WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO. SOME MAY FIND THESE VIDEOS DISTURBING. WATCH AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION.
CHICAGO — Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said she will not file criminal charges against Chicago Police officers in the shooting deaths of 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez last year.
Foxx made the announcement almost a year after the officers shot and killed Toledo and Alvarez in separate incidents in March.
"This is a somber announcement. There are no winners in this situation," Foxx said.
Foxx said the decision not to file charges was made after a thorough investigation and an additional review by an outside agency.
In the shooting of Toledo, "based on the facts, the evidence and the law, we found that there’s no evidence to prove that Officer (Eric) Stillman acted with criminal intent," Foxx said.
Stillman was wearing a body camera that shows him chasing the teen down an alley in Little Village on March 29. The officer orders him to stop and show his hands.
Video shows Adam standing sideways in a large gap in a wooden fence with what looks like a gun in one of his hands behind his back. The officer is on the other side of the alley. He yells, "Drop it!"
In less than a second, Adam raises his hands as the officer fires. Adam crumples to the ground, and the officer calls for an ambulance and performs CPR.
Foxx said that while the officer may have violated CPD’s chase policy, the investigation by the state’s attorney’s office found that criminal charges were not warranted.
The Toledo family attorney released the following statement after Foxx's announcement.
"We are profoundly disappointed, as is the Toledo family, to learn that the Cook County State’s Attorney has declined to prosecute Officer Eric Stillman. Despite that decision, we will continue fighting for Adam and have filed our civil complaint seeking monetary damages against Officer Stillman and the City of Chicago in our effort to get justice for Adam and the Toledo family. Officer Stillman’s use of deadly force was excessive and posed a threat to the safety of Adam and others. We will be contacting the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division to address this horrific travesty.
Adam obeyed the police officer’s commands, stopped running, had his hands up in the surrender position, and was nevertheless shot and killed by Officer Stillman. Despite the painful loss of Adam, the Toledo family continues to call for peace on the streets of Chicago as they pursue justice through the court system."
In addition, the parents of Adam Toledo — Elizabeth Toledo and Marco Toledo — have filed a civil lawsuit against Officer Stillman and the city of Chicago seeking monetary damages for what they say is Adam's wrongful death.
Foxx also said charges would not be filed in the March 31 shooting of Alvarez on the Northwest Side. She said her office considered if it should file first- or second-degree murder charges against the officer, but that Officer Evan Solano had reasonably believed that he was in danger at the time of the shooting.
Solano shot Alvarez several times from behind during a foot pursuit the in the 5200 block of West Eddy Street.
In footage captured by Solano’s body camera, a gun can be seen in Alvarez’s right hand but the video never shows Alvarez pointing the weapon toward officers.
Foxx said Alvarez was approached by tactical officers at a gas station the day after the officers had tried to arrest Alvarez for a traffic stop. 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.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability released a series of videos 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.
Tania Dimitrova, an attorney for the Alvarez family, said they are "saddened and disappointed in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s decision not to bring forth criminal charges.
"Family members are committed in their efforts to bring justice for Anthony, which includes holding the Chicago Police officers involved in the shooting accountable for their actions," Dimitrova said in a statement. "We hope that Kim Foxx and her office continues their investigation into the reckless and inexcusable conduct of Officer Evan Solano."
In April of 2021, COPA recommended Solano be relieved of police powers during the investigation of the Alvarez shooting — a rare move that would mean the officer would be placed on paid desk duty after a standard 30-day leave.
COPA concluded its investigation the end of January and Police Supt. David Brown was expected to come to a decision on the officer this month.
Solano was also the subject of an internal police probe after a viral video recorded in May 2021 showed him exiting a red Ford Mustang and confronting a man with his gun in Logan Square.
Solano began working as a probationary police officer with the department in 2015, and since his start has had nearly a dozen investigations launched into his actions from CPD’s Bureau of Internal Affairs and COPA, according to his personnel records obtained by the Sun-Times.