CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Police officer who shot and killed Anthony Alvarez, 22, back in March in the Portage Park neighborhood has been stripped of his police powers – but Alvarez’s family wants more action taken than that.
Two months ago, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability – which investigates police shootings – recommended that Officer Evan Solano be stripped of his police powers. Only now is action being taken.READ MORE: COVID Test Confusion After Suburban Family Believes They Got False Result from University Of Illinois SHIELD Program
It is unclear why the department waited until now to do so.
Alvarez’s family returned Monday to a memorial in Portage Park, just steps from where he was shot and killed by the CPD officer in March.
Alvarez’s cousin, Roxana Figueroa, said the family is now closer to justice.
“It’s a step,” Figueroa said. “It’s just not where we want to be.”
Police Supt. David Brown announced Monday that Solano, the officer who shot Alvarez, was stripped of his police powers. That means he is no longer allowed to carry his department-issued gun or wear the badge.
“This was good news for us. It’s still a little frustrating – because we know he’s still going to be getting paid,” Figueroa said.
Surveillance video from the night of the shooting, which happened in the early-morning hours on Wednesday, March 31 – shows a squad car chasing Alvarez at a gas station.
Officer Solano’s body camera shows him running down an alley and eventually around a corner onto a front lawn near Laramie Avenue and Eddy Street.
Alvarez has a gun in one hand a cellphone in the other. He was shot by Solano in the back and the knee.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Trial: Defense Attorney Calls For Mistrial And Accuses Judge Of Lunging At Her; Judge Denies Claims And Motion
“Yeah, they say about him having a gun,” Alvarez said. “But that’s why there’s a court system. That’s why there’s laws.”
The same day video evidence from the police shooting was released by COPA, the agency also recommended that Solano be stripped of his police powers as the investigation played out. It was an unusual suggestion, and at the time, Supt. Brown did not take any action except to place Solano on desk duty – which is standard protocol.
Now, months later, Brown has stripped Solano of his police powers.
“We asked for additional information from COPA. We received that and reviewed it, and we stripped him of his police powers,” Supt. Brown said. “I don’t have any further comment.”
“It’s a little bit upsetting that it took them this long even after COPA recommended for Solano be stripped off his duty,” Figueroa said.
Last month in a separate incident, cell video surfaced reportedly showing Officer Solano pull his gun in what is described as a road rage incident in Logan Square.
Meanwhile, Solano being stripped of his powers is not enough for Alvarez’s family.
“We’re going to keep pushing for justice, and like I said, justice for us means that he gets criminal charges,” Figueroa said.
During the chase, Alvarez is not seen waving the gun or pointing it toward officers.MORE NEWS: Chicago God Star Families Memorial Lights Tree For Those Who Fallen Military And Their Families
Although stripped of his powers, Solano will continue to get paid.