The family of Anthony Alvarez gathered with community activists Thursday in Little Village to demand answers about the 22-year-old’s fatal shooting at the hands of a Chicago police officer last month on the Northwest Side.
Standing in the parking lot near where 13-year-old Adam Toledo was fatally shot by police just two days before Alvarez was killed, Alvarez’s cousin, Roxana Figueroa, detailed a list of questions she had about the shooting — and rebutted a videotaped statement by police union President John Catanzara claiming it was “100% a good shooting.”
“He started his video not even knowing the right age of my cousin ... you don’t even have his information correct,” Figueroa said. “He said that the first time Anthony fell ... that closed the gap between the cops and Anthony, so why not just tase him? Why not just tackle him down? Why shoot him five times?
“We thought we were going to get more clarity on the case after watching the videos but it has brought nothing but more questions,” Figueroa added. “They said the day before that he had already fled from police in his vehicle. Why didn’t they run the plates and try to get a warrant for his arrest? Why did they have to go to that extent and shoot him?”
Activists also took the opportunity to announce plans for a May Day march on Saturday at Union Park.
“I am a mother, and I call on all the mothers of our communities to bring out their families to march and rally for the promise May 1,” said Cecilia Garcia, a member of the Right 2 Family and Family Reunification campaigns.
After the press conference, Anthony’s mother, Veronica Alvarez, remembered her son as a loving father to his 2-year-old daughter.
“Anthony loved to play soccer, but after he became a father he dedicated all his time to his baby. He was a great son, a great brother, a great father. He loved cooking, he loved everything. He didn’t deserve to die that way, he shouldn’t be dead at all,” Veronica said in Spanish.
She said she still hasn’t been able to tell her granddaughter about what happened to her father.
“She’s little, but we’ve been thinking about it and we don’t know how we’re going to tell her. She asks for her dad, grabs his photo, kisses it and asks to speak with him. It’s really painful,” Veronica said.