adam toledo

Family of 13-Year-Old Boy Fatally Shot by Chicago Police to See Body Camera Video Next Week

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The family of Adam Toledo, the 13-year-old boy fatally shot by a Chicago police officer late last month, will see body camera footage of the shooting next week, attorneys for the family said Friday.

Adeena Weiss Ortiz and Joel Hirschhorn, who represent Adam's family, said in a statement that the family will "view the police body camera video and other materials related" to the shooting next week. The legal team did not give a specific date.

"The City of Chicago, the Chicago Police Department and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability have been very cooperative," the attorneys said. "We wish to correct speculative reports in the media that suggest otherwise."

"Adam was laid to rest today. The family appreciates the outpouring of support and the respect shown for their privacy in this time of mourning," the statement continued, thanking "those who have come forward with tips and information pertaining to Adam's death."

COPA, the Chicago police oversight agency, said last week that it would release the body camera video after Adam's family was able to see it first.

COPA initially said it would not publicly release body camera video of the shooting, which took place on March 29 in the Little Village neighborhood, because of state law governing cases involving a juvenile. But the agency reversed course under public pressure on Friday and said it would release the "troubling video footage" after Adam's family was able to review it.

The shooting took place at around 2:36 a.m. on March 29 in the 2300 block of South Sawyer Avenue, Chicago police said. NBC 5 has not independently verified the reports of the incident from police.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said Monday that officers responded to that area less than a minute after receiving an alert of eight gunshots.

"When officers arrived in the 2300 block of South Sawyer they observed two males in a nearby alley. Both males fled," Brown said. "One was armed with a handgun. A foot pursuit ensued, which resulted in a confrontation in the alley."

Brown said the officer fired his weapon at approximately 2:38 a.m., shooting Adam in the chest. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene and a weapon was recovered, he added.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's office identified Adam on Thursday, listing his cause of death as a gunshot wound to the chest and ruling his death a homicide.

"Why did it take so long for the Chicago Police Department to identify Adam and what happened between that time and the identification? The answer is this: At the time, Adam had no identification on him," Brown said.

"The 21-year-old man who was with him, and was arrested for resisting, provided a different name from Adam, gave a false, phony name," Brown said. "And we lost considerable time trying to identify Adam because of the wrong name."

Brown said police fingerprinted Adam three times and found no matching records in any database. At that point, he said the department began to review missing persons cases and found a report from March 26, in which Adam's mother Elizabeth Toledo had walked into the 10th District at 6:58 p.m. and reported her son missing. Brown said the report was entered into the system at 7:17 p.m. that same day. The following day, a detective contacted her to follow up, at which point Brown said she told detectives that Adam had returned home, so his name was removed from the system tracking active missing persons cases.

On March 31, two days after police fatally shot Adam, detectives contacted Elizabeth Toledo and told her that the description of her son in that previously filed report "matched an unidentified person in the morgue," Brown said.

He said that Elizabeth Toledo "told detectives her son had returned home and then left again, either late on March 27 or early on March 28, and she had not seen him in several days."

She had not filed a second missing persons report, Brown said, but met detectives at the morgue where she identified her son at around 3:30 p.m.

A 13-year-old boy was shot and killed by police after what officials described as an “armed confrontation” in Little Village on Monday. NBC 5’s Vi Nguyen reports

The officers involved have been placed on administrative duties for 30 days per department policy, according to police. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating the shooting.

Brown said that as superintendent, COPA's recommendation on any potential disciplinary actions will be forwarded to him and he will have 90 days to review COPA's findings and make a determination.

"It is important that as the department's final decision maker on COPA's recommendation for this investigation that I remain impartial and withhold any statement of opinion until presented with the evidence that COPA has gathered," Brown said. "If the COPA investigation continues, CPD will fulfill any Freedom of Information Act requests and produce reports related to this incident which include arrest reports, any third-party video and tactical response reports, forms typically filled out by office after a use of force."

Despite his release of several narrative elements of the case earlier in the news conference, Brown cited that need to be impartial when he declined to answer a question on if Adam was holding the gun or fired any shots, even as Mayor Lori Lightfoot repeatedly vowed to find the person responsible for "putting that gun in Adam's hands."

"This question really speaks to my concern with going further than my statements with interfering with the investigation," Brown said. "There's a balance here on my answering questions with my role as superintendent being the final decider on what COPA is going to complete and recommend for discipline. So I'm going to just refer you to my statement that I've made here this morning for that answer and not go into any further detail, and with understanding that I'm being very careful and cautious with not interfering with COPA's investigation."

But Lightfoot at the same event said multiple times that Adam was "in possession" of the gun.

"Let's be clear: an adult put a gun in a child's hand. A young, impressionable, child, and one who should not have been provided with lethal force, a weapon that could and did irreparably change the course of his life," Lightfoot said. "This happens way too often in our city and it is way past time for us to say no more."

Lightfoot said she had directed Brown and the department to "use every resource to track down the origins of this gun through tracing, fingerprinting and DNA, and any other means, and to find the person responsible for giving it to Adam."

Earlier in her remarks, Lightfoot said she had spoken briefly with Elizabeth Toledo and warned against a rush to judgment in the case.

"In the week since his child's passing, there have already been hundreds of opinions proffered as fact. Let me say a few words about all of that. First, let us not forget that a mother's child is dead. Siblings are without their brother and this community is again grieving. None of us, none of us have walked in Miss Toledo's shoes and none of us will," she said.

"This is a complicated story. It's not my story to tell, particularly not as our understanding of the facts is evolving," Lightfoot said. "What I do know, and what I will say is Miss Toledo and her family need our love and support in this moment, not our withering judgment."

Lightfoot also announced that she was directing the department to adopt a new policy and guidelines on foot pursuits by the summer, using input from focus groups of officers and community members.

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