13-Year-Old Adam Toledo Was Unarmed When Shot By Police, Attorney Says
Adam Toldeo, the 13-year-old who was shot dead in Chicago on March 29, was unarmed at the time, according to his family’s attorney.
Police bodycam footage was released on Thursday, April 15, by the Chicago Civilian Office, showing a police officer firing a single round into Toledo’s chest, a split second after Toledo turned round and faced police with his hands up.
The police were in pursuit of Toledo and 21-year-old Ruben Roman, after reports of gunshots in the Little Village area of the city. Roman was arrested at the scene.
After Toledo is shot, a handgun can be seen on the ground near to where Toledo stopped.
After firing the single shot, the police officer can be seen running over and crouching down beside Toledo, shouting ‘look at me, look at me, look at me – you all right?’, and ‘stay with me, stay with me’, before calling for medical support. Not long after, all officers at the scene were instructed to turn their cameras off.
Adeena Weiss Ortiz, an attorney for Adam’s family, told The Independent: ‘At the time Adam was shot, he did not have a gun. That child complied. Adam complied with the officer’s request. The officer saw his hands were up and he pulled the trigger.’
In a press conference on Thursday, Chicago City Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, ‘Even as our understanding of this incident continues to evolve, this remains a complicated and nuanced story. And we all must proceed with deep empathy and calm, and importantly, peace.’
‘This community itself has experienced too much violence, too much heartache, in this last year alone,’ she added.
‘Two facts about this tragedy remain clear: first, in the middle of the night, this child was in contact which an adult who had a gun and then ended up being shot and killed by a police officer. Secondly: there are too many young people in our city, boys and girls alike, who have been left vulnerable by systemic failures that we simply must fix.’
‘These two realities urge us to reckon with and address a relationship between police, our communities, and especially our young people. And in turn, we must deal with the cancerous role of illegal firearms that plague our Chicago community.’
She continued to say that Chicago has a long history of police violence, which has left Black and Brown communities in fear. Lightfoot sounded emotional as she spoke of the 13-year-old’s death and said how important it is to heal relationships between young people and police in the city.
Lightfoot was joined by several community leaders in the press conference.
This comes in the wake of Daunte Wright being shot by police in a Minneapolis suburb on April 11, and the ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin, the officer who killed George Floyd.
More protests are expected by Chicago Police following the release of this bodycam footage.
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