Chicago officials release videos of police shooting that killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo

Chicago officials release videos of police shooting that killed year old Adam Toledo
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A police oversight agency on Thursday released video of a Chicago police officer fatally shooting 13-year-old Adam Toledo last month. Mayor Lori Lightfoot called for calm as the city braces for protests throughout the night.

Video shows an officer exiting his vehicle and chasing Toledo, who is running down an alley. When the officer catches up to the teen, he orders him to raise his hands and yells, “Drop it, drop it.” The officer fires a single shot to Toledo’s chest as the teen raises his hands.

The teen drops to the ground and the officer rushes to administer aid and calls for backup. Police have said a semi-automatic pistol was recovered a few feet away. Lightfoot on Thursday said there was “no evidence” the teen fired the weapon before he was shot.

The March 29 incident began around 2:30 a.m. when gunshots were picked up by a police audio scanner. Less than a minute later, police encountered Toledo and 21-year-old Ruben Roman, who was tackled by police and taken into custody.

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An attorney for the officer accused of shooting the teen claimed Toledo was armed and that the officer was “faced with a life-threatening and deadly force situation” and “was left with no other option.”

The attorney representing the teen’s family said Toledo was not holding the weapon when the officer opened fire. “Those videos speak for themselves,” attorney Adeena Weiss Ortiz said Thursday. “Adam, for the last second of his life, did not have a gun.”

Protesters marched in the streets of downtown Chicago overnight. The scenes were tense with demonstrators staring down police.

Ja’Mal Green, a local activist, said protesters were calling for an overhaul of the city’s police department and the resignation of Lightfoot.

Adam Toledo Shooting
This April 15, 2021, photo shows a memorial where 13-year-old Adam Toledo was fatally shot by a police officer in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / GETTY

Teachers union remembers Toledo: “He was one of ours”

The Chicago Teachers Union issued a statement Thursday in memory of Toledo, describing him as “one of ours.”

“Adam Toledo was loved. He was one of ours, and we are keeping his memory and his Gary Elementary School family in our hearts, along with his mother, family and the people of Little Village,” the union said. “We wish them healing and comfort right now. Love your children. Love your communities. Love yourselves.”

BY VICTORIA ALBERT

Attorney for cop accused of shooting Toledo defends officer’s actions

An attorney for the officer accused of shooting Toledo released a statement Thursday defending the officer’s actions. The statement claims Toledo was armed at the time of the shooting.

“The juvenile offender had the gun in his right hand, came to a fence, looked at the officer which could be interpreted as attempting to acquire a target and began to turn to face the officer attempting to swing the gun in his direction,” attorney Tim Grace claimed.

Toledo’s family has denied he was armed and there has been no conclusive report.

BY VICTORIA ALBERT

Family attorney says teen was unarmed when officer opened fire

Adeena Weiss Ortiz, the attorney representing Toledo’s family, said the teen did not have a gun in his hand when the police officer opened fire. “Those videos speak for themselves,” she said at a news conference Thursday. “Adam, for the last second of his life, did not have a gun.”

One video shows an officer pursuing Toledo down an alley. When he catches up to Toledo, he orders him to raise his hands and yelled, “Drop it.” The teen turns around with his hands in the air before the officer fires a shot to his chest.

When asked if Toledo had something in his hand before he turned around, Ortiz said it was irrelevant because the teen attempted to comply with the officer’s demands.

“If he had a gun, he tossed it. The officer says,’ Show me your hands.’ He complied, he turned around. There’s a still photo going around on the internet and he is shot in the middle of his chest,” Ortiz said.


Chicago mayor calls for reform to police department’s foot pursuit policy

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday called on the city’s police department to reform its foot pursuit policy before officials release video from the fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo.

“Foot pursuits put everyone involved at risk: the officers, the person being pursued, and bystanders,” Lightfoot said in a news conference Thursday. “We have to do better and I’ve charged the superintendent with bringing me a policy that recognizes how dangerous this is. We can’t afford to lose more lives.”

Lightfoot also urged residents to “reserve judgment” of the incident until the investigation into the shooting has been completed. Lightfoot described the footage as “excruciating” and “something you do not want children to see.”

“These videos and these moments are never easy to bear witness to,” Lightfoot said. “Adam’s death is a forceful reminder that we cannot delay these efforts any longer.”

BY ZOE CHRISTEN JONES