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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the attorneys for the family of a man who was shot to death by cops last month are calling for peace as the city prepares to release video of the incident.
The family of Anthony Alvarez — who cops say was armed when he was shot in the early hours of March 31 — has already viewed the footage, which was provided Tuesday by Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability.
“I know what I saw … I saw a Chicago police officer shoot their son as he ran away from them,” attorney Todd Pugh said after viewing the video of the shooting, which initially garnered little attention.
Two days before the case involving Alvarez, a Chicago cop shot dead 13-year-old Adam Toledo in the Little Village neighborhood during a foot chase.
“Both parties are acutely aware of the range of emotions that will accompany the release of these materials,” Lightfoot and the Alvarez lawyers said in a joint statement.
“And we collectively issue this statement and ask that those who wish to express themselves do so peacefully and with respect for our communities and the residents of Chicago,” the statement reads.
“COPA’s investigation is ongoing, and both parties expect and have the utmost confidence that officials will determine the complete and unbiased set of facts in this case,” it continues.
Police claim Alvarez, 22, brandished a gun while being chased.
Authorities have not said whether Alvarez pointed a gun or fired shots, but a police spokesman posted a picture on social media of the firearm they say they found at the scene.
Pugh said Alvarez can be heard on the video asking officers why he had been shot, the Chicago Tribune reported.
After the shootings, Lightfoot announced that police would implement a foot pursuit policy for officers.
The US Department of Justice four years ago recommended such a policy for Chicago police in its critique of the Windy City’s policing practices. But the department didn’t institute such a policy after that.
“We look forward to a fair, balanced investigation by COPA and changes that Mayor Lightfoot has promised all of us,” Pugh said.
Alvarez’s cousin Roxana Figueroa said the slain man’s family want to know why he was being chased and why police gunned him down. The name of the officer who shot Alvarez hasn’t been released by authorities.
“I’m tired of seeing this not only in my city, in the North Side of Chicago,” Figueroa said during a protest of Alvarez’s shooting earlier this month. “I’m tired of seeing that everywhere, in the South Side.”
Another cousin, Gustavo Fuentes, said Tuesday the police department’s lack of a foot pursuit policy shows they’re not professionally trained.
But either way, he hopes the video clears up some questions for him and the rest of Alvarez’s family.
With Post wires
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