A group of activists gathered in downtown Chicago Wednesday after the city’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability announced that it would release video footage and other materials in connection to the fatal shooting of Adam Toledo.
COPA said in a press release that it will release the materials Thursday, less than three weeks after a Chicago police officer fatally shot the 13-year-old.
Protesters gathered near Federal Plaza in Chicago, calling for massive changes in the wake of the shooting.
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“Whose child is next? Is it me? Is it him? Or one of your children,” activist Troy Gaston said.
COPA says it will release body-camera footage, third-party video, OEMC transmissions, ShotSpotter recordings and other materials on Thursday.
Prosecutors say the 13-year-old had a weapon that he wouldn’t put down, and that the teen was shot in the chest when he turned toward the officer.
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 and body camera footage has not yet been released.
Ruben Roman, 21, was with Toledo, and is the person who allegedly fired the gun that triggered a ShotSpotter alert. He is now facing charges in connection with the shooting.
Toledo’s family was shown the video footage and other materials at COPA headquarters on Tuesday, but at the family’s request, those materials were not released right away, according to officials.
Baltazar Enriquez, president of the Little Village Community Council, says that he has not seen the footage himself, but that he was asked to pass along a message from Toledo’s mother.
“Her baby didn’t have a gun, and (she asked me) to fight and to protect his name,” he said.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she has seen the video, but declined to elaborate on its contents, or on the investigation.
"It's multiple videos and I have now, yes, seen I think all of them," Lightfoot said at an unrelated news conference Wednesday morning. "Look, this is a difficult circumstance set of circumstances. 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."
Initially, COPA did not plan to release the videos because of Toledo’s age, but after activists and family members called on the office to release the footage, COPA reversed course and said it would make the videos public within 60 days of the shooting, in accordance with city law.
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.
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.