Story at a glance
- Chicago police fatally shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo after chasing him on foot.
- Upon responding to the officer’s requests, Toledo was shot in the chest.
- Police released body camera footage of the shooting to the public on April 15.
New body camera footage was released publicly on Thursday, revealing how another fatal police shooting unfolded in Chicago., Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot described the video as “incredibly difficult to watch.” (D).
The victim, 13-year-old Adam Toledo, reportedly encountered an adult with an illegal firearm on the night of March 29. Body cam footage worn by one of the responding officers depicts the officer running after Toledo as the adult accompanying Toledo, 21-year-old Ruben Roman, was pinned to the ground.
The graphic video captures the events leading up to the shooting from two different angles.
The officer can be heard on video shouting, “Stop! Stop right f***ing now! Show me your f***ing hands!”
At that point, the camera is focused on Toledo, who appears to be lifting his hands, following the officer’s orders. The officer then fired a single shot, striking Toledo in the chest.
The officer calls for an ambulance and medical kit, asking Toledo to “stay awake, stay with me” as he performs CPR.
In the following frame, a second officer shines a flashlight by the fencepost where Toledo was shot, revealing a gun. While the footage is grainy, separate footage captured by a nearby camera showed the officer pursuing Toledo in the alley where the shooting occurred. Toledo stops, makes a throwing motion behind the fence, and turns around just to be shot by the officer.
“As the investigation into the police shooting that took Adam’s life continues, I urge everyone to reserve judgement until the [Civilian Office of Police Accountability] has done it’s work,” Lightfoot said.
She acknowledged that the outrage in communities was justified following a troubled history of police and citizen encounters in Chicago. Lightfoot, along with several other community leaders, asked for peaceful demonstrations to express outrage over Toledo’s death.
Lightfoot also commented on the dangers of foot pursuits between officers and suspects, saying it endangers both parties along with bystanders, as well as illegal firearms from neighboring states and communities that she said the city was “awash” in.
The attorney representing Toledo’s family, Adeena Weiss Ortiz, told reporters that Toledo did not have a gun in his hand.
“Adam, during his last second of life, did not have a gun in his hand. The officer screamed at him, 'Show me your hands.' Adam complied, turned around, his hands were empty when he was shot in the chest at the hands of the officer. He did not have a gun in his hand," Ortiz said.
In the backdrop of the shooting is the trial of Derek Chauvin, the officer on trial for the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, concludes and the world awaits the verdict. Floyd’s death catalyzed the global Black Lives Matter civil rights protests.
Just miles away from where Floyd was killed, a 20-year-old Black man Daunte Wright was fatally shot by police last week during a traffic stop. Protests have ensued since Wright’s death, and the responding officer who fired shot him, Kim Potter, has been arrested on charges related to his death.