Some question Chicago's lack of foot chase policy after release of police shooting video

Chicago Police Alvarez Shooting
Posted at 1:03 PM, Apr 30, 2021

WARNING: The graphic video above contains material that some may find disturbing.

CHICAGO, Ill.— Chicago's scramble to create a police foot pursuit policy following the recent fatal shootings of two people by officers has raised questions about why one wasn't already in place.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed the need for such a policy before she was elected, yet critics say the police department hasn't enacted one because it is dragging its feet.

A former Justice Department attorney who has worked with the city on police policies says law enforcement agencies often don't make changes until tragic events happen like the recent fatal shootings.

But the department says it was on pace to create a policy this year, even before the police shootings of 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez.

Body camera footage of the Alvarez shooting was released this week. The video shows the moment the man was shot during a foot pursuit in the city’s Portage Park neighborhood on March 31, two days after the Toledo shooting.

In the clip, Alvarez had his back turned and appeared to have a gun as he fled from officers. One officer says “drop the gun” twice before firing five shots.

Alvarez is heard yelling from the ground, “why are you shooting me?” to which one officer responds, “you had a gun.”

The footage also shows the officer who shot Alverez yell, “cuff him,” while a separate officer stops him and yells instead, “no, I’m going to render aid.”

Alvarez was later pronounced dead from multiple gunshot wounds. The medical examiner's office declared his death a homicide.

The officer who fired the shots has been placed on administrative leave.