Video of Chicago police shooting of Adam Toledo, 13, draws outrage
"This is not something you want children to see."
The graphic body camera footage of a Chicago police officer fatally shooting 13-year-old Adam Toledo was released to the public Thursday afternoon.
As theGRIO previously reported, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, or COPA, initially said it couldn’t release the video because it involved the shooting of a minor, but it changed course after the mayor and police superintendent called for the video’s release. The footage comes more than two weeks after Toledo was killed following a foot chase in the predominantly Latino and Black neighborhood Little Village on the city’s West Side.
Per The Associated Press, the March 29 shooting occurred before dawn after a police technology detected gun shots in the area. The teen, who was Latino, and a 21-year-old man fled on foot when confronted by police, and an officer shot Toledo once in the chest following a foot chase during what the department described as an “armed confrontation.”
A Cook County prosecutor previously claimed the child had a gun in his right hand, but the video shows Toledo’s hands were raised with no weapon and he complied with the officer’s commands — still, he was shot and some are even calling it cold-blooded murder.
Hours before city officials released the video several buildings/businesses were boarded up and Mayor Lori Lightfoot called for peace.
“Simply put, we failed Adam,” Lightfoot said during a City Hall news conference, per Chicago Tribune. She also noted that the incident “left a child dead, a mother in mourning and a family in crisis.”
Authorities released a series of extensive videos from body-worn cameras and surveillance footage that reportedly shows the teenager discarding a gun in an alley as he turns toward the officer with his hands raised.
“It was excruciating. There are several videos that kind of start at the beginning of the episode, but watching the body cam footage which shows young Adam after he was shot is extremely difficult,” Lightfoot said. “I would just say, and I’ve said this to a number of people on my staff … as a mom, this is not something you want children to see.”
The video has sparked outrage across social media and debate about police reform.
Twitter user The Hoarse Whisperer wrote, “The police account of the murder of #AdamToledo appears to have been a lie. We need to start prosecuting every f–king person paid with tax dollars who knowingly lied about an officer killing an unarmed child killed with his hands up. Every single one who lied gets jail.”
Comedian and TV host W. Kamau Bell tweeted, “I just watched the #AdamToledo video. If you are arguing against a complete overhaul of America’s system of policing then watch the video. If you are still against a complete overhaul after that, then you are automatically saying that you are in favor of cops murdering people.”
Congresswoman Cori Bush added, “How many more Black and brown babies have to die before you realize that the policing system is designed to kill us with impunity?”
Check out additional reactions to the video of Toledo’s killing below. Meanwhile, the victim’s family has urged people to “remain peaceful.”
“We have heard reports in the media that more protests are planned today, and while we have no direct knowledge of such events, we pray that for the sake of our city, people remain peaceful to honor Adam’s memory and work constructively to promote reform,” the Toldeo family said in a statement.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s “Dear Culture” podcast? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Download theGrio.com today!