NOTE: Video is expected to be released around 2:30 p.m. Thursday. NBC 5 will offer complete coverage of the footage and its release. Check back for more as the situation develops.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the family of Adam Toledo, the 13-year-old boy fatally shot by Chicago police last month, called for people to "express themselves peacefully" on Thursday as the city awaits the release of video of the deadly shooting.
"Yesterday, the City of Chicago’s Corporation Counsel, Celia Meza, met with Adeena Weiss Ortiz and Joel Hirschhorn, legal representatives for the Toledo family," Lightfoot and Adam's family said in a joint statement issued Thursday morning. "Based on the Civilian Office of Police Accountability’s announcement that it will be releasing the videos, both parties agree that all material should be released, including a slowed-down compilation of the events of March 29 that resulted in the tragic death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo."
"We acknowledge that the release of this video is the first step in the process toward the healing of the family, the community and our city. We understand that the release of this video will be incredibly painful and elicit an emotional response to all who view it, and we ask that people express themselves peacefully," the statement continued.
"COPA's investigation is ongoing as we seek to determine the full facts in this case. To that end, we call for full cooperation with COPA. We remain committed to working together toward reform. We ask that you continue to respect the Toledo family’s privacy during this incredibly painful and difficult time," the statement concluded.
Lightfoot and Adam's family issued the statement as the city prepares for Chicago's Civilian Office of Police Accountability to release video and other materials related to the investigation, two days after Adam's family was shown the footage and just over two weeks after the shooting itself.
COPA said after the family watched the videos Tuesday night that based on the family's request, it would "not immediately release" the footage or other materials like 911 calls and witness statements to the public. On Wednesday, the office announced that it would release the materials at an unspecified time on Thursday in the interest of transparency.
"COPA has remained sensitive to the family’s grief and is carrying out this release in accordance with the City’s Video Release Policy," the office said in a statement Wednesday. "COPA’s core values of integrity and transparency are essential to building public trust, particularly in incidents related to an officer involved shooting, and we are unwavering in our commitment to uphold these values."
Body-camera footage of the shooting will be released, along with third-party video, OEMC transmissions, ShotSpotter recordings and several other reports, COPA said.
Lightfoot previously said on Wednesday that she had seen multiple videos of the fatal police shooting, declining to give further details on the videos.
"It's multiple videos and I have now, yes, seen I think all of them," Lightfoot said at an unrelated news conference Wednesday morning. Lightfoot said she would not offer her "own commentary" about the video, citing the independent investigations into the shooting.
"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 added. "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 shooting took place in the early morning hours of March 29, according to police, who said officers responded to an alert of shots fired at 2:37 a.m. in the 2300 block of South Sawyer and saw two males in a nearby alley.
Both fled, according to police, who said officers chased them and one opened fire, shooting Adam in the chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene and a weapon was recovered, officials said.
NBC 5 has not independently verified the reports of the incident from police.
Immediately after the shooting, COPA initially said it would not publicly release body camera video of the shooting because of state law governing cases involving a juvenile, but reversed course under public pressure and said it would release the "troubling footage" once Adam's family was able to see it first. COPA is required by law to publicly release body camera footage no more than 60 days after a shooting.
COPA noted Wednesday that it is "committed to completing a full, thorough and objective investigation of the entire incident which includes not only the officer’s use of deadly force but also the actions of other involved officers leading up to and following the deadly shooting to determine whether each officers’ actions complied with Department policy directives and training."
Attorneys for Adam's family on Tuesday called the experience of seeing the videos "extremely difficult and heartbreaking for everyone present, and especially for Adam’s family."
“We want to thank COPA for giving the Toledo family the opportunity to review body camera video and other evidence before its public release," attorney Joel Hirschhorn said in a statement.
Hirschhorn said the family's legal team is continuing to conduct their own investigation into the shooting and meeting with representatives of the city, thanking members of the public for their respect as the family mourns.
Prosecutors had described the events in the video over the weekend as a judge set bond at $150,000 for the 21-year-old man who was with the teen at the time of the fatal shooting.
Ruben Roman, who was represented by a public defender at a Cook County bond court hearing, was charged with reckless discharge of a firearm, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and child endangerment.
Prosecutors with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office said in court that video captured Roman firing shots before police responded to the scene. Prosecutors said an officer apprehended Roman, who dropped red gloves on the ground during his arrest that later tested positive for gunshot residue.
The other officer chased Toledo, repeatedly telling him to stop, and eventually Toledo stopped near a break in a wooden fence, prosecutors stated. Toledo, who was standing with his left side facing the officer and holding his hand to his right side, was ordered by the officer to show his hands, Cook County Assistant State's Attorney James Murphy said.
The officer told the teen to "drop it, drop it," as Toledo, with a gun in his right hand, turned toward the officer, prosecutors said. The officer opened fire, striking the teen once in the chest. The gun Toledo was holding landed a few feet away, prosecutors said.
The officer called for medical assistance and started performing chest compressions on Toledo, who died at the scene, authorities said.
The teen's right hand tested positive for gunshot residue, according to Murphy. Fired shell casings from near where Roman fired shots matched the 9-millimeter handgun that was recovered near Toledo, prosecutors said.
COPA is investigating the shooting and the officers involved have been placed on administrative duties for 30 days in line with Chicago Police Department policy.
Outrage has enveloped the city since the fatal police shooting, with the teen's family and supporters calling for the immediate release of police body camera video showing the encounter. CPD has canceled days off for officers as they prepare for possible demonstrations.