision brought back memories no mother wishes to relive.

"I'm bothered and angry by the decision," said Alverez's mother, Veronica Alvarez.

The shooting happened during a foot chase in March of 2021.

Body-camera video showed that Alvarez appeared to have a weapon in his right hand, which then fell to the ground.

RELATED| Body camera footage of deadly Chicago police shooting of Anthony Alvarez released

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability had recommended that Officer Evan Solano be fired.

"It is my opinion that the Superintendent met the burden of overcoming the chief Administrator's recommendations of discipline,"said Steven Block, a Chicago Police Board member.

In a summary of opinion from the board, they called Officer Solano's use of force against Alvarez "objectively reasonable" based off the circumstances.

READ: Chicago Police Board Discipline of Officer Evan Solano

Instead of firing the officer, they called a 20-day employment suspension proposed by Superintendent David Brown, quote, "more reasonable."

In a statement Thursday night, the Alvarez family said it's "appalled" by the decision, and will continue to seek justice.

"Today's decision is not only a gut-punch to the Alvarez family, but it perpetuates the message that encounters with the Chicago Police Department remain potentially lethal," the family added.

The move was made official at Thursday's police board meeting.

RELATED | New Chicago police foot pursuit policy outlined by Supt. David Brown

Following the meeting, COPA released a statement that said in part: "COPA firmly stands by our investigation, findings, and recommendation of discipline of Officers Evan Solano and Sammy Encarnacion in this incident."

The agency also listed a series of failures and inconsistencies by Officer Solano during the incident, including failure to activate his body-worn camera, failure to properly load his firearm, and acting inconsistently with training while engaging in a foot pursuit of Alverez.

READ FULL COPA STATEMENT

"COPA recognizes the risks Department members face when pursuing subjects who are holding firearms and that these circumstances require officers to make split-second decisions in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation. Nonetheless, Department policy does not permit Department members to use deadly force on a subject who flees with a firearm absent an imminent threat, which Mr. Alvarez did not pose here," COPA said.

The Alverez family attorney said they will not stop their fight for justice.

"What was the point of even having COPA and this investigation if that opinion is not being followed or even it seems like it's not even being taken into consideration," said Attorney Tania Dimitrova.

The family said they plan to take their anger out into the streets Friday, calling for an emergency protest downtown tomorrow at 5:30 p.m.