No charges will be filed against Chicago police officers who chased and fatally shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez within days of each other last year, prompting sharp criticism of how the department handles foot pursuits, the Associated Press reports. Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said there was insufficient evidence to charge the officers in the deaths, which were captured on video that showed both suspects appeared to have handguns. The public release of the videos in April 2021 renewed calls for reform of the Chicago Police Department, which for decades has had a reputation for brutality, misconduct and racism. It came as videos of police confrontations put departments around the nation under heavy scrutiny, especially after 2020 footage helped lead to a murder conviction in the death of George Floyd.
In both Chicago shootings, officers chased suspects on foot — a highly unpredictable situation that critics, including the U.S. Department of Justice, have said is dangerous for both officers and suspects and leads to too many unnecessary shootings. The deaths led to protests and calls for Chicago to adopt clear guidelines for officers on pursuits, though a policy has not been finalized. In February, Alvarez’s family sued the city, saying it is partly responsible for his death because of the lack of a foot pursuit policy. Eric Stillman, the officer who fatally shot Toledo, is on duty and the other officer, Eric Solano, has been relieved of his police powers pending the results of an internal investigation. Attorneys for the family said they are “profoundly disappointed” that Stillman will not face criminal charges and that they are pursuing a civil case against Stillman and the city.