The officer who shot and killed 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez March 31 remains a member of the Chicago Police Department, one month after investigators urged Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown to strip the officer of his badge while the probe continues.
A Chicago Police Department representative did not respond to questions from WTTW News about why Brown has yet to act on the April 28 recommendation from the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, known as COPA, that Officer Evan Solano be relieved of his police powers.
While COPA’s probe of the shooting is still ongoing, investigators “carefully considered the recommendation to relieve the involved officer of his police powers,” which is now in Brown’s hands, said representative Ephraim Eaddy.
Video of the incident appears to show Alvarez holding a gun as he runs from Solano, who orders Alvarez to drop the gun just before shooting him in the back after a foot chase.
Solano remains on administrative leave, a representative for the Chicago Police Department confirmed Friday. Officers involved in a shooting are routinely placed on leave for 30 days. Department officials have declined to say why Solano has been on leave for 60 days.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been critical of the fact that the recommendation to strip Solano of his badge was shared with the news media before it was sent to Brown. Chief Administrator Sydney Roberts announced May 5 she would resign from her post leading the agency charged with investigating police misconduct after facing harsh criticism from Lightfoot on the pace of probes.
Block Club Chicago reported Thursday that Solano is the subject of a second investigation for pointing his gun, while in uniform, at another driver during a Logan Square road rage incident May 21 that was captured on video by onlookers.
CPD representatives did not respond to questions from WTTW about the incident, and whether Brown would take that into consideration while he continues to weigh COPA’s recommendation that Solano be stripped of his police powers.
Lightfoot has yet to name a permanent replacement for Roberts as head of COPA, the city agency charged with investigating police misconduct.
Brown and Lightfoot unveiled a new foot chase policy for the police department Wednesday that bans pursuits stemming from minor traffic offenses, which is what Lightfoot has said preceded the police shooting of Alvarez.
Alvarez died two days after police shot and killed Adam Toledo after another foot chase. Body camera footage of the fatal shooting shows the 13-year-old turn toward a Chicago police officer and put his hands in the air an instant before the officer shoots him. The officer in that case, Eric Stillman, also remains on leave.