adam toledo

Release of Adam Toledo Shooting Video Sparks Protests, Emotional Reactions

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The Civilian Office of Police Accountability released video and other materials related to the fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo on Thursday, sparking protests and emotional reactions in all corners of the city.

On Thursday afternoon, the office released body camera footage of all officers at the scene when the shooting took place, including from the officer who fired the single shot that struck Toledo in the chest.

COPA also released ShotSpotter alerts, which picked up a series of nine gunshots and led to multiple 911 calls. Those calls were also released by COPA, and they set off the chain of events that led to Toledo's death.

Just minutes after the 911 calls were placed, officers arrived on the scene, with body camera footage showing one of the officers getting out of the driver's side of his squad vehicle.

The body camera video that shows the shooting begins with about 1 minute and 45 seconds of the officer driving to the scene in the Little Village neighborhood before exiting his vehicle and running down an alley.

"Police, stop! Stop right f***ing now," the officer can be heard yelling as Adam appears to pause near a fence bordering a parking lot at the end of the alley. Toledo is then seen turning toward the officer with his hands up.

The officer can be heard yelling, "Hey show me your f***ing hands, drop it, drop it," firing one shot as Adam turns and puts his hands up, just under 20 seconds after the officer exited his vehicle.

As Adam turns and raises his hands, he's illuminated by a flashing light and the body camera footage appears to show that both of the boy's hands are empty.

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. It was at that time that the officer fired.

Adam falls to the ground in the footage, and the officer immediately moves toward him and calls for medical assistance, saying "shots fired by the police" as he requests an ambulance. The officer asks Adam if he is alright and where he was shot.

"Stay with me. Stay with me," the officer can be heard saying in the video, with multiple officers performing CPR after the shooting took place.

Toledo died at the scene.

The teen's family, who saw the videos for the first time on Tuesday, held a press conference following the release, thanking the mayor's office and COPA for giving them time to process the scenes of Toledo's death before their release.

Attorneys for the family also emphasized that Toledo was not observed holding a weapon when he was shot.

“The videos speak for themselves,” attorney Adeena Weiss Ortiz, who is representing the family, said. “Adam, during his last seconds of his life, did not have a gun on his hand. The officer screamed at him 'show me your hands!' Adam complied and turned around. His hands were empty when he was shot in the chest at the hands of the officer."

Several protests took place around the 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.

In Little Village, mourners gathered after the footage was released, with friends of Toledo saying it was hard to see the video.

“He was a great kid. A good friend, too,” one friend said. “I just want everyone to know he was a good kid.”

Chicago Police Department Supt. David Brown spoke at a meeting Thursday night, and laid out the next steps for the department. COPA’s investigation does remain ongoing, but once the office wraps that up, recommendations could be forwarded to him only if allegations of improper conduct are sustained, and if either separation or a suspension of more than a year is sought.

 “I will then have 90 days to review COPA’s recommendation,” Brown said. “If I agree, the recommendation is sent to the city's Department of Law, to prepare charges for suspension or separation, which are then filed before the police board.”

If Brown disagrees, he said, the decision goes before a one person panel of the police board and could possibly be referred to the entire board.

“It is important that as the police 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,” he said.

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