The Chicago police officer who shot and killed Anthony Alvarez during a foot chase earlier this year in Portage Park has been stripped of his police powers — an action that had been recommended by a civilian oversight board back in April.
Officer Evan Solano was relieved of his duties for the duration of an ongoing investigation into the shooting by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. COPA had recommended that the department take such action but Mayor Lori Lightfoot initially balked at the idea.
A police department spokeswoman declined to answer questions about Solano’s status or exactly when he was stripped of his powers.
Police said the 22-year-old Alvarez was approached by tactical officers at a gas station, and the encounter escalated to a foot pursuit that began in the 3500 block of North Laramie Avenue. He was shot several times from behind by Solano.
It remains unclear why the officers confronted Alvarez.
COPA released a series of video from police-worn body cameras, as well as cameras from a nearby home. It shows Solano yelling, “Drop the gun! Drop the gun!” before firing five shots from close range at Alvarez.
Video shows Alvarez with a gun in his right hand, but the gun drops from his hand as he falls to the pavement.
The shooting happened two days after 13-year-old Adam Toledo was killed by a police officer during a foot chase in Little Village. Both deaths sparked outrage over police use-of -force and the department policy on foot chases.
Todd Pugh, an attorney for the Alvarez family, told the Sun-Times the removal of Solano’s power is long overdue but they are grateful it was finally done.
“We thought after the Logan Square incident he would’ve had his powers removed right away, but we are glad it’s finally being done,” Pugh said.
Solano was the subject of an additional internal police probe that showed him pulling a gun during a road rage incident in Logan Square. In a viral video recorded in May by bystanders, Solano is seen in police uniform exiting a red Ford Mustang with a backwards baseball cap.
After a heated argument, Solano confronts a man with a gun as bystanders shout at him to put it away.