Video Shows Chicago Police Shooting Adam Toledo, 13, As He Raised His Hands
By Staff, Agencies
Body camera video footage released for the first time on Thursday appears to show a Chicago police officer fatally shooting Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old, as he raised his hands into the air.
The footage has ignited fresh outrage in the city where Toledo was shot last month. On Thursday, Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, stood alongside Latino community leaders and called for calm.
Lightfoot, her voice breaking while speaking at a press conference before the footage was released to the public, described the video as “incredibly difficult to watch, particularly at the end” and said “we failed Adam.”
Toledo was shot and killed by police on 29 March following a foot pursuit by officers.
At the time of the shooting, Toledo was with Ruben Roman, 21, who has been charged with several felonies in connection to that night including child endangerment and reckless discharge of a firearm.
The authorities had initially indicated that Toledo had a gun in his hand as he turned towards officers during the chase, after failing to obey commands to stop.
But video released on Thursday showed Toledo stopping as the officer shouts after him, turning and putting his hands up, with no sign of any weapon. The boy is then shot in the chest by the officer from a short distance away.
The officer was identified on Thursday as Eric Stillman, 34, a white man who has been with the department since August 2015.
“I want to ask again that everyone tuning in right now think first and foremost about Adam Toledo, about what his family is enduring every single day since they learned of his passing,” Lightfoot said at the press conference.
In the wake of the video’s release, reactions ranged from sorrow to rage as the circumstances surrounding Toledo’s death became clearer.
Chicago activists and politicians have highlighted the legacy of racist policing in the city and lack of investment in youth programming.
Information on the shooting, including Toledo’s age, was not made public until days after it happened. Elizabeth Toledo, Adam’s mother, had not been notified about his death until two days after the shooting, leaving her to think her son was missing.