Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged calm on Thursday as a video was released of police shooting a 13-year-old boy named Adam Toledo after he appeared to drop a gun and raise his hands.
Lightfoot claimed that she saw “no evidence whatsoever” that Toledo fired a gun at officers. The Democrat mayor and the boy’s family jointly called for Chicagoans to “express themselves peacefully” following the “incredibly painful” video release. She proceeded to call for more gun control as well as reviewing the Chicago Police Department’s policy on foot pursuits.
The altercation occurred at night on March 29 in a Little Village alley. After stopping another suspect, Officer Stillman pursued Toledo down the ally after he fled from the police. “Police, stop. Stop right f***ing now,” he yelled as the boy stopped running by a fence that borders a parking lot.
Stillman shouted at Toledo, “Hey show me your f***ing hands, drop it, drop it,” and then fired one shot as Toledo reportedly tossed the gun, turned, and put his hands up. In the video, as Toledo raised his hands they appeared empty. Officers tried to save the boy’s life but were unsuccessful. At the end of the video, an officer shines a flashlight on what appears to be the gun that Toledo dropped.
(Video Credit: AP)
Lightfoot would not address if Toledo was holding a gun before he was shot but she did reference the body camera footage that was released.
“Look, I don’t want to get into the real substance of this because the independent investigation is going on, but I’ve seen no evidence whatsoever that Adam Toledo shot at the police,” Lightfoot defensively said during her press conference.
She once again acknowledged that she had viewed the video and said that it was “incredibly difficult to watch,” but would not discuss the specifics of the shooting.
WARNING: Graphic Footage
(Video Credit: Chicago Sun-Times)
Lightfoot mentioned that the officers did try and save Toledo’s life following the shooting: “When you see, and I urge you to watch it, watch all the footage, you’re going to see that officer sprang into action to try to revive,” Lightfoot stated.
She was emotional and also referred to the video as “excruciating.”
“We can’t have that be what young people experience in our city,” Lightfoot said at the news conference.. “Simply put, we failed Adam.”
“There are several videos that kind of start at the beginning of the episode but watching the bodycam footage, which shows young Adam after he is shot is extremely difficult,” she remarked. “And I would just say, I’ve said this to a number of people my, my staff or cabinet. As a mom, this is not something you want children to see.”
— Dana Kozlov (@DanaCBS2) April 15, 2021
Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability has announced it will release body-camera footage, third-party video, OEMC transmissions, recordings, and several reports.
Lightfoot is refusing to offer her “own commentary” on the case.
“Look, this is a difficult circumstance, set of circumstances. First and foremost, we have a family that is still incredibly in the throes of grief, a mom and father who have lost their son, siblings that have lost her brother, grandparents,” Lightfoot deflected. “So I want to be respectful of the family, but I also do think that something like a police-involved shooting, particularly under these circumstances, it’s important for us to be transparent.”
The officers have been placed on administrative duties for 30 days as is standard police department policy.
Attorney Adeena Weiss Ortiz said in a statement that even if the boy had a gun, he complied with orders from the police. “If he had a gun, he tossed it. … The officer said, ‘show me your hands,’ (and Toledo) complied,” she stated. “(The officer) is trained to not shoot somebody unarmed. He is trained to look, he is trained not to panic.”
Stillman’s attorney, Tim Grace, said it was evident that Toledo was armed and that the officer had no choice but to use deadly force. “The officer had no place to take cover or concealment, the gun was being (orientated) in his direction and he was left with no other option,” Grace declared in a statement.
At a bond hearing on Saturday for the suspect who was stopped by police with Adam Toledo, prosecutors stated that Toledo had a gun in his hand when he was shot and killed.
Prosecutors said that while the defendant, Ruben Roman, was the one who fired the weapon, Adam had it in his hand when he was shot and killed by police as Roman was being detained.
Chicagoans are enraged over the shooting and they are not happy with Lightfoot’s response to the tragedy. The Chicago Police Department has canceled days off for its officers as they prepare for unrest over the shooting. According to the Chicago Tribune, “Sources said several specialized Chicago police units were preparing this week for possible major protests or disturbances.”
Investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson tweeted: “In fairness, as we’ve learned with many videos, there are different interpretations. In this case, even with video, there are differing accounts as to when Adam dropped his gun. And since it didn’t happen in slow motion in real life, even harder to tell. More to come.”
There was outrage and mixed reaction to Lightfoot’s response and the video release on social media:
Lori Lightfoot was complicit in spinning a false narrative about what happened to Adam Toledo.
— agitator in chief (@soit_goes) April 15, 2021
THE GALL of Lori Lightfoot calling for peace after she spent DAYS lying about the character of a 13-year-old child. Making HIM the villain in his own murder. Once again YOUNG BLACK & BROWN ORGANIZERS TOLD YOU SHE WAS GOING TO BE THIS KIND OF MAYOR AND YOU DIDN'T LISTEN TO THEM!
— Leslie Mac (@LeslieMac) April 15, 2021
Lori Lightfoot’s office buried footage of police raiding a Black woman’s home & terrorizing her while she was left unclothed. Never forget
— DEFUND & ABOLISH POLICE (@BreeNewsome) April 15, 2021
1/ This is REALLY misleading. Almost dangerously so. He appeared to have a gun in his hand one moment before the shooting. I don't think anyone should be stating, with confidence, exactly what happened here, but it's a vital detail to leave out.https://t.co/VazE2hfKpF https://t.co/EguLZimT0J
— Jesse Singal (@jessesingal) April 16, 2021
Yeah, I was convinced it was murder when I saw the video, but it appears he did have a gun a split second before the shooting and tossed it (which the cop likely didn’t know). It all happened in a second. pic.twitter.com/r4PfaamZCH
— Tsukkomi (@ljenkins314) April 16, 2021
Going frame by frame through the video COPA posted, AT can be seen holding a gun-shaped object at 2:38:39. Less than 1 second later, he's shot after he swings around with his hands out around per the officer's command. 17/n pic.twitter.com/BNAwymfh0F
— Matt #BLM (@_facts_matter) April 15, 2021
On twitter, the people I follow are mainly calling this murder by the officer, and that’s just a wildly irresponsible and absolutely incorrect assessment, but based on the rabid prejudice my political allies have towards police, I understand it. 18/n
— Matt #BLM (@_facts_matter) April 15, 2021
The officer saw AT holding a gun, couldn’t see AT’s gun-holding hand as AT threw away the gun, and then AT rapidly swung his hand into view, towards the officer. It was 100% reasonable for the officer to expect they were about to be shot. 19/n
— Matt #BLM (@_facts_matter) April 16, 2021
Cop didn’t know he was 13. Didn’t know he dropped the gun. I’ve never had to confront someone holding a loaded gun in a back alley at night. Neither have you
If we were a serious country we’d talking about the culture and family conditions that lead children to join gangs at 13
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) April 16, 2021
The kid had a gun. He tossed it behind a fence before turning around to face the cop, in the dark. How is a police officer meant to react? He tried to save the kid's life afterwards. Yet politicians and activists are doing their worst. Again. https://t.co/bnwP0qkxZf via @usatoday
— Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) April 16, 2021
Despite the way Lori Lightfoot slandered Adam Toledo, nobody put a gun in his hand, because he was unarmed when he was killed by a Chicago Police Officer.
He initially ran because he was a scared 13-year old, but stopped, and complied, and put his hands up.
And was shot anyway. pic.twitter.com/YY6UKINiN8
— 🌹The Great Hero, Jim Thorpe (@abrasive_j) April 15, 2021
- New book claims WH aides protected Biden from ‘unscripted events’ using a ‘wall’ - September 18, 2021
- Actress Zoe Kravitz defends herself after baring it all at Met Gala - September 18, 2021
- ‘Bring it on’: The claws come out when the ‘smear machine’ goes after Lara Logan - September 18, 2021