City officials confirmed Wednesday that they would once again be deploying municipal vehicles — including salt spreaders, snow plows and garbage trucks — in a preemptive effort to discourage looting after the Civilian Office of Police Accountability released footage of the fatal police shooting last month of 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez in Portage Park.
“At this time there is no actionable information indicating a threat, however, out of an abundance of caution [and] multiple events of significance that have taken place the city will maintain its posture and deploy infrastructure assets as part of our strategic planning to ensure enhance the safety of both residents and our commercial corridors citywide,” the Office of Emergency Management and Communications said in a statement.
The body-camera footage, released Wednesday afternoon, shows an officer shoot Alvarez in the back as he runs away from the officer with a gun in his hand March 31 in the 5200 block of West Eddy Street.
It was the second time Chicago police shot and killed a Latino male in three days last month. Two days earlier, 13-year-old Adam Toledo was slain by a Chicago police officer in Little Village. Body-camera footage of that shooting appears to show Adam dropping a gun and turning around with his hands raised before the officer shoots him once in the chest.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and attorneys representing the Alvarez family issued a joint statement Wednesday morning asking for people who wish to “express themselves” in response to the video “do so peacefully and with respect for our communities and the residents of Chicago.”
The city first began deploying municipal trucks to protect businesses last summer, when businesses around Chicago were looted and vandalized after protests against a Minneapolis police officer’s murder of George Floyd last May were held here and across the nation.
Lightfoot’s administration also raised the bridges into downtown in response, a move that was condemned in a scathing Inspector General’s report on the Police Department’s handling of the protests.
Contributing: Mitch Dudek, Fran Spielman