Family members and supporters of Anthony Alvarez, a 22-year-old who was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer in March, rallied outside a Northwest Side police station Saturday afternoon and demanded justice for Alvarez and all victims of police brutality.
Alvarez was fatally shot in the early morning hours of March 31 during a foot pursuit in the 3500 block of North Laramie Avenue, according to Chicago police.
Footage from the body camera worn by the officer who fired the fatal shots, released last month, shows the officer chase Alvarez and then fire what sounds like five shots. Video shows Alvarez appears to have a gun in his right hand just before the officer opened fire.
At Saturday's rally outside the 16th District Police Station, Alvarez's cousin and others called for accountability and for the officer who shot the 22-year-old to be removed from the Chicago Police Department.
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"I’m disappointed in my city and the people in charge of my city, and there needs to be some changes," said Roxana Figueroa, Alvarez's cousin said.
Demonstrators spoke of a May 21 incident in which the officer who shot Alvarez was alleged to have pulled a gun on another driver during a dispute in the Logan Square neighborhood.
"You can clearly see his actions recently," Figueroa said.
The officer, who was identified in shooting reports as Evan Solano, was placed on desk duty in March and has remained in that position since. The shooting remains under investigation by the Chicago's Civilian Office of Police Accountability.
"We are here with the family to say we will not be silenced or intimidated, and we will keep fighting until Anthony gets justice," said protest organizer Shabbir Manjee.
As the rally went on Saturday afternoon, a group of aldermen gathered outside the same Jefferson Park police station to show appreciation for the city's police officers.
"They feel not supported by many politicians, so we felt it was important to get out here and let them know that we support them," said Ald. Nicholas Sposato of Chicago's 38th Ward.
At the event, Ald. Anthony Napolitano, of the city's 41st Ward, questioned when people will start taking accountability for their children.
"We have 170,000 gang members in the city and 8,900 police officers that are told to go and fix it, he said. "The gap is not going to be bridged until people wake up."