Chicago releases video of police killing 13-year-old boy

A 13-year-old boy in Chicago appears to have dropped a gun and started raising his hands less than a second before a police officer shot and killed him last month.

A still image taken from Officer Eric Stillman’s hopeful night body footage shows that Adam Toledo did not hold anything and had his hands at least partially up when Stillman shot him in the chest at 3 o’clock on March 29. Police, who responded to reports of shots fired in the area, say the teenager was wearing a handgun before the shot. And Stillman’s photos show him shining a light on a gun on the ground near Toledo after he shot him.

The release of films and other investigative material comes at a sensitive time, with the ongoing trial in Minneapolis of former officer Derek Chauvin in George Floyd’s death and the recently killed police against another black man, Daunte Wright, in one of the city’s suburbs. Before the Civil Office of Police Accountability, an independent board that investigates all Chicago shootings, posted the material on its website, Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged the public to keep the peace and some downtown businesses went up in their windows in anticipation. that there may be unrest.

“We live in a city that is traumatized by a long history of police violence and behavior,” Lightfoot said. “Even though we do not have enough information to be the judge and jury for this particular situation, it is really understandable why so many of our residents feel that too familiar twists of outrage and pain. It is even clearer that the trust between our society and law enforcement is far from healed and remains badly broken. ”

Nineteen seconds elapsed from when Stillman left his group car to when he shot Toledo. His film camera shows him chasing Toledo on foot along an alley for several seconds and shouting “Police! Stop! Stop right (expletive) now! ”

As the teens slow down, Stillman shouts “Hands! Happens! Show me your (expletive) hands! ”

Toledo then turns to the camera, Stillman shouts “Drop it!” and halfway between repeating the command, he opens fire and Toledo falls down. As he approaches the injured teenager, Stillman picks up the radio for an ambulance. He can be heard begging the boy to “stay awake,” and when other officers arrive, an officer says he can’t feel a heartbeat and begins administering CPR.

Adeena Weiss-Ortiz, a lawyer for Toledo’s family, told reporters after the films and other videos were released that they “speak for themselves.”

“Adam, in the last second of his life, had no gun in his hand. The officer shouted at him, “Show me your hands.” Adam followed, she said.

I do not post the video on my TL, but this is a picture of 13 years. old #AdamToledo before he was shot and killed by Chicago police.

Follow the instructions given to him by the official. His hands up. Armed.

It is fact.

– Anthony Antoine (@ AnthonyNBC12) April 15, 2021

Weiss-Ortiz said it was irrelevant if Toledo held a gun before turning on the officer.

“If he had a gun, he threw it. The officer said show me your hands, he followed. He turned around, she said.

The Chicago Police Department does not usually release the names of officers involved in such shootings so early in an investigation, but Stillman’s name, age and race – he is 34 and white – were listed in the investigation reports that COPA released Thursday.

Weiss-Ortiz said she looked at Stillman and, “From what I understand, he had no previous discipline, no previous events.”

Lightfoot, who along with the police supervisor urged COPA to release the video, urged the public to remain peaceful and reserve them until the police responsibility committee can complete its investigation. Sometimes she stifled the city’s long history of police violence and misconduct, especially in black and brown communities, saying that too many young people are exposed to “systemic flaws that we simply have to fix.”

She also described watching the movies as “unpleasant.”

“As a mother, this is not something you want children to see,” said the mayor.

This woman told the public that Adam Toledo had a gun in his hand last Monday. Crocodile tears. She was elected reformer. What a spectacular failure.

– Keeanga-Yamahtta T. (@KeeangaYamahtta) April 15, 2021

In addition to publishing Stillman’s film camera footage, the review card released movies from other bodycams, four third-party videos, two audio recordings of 911 calls and six audio recordings from ShotSpotter, the technology that alerted police to shots in the Little Village area, a predominantly Latino and Black neighborhood on the West Side , and led officers to go there that morning.

Toledo, who was Latino, and a 21-year-old man fled on foot when confronted by police, and Stillman shot the teenager once in the chest after a foot chase during what the department described as an armed confrontation. The 21-year-old man was arrested for a misdemeanor to resist the arrest.

The review board initially said it could not release the video because it was about shooting a minor, but it changed course after the mayor and police supervisor demanded that the video be released.

Images from the Toledo shooting were widely expected in the city, with the release of some previous police footage sparking major protests, including the 2015 release of images of a white officer who shot and killed black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times.

Before the video was released, some companies in central Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile” shopping district stepped up their windows. Lightfoot said the city has been preparing for several months for a ruling in the Chauvin trial and that it had activated a “city protection plan” before Thursday’s release.

“It happens now that these circumstances are side by side,” she said.

The Toledo family, meanwhile, issued a statement urging people to “remain peaceful.”

“We have heard reports in the media that more protests are being planned today, and although we have no direct knowledge of such incidents, we pray that for the sake of our city, people remain peaceful to honor Adam’s memory and work constructively to promote reforms, ”said the family, who planned to hold a press conference later on Thursday.

Before the video was released, Lightfoot and lawyers for the family and the city said in a joint statement that they agreed that in addition to the release of the video, all investigative material should be published, including a slowdown of what happened that morning. .

“We acknowledge that the launch of this video is the first step in the process of healing the family, community and our city,” reads the joint statement. “We understand that the release of this video will be incredibly painful and evoke an emotional response for all who watch it, and we ask people to express themselves calmly.”

The Chicago Police Department has a long history of brutality and racism that has led to mistrust among the city’s many black and Hispanic residents. Adding to that mistrust is the city’s history of suppressing condemning police videos.

The city fought for months to stop the public from watching the 2014 video of a white officer shooting McDonald’s 16 times and killing him. The officer was eventually convicted of murder. And the city tried to stop a TV news station from broadcasting video of a complicated police steering wheel in 2019 where an innocent, naked, black woman was not allowed to put on clothes until after she was handcuffed.


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