Family of man killed by police in Portage Park views video and wants answers; COPA may release video soon

Chicago Crime

CHICAGO — The family of 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez, a man fatally shot by police, saw police video Tuesday for the first time and wants to know why their family member was shot when his back was facing police.

Investigators plan to release videos Wednesday of the Chicago police killing of Alvarez in Portage Park. The shooting happened March 31 during a foot chase near West Eddy Street and North Laramie Avenue. It also took place within the same week that 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot and killed by officers during another foot pursuit.

After viewing the video of his killing, an attorney for the family described it as troubling.

“The video was chilling. It was disturbing,” Todd Pugh said. “We had a difficult time getting through it.”

Pugh said that Alvarez was fleeing CPD and was shot from behind.

“I believe that the City of Chicago is going to come to the same conclusion we have, which is that our client was fleeing police officers and was shot from behind and killed.”

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability plans to make the footage available Wednesday as Chicago police plan to show it to reporters in the morning.

“The video does not show where the shots are. We’re still waiting for the Cook County Medical Examiner to release the protocol,” Pugh said

Outside of COPA headquarters Tuesday, protesters demanded answers about what led to the killing of the 22-year-old.

Cousin Roxana Figureo said the family hasn’t received basic information about the incident, other than what police initally said — that there was a “foot pursuit” that ended with a confrontation. Police said they recovered a gun near the scene of the killing.

“We want to know why? Why were they following him in the first place? That was an easy question for them to just answer,” Figueroa said. “Why didn’t they knock on my aunt’s door? Why didn’t they let my aunt see the body that was there that night?”

Figueroa also demanded that any witnesses in the neighborhood who saw what happened to come forward with information.

“I want those possible witnesses that we could have – I hope that it stays in your head every time you go to sleep that you could have brought some peace to my family,” she said.

In a video released Tuesday night, Chicago FOP President John Catanzara asked the public for patience.

“We know what the narrative is going to be and what the knee-jerk reaction is going to be about throwing the officer under the bus,” said Catanzara. “It’s important for the public to at least try and look at these videos with an open mind and not from a Monday morning quarterback perception.”

Police said the incident remains under investigation. Activists plan to rally and march for Alvarez on Saturday.

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