Residents and community activists are sharing their shock and outrage after Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx announced that she would not file criminal charges against police officers who fatally shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez.
Toledo was shot and killed in March 2021 by a Chicago police officer during a foot pursuit in Little Village, while Alvarez was killed just days later in the city’s Portage Park neighborhood.
Activists say they are disappointed in the decision not to prosecute the officers involved, and are demanding that police officers be held accountable in the shootings.
At a memorial in Little Village to Toledo, who was shot and killed the neighborhood in March 2021, residents expressed their shock.
“I was shocked,” Kristian Armendariz, a community organizer in the neighborhood, said. “I thought our community and family members were gonna get some resolution and some justice, but no.”
Members of the Little Village Community Council criticized Foxx’s decision, saying that it will not help bring the healing that the community so sorely needs.
“We want justice,” President Baltazar Enriquez said. “If an officer kills anyone, they should be held accountable like a civilian.”
Toledo’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city in Cook County Civil Court on Tuesday, adding that they are “profoundly disappointed” that the state’s attorney won’t prosecute the officer who shot and killed the 13-year-old.
“We hope that Kim Foxx and her office continue their investigation into the reckless and inexcusable conduct of Officer Evan Solano,” the family said in a statement.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot offered her sympathies to the families of Toledo and Alvarez, and said that the department’s implementation of a new foot pursuit policy is part of a sweeping effort to reform policing in the city.
“Keeping their communities, as well as the rest of Chicago safe, remains the top priority. However, in order to accomplish this, trust must be a two-way street between our residents and our officers,” she said. “We have implemented a new foot pursuit policy and have begun working alongside community partners and the City Council to create the new civilian police oversight body, but there remains much more to do.”
Protesters are expected to gather outside of Foxx’s office on Wednesday to voice their concerns and to demonstrate against the charging decisions.