Adam’s and Anthony’s killers won’t be prosecuted
On March 15, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced her office would not be pursuing criminal charges against Chicago Police Department (CPD) officers Eric Stillman and Evan Solano for the separate fatal shootings of 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez last year. Their families said they were “heartbroken” about the news and are pursuing legal action. Foxx justified the decision by appealing to the officers’ “reasonable” fear for their lives, which in Illinois is a legal justification for police to use deadly force. Both Alvarez and Toledo were running away from officers when they were killed. Alvarez was shot in the back while Toledo dropped the gun he was carrying before being shot in the chest. In both cases, prosecutors said Alvarez and Toledo had their hands near their waist while running as a reason why officers felt their lives were at risk.
In demonstrations and vigils, Chicagoans made demands that ranged from defunding the police to creating a moratorium on foot chases. A year later, CPD’s budget actually increased by $200 million to $1.9 billion and the department made only minor changes to its foot pursuit policy so that, in theory, officers wouldn’t pursue people for minor infractions like traffic violations, as occurred in Alvarez’s case. In reality, there’s no reason to believe the policy change would have prevented either of the deaths since both Solano and Stillman violated the foot pursuit policy at the time. Despite the decision not to prosecute, Foxx said she disagreed with the officers’ actions and that they “created the circumstances” that led to the deaths.
Some people called his approach theatrical, others said his strategy was disorganized, but thousands of Chicagoans felt seen when businessman and former mayoral candidate, Willie Wilson, offered to pump their cars with $50 of free gas on two consecutive Thursdays. In collaboration with gas station owners, Wilson donated more than $1.2 million worth of fuel during a time with skyrocketing gas prices. The turnout at nearly fifty gas stations—a great number of them in the South Side—caused mile-long lines and traffic blockages. It’s probably safe to assume Wilson will be running for mayor in 2023.