State Watch

Lawmakers demand justice for Adam Toledo: ‘His hands were up. He was unarmed’

Democratic lawmakers on Thursday demanded justice for 13-year-old Adam Toledo, whom Chicago police fatally shot.

The calls came after the Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountably (COPA) released footage of the encounter.

The video raises questions about the circumstances surrounding his death, as officials previously accused Toledo of having a gun. However, the video shows Toledo appearing to surrender and have nothing in his hands before police shot him in the chest.

The incident is raising fresh calls for police reform, as it comes during the ongoing murder trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged in the death of George Floyd that sparked nationwide protests last summer.

It also comes as the U.S. grapples with the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, whom police killed at a traffic stop Monday.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on Twitter: “Adam Toledo was a seventh grader at Gary Elementary School in Little Village. His whole life was ahead of him. My heart breaks for his family and friends, who are grieving the loss of his young life.”

“Far too many Black and Brown men and women have lost their lives to brutal acts of racial injustice,” he continued. “All the evidence shows that we are dealing with a system of justice that isn’t being applied equally—and we need to change that.”

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) also expressed her condolences, adding “No parent should ever have to lose a child like that and no child’s life should end like that. Ever.”

“If we’re to truly be the Land of the Free, every single American must feel safe, must be able to live,” she said.

 

Several House representatives also demanded justice for Toledo.

Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) called Toledo’s death “a tragedy for his family and our community.”

“We, as a society, failed him. We can’t bring Adam back, but we can strive for a world where no 13-year-old meets such a tragic end,” he said.

Rep. Marie Newman (D-Ill.) said “Reform alone can’t fix this. Public safety MUST be about funding for housing, schools & so much more than just police alone.”

“The current system failed Adam,” she said.

 

In the video, an officer can be seen chasing Toledo down an alley while yelling “stop right f—ing now” before he halts at a large gap in wooden fencing.

The officer demands to see Toledo’s hands, and the teen slowly turns to the officer with both of his hands in a clear surrender.

The officer yells “drop it” twice before shooting Toledo in the chest, though there is no gun clearly visible in his hand. There is also no gun visible as other officers arrive and begin administering CPR.

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) — who sponsored the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which the House passed last month — said “Adam Toledo was 13 years old. Those responsible for taking the rest of his life away from him must be held accountable.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said the U.S. needs to establish that force should only be used as a last resort.

“Adam Toledo was 13 years old. His hands were up. He was unarmed,” he said. “This footage is heartbreaking for any parent. Like other major democracies, we must adopt a standard that force can only be used as a last resort.”

Tags Adam Toledo Adam Toledo Bill Foster Black Lives Matter BLM Brad Schneider Chicago Dick Durbin Illinois Karen Bass Marie Newman police brutality police shooting Ro Khanna Tammy Duckworth
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