A mural of Adam Toledo sits near the Little Village alley where the 13-year-old was fatally shot by a Chicago police officer, freshly painted the day after video showing his death was released by the city.
The mural was painted by Pablo Serrano, a former art teacher who taught at a school near the scene of Adam's fatal shooting.
The painting shows a silhouette of Adam with his hands up in the air and wings.
"The last conscious act Adam did was raise his hands up and you cannot take that away from him. And I think that's that that's something that should be memorialized, right? That he consciously did this," Serrano said. "The silhouette is an acknowledgment of his absence, right? That he's that he's here in spirit, and in the hearts of everyone that thinks about him and cares about him. But tragically, you know, he's not gonna be able to do what he needed to do to overcome the issues that he needed to overcome and, you know, live, love and be there, you know, so it's an acknowledgement of that loss that we experience in our communities way too often. And it's also a call, right? That we have to respond, we have to connect and understand the collective challenge that we face. Right? Especially all the public workers, the families that care about the streets and coming together so it's an invitation to fill a tragedy with community, with love, with connection, right, In order to move forward."
Serrano says the community is wounded by the recent string of events and he hopes art can help in the healing process.
"I'm hoping that the art can help a community process this loss, right? And understand the magnitude of what happened and continues to happen in Chicago, and with the gun violence in our city, and obviously the police violence that is becoming more and more present in young people's lives."
The city of Chicago on Thursday released video of the fatal police shooting, sparking protests and emotional reactions to what Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the boy's family both called the "incredibly painful" release.
The body camera video of the shooting, which took place in the early morning hours of March 29, shows an officer driving to a scene in the Little Village neighborhood where they had received reports of shots fired. The officer is seen exiting his vehicle and running down an alley, yelling at Adam to stop and put his hands up.
The officer fires one fatal shot as Adam turns and raises his hands, the boy illuminated by a flashing light that appears to show that both of his hands were empty.
Minutes after the shooting, the footage shows another officer shine a flashlight on a gun on the ground behind the fence near where Adam was shot. A surveillance video from across the parking lot, though recorded from a distance, appears to show Adam make a tossing motion with his right hand behind the fence before turning to face the approaching officer, who then immediately fired.
Several protests took place around the Chicago area after the video was released, including one that briefly shutdown northbound Michigan Avenue near the Chicago River. Another protest took place in the city’s Union Park neighborhood, with demonstrators marching to the headquarters of the Fraternal Order of Police.
The Chicago City Council Latino Caucus called Adam's death "a tragedy by all measures" and pushed for the passage of an ordinance to create a commission of community members with jurisdiction over Chicago Police Department leadership and policy, among other changes.