malik alam

An ‘Incredible Human:' Chicago Activist Drowns in Fox Lake Tubing Accident

Malik Alim joined the Chicago Community Bond Fund in 2019 and "quickly became a champion for the movement to end to money bond in Illinois."

NBC Universal, Inc.

A Chicago community activist who gained notoriety for his role in the movement to end cash bond in Illinois drowned this past week after he was thrown off an innertube while swimming with family in Fox Lake.

At approximately 10 a.m. Friday morning, Malik Alim and his two children were riding on an innertube that was being pulled by a boat, and at some point, the tube hit a wave, and all three were thrown into the lake. 

One child was able to grab onto the tube "right away," but Alim had to grab the other child before their mother was able to reach them.

The 28-year-old father, who was not wearing a life jacket, did not resurface above water. His body was recovered Sunday.

Alim joined the Chicago Community Bond Fund in 2019 and "quickly became a champion for the movement to end money bond in Illinois," the organization said in a social media post.

As the fund's campaign coordinator for the Coalition to End Money Bond, he played a pivotal role in the success of the Pretrial Fairness Act, which was passed by the Illinois legislature in January 2021. Under the act, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023, charged individuals can be released prior to trial without posting cash bond unless charged with specific offenses or deemed a danger.

"Whenever I think of Malik I always see him the way lots of people probably have: in a Zoom meeting or text banking with his younger child on his lap, a beautiful demonstration of what was most important to him. I'll miss having him in the world," wrote Laura Stempel.

In a tweet replying to news about Alim's passing, Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton said she was "so very sorry" and "praying for all who loved him.”

Molly Kraus-Steinmetz, a former Housing Justice coordinator with the Jane Adams Senior Caucus said the news of Alim's death is "awful to hear. Sending love to his family and loved ones...”

The Chicago Torture and Justice Center posted on Facebook that "our lives have been forever changed by the immense privilege of getting to know this incredible human.”

Contact Us