State Watch

Chicago police watchdog recommends officer in fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo be fired

Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), an office that investigates allegations of misconduct against the city’s police force, recommended on Thursday that the officer who fatally shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo be fired.

The chief administrator of COPA determined that Officer Eric Stillman “acted inconsistently with his training” when he shot Toledo in the chest on March 29, 2021.

The recommendation for discipline also penalized Stillman for discharging his firearm in the situation with Toledo and failing to properly use his body camera.

Stillman shot Toledo last year in what the police department described as an “armed confrontation” where the 13-year-old attempted to run away from officers while allegedly holding a gun.

COPA released bodycam footage of the incident in April 2021. Toledo can be seen in the video turning around to face Stillman with his hands raised in a surrender pose.

Stillman yells “drop it” twice in the video, apparently referring to a gun, and then shoots Toledo in the chest, killing him.

The superintendent of police disputed COPA’s recommendation that Stillman be discharged from his position, suggesting instead that the officer be suspended for five days.

He disagreed that Stillman violated police protocol and acted inconsistently with his training, though he agreed with accusations of failure to activate a body camera.

Chicago Police Board President Ghian Foreman found, based on both recommendations, that the board should host a “full evidentiary hearing” on the incident before the public.

“This hearing will allow the Board [to] hear from use-of-force experts the parties call to testify, and will allow the Board to thoroughly review relevant evidence, including video recordings of the incident,” Foreman wrote.

“Officer Stillman will also be afforded the opportunity to testify before the Board, providing context and explanation surrounding the incident depicted on the video recording.”

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