Little Village

Video to Be Released Showing Fatal Shooting of 13-Year-Old Boy by Chicago Police: COPA

Calls to release body-camera video grew Thursday after it was revealed that the person Chicago police fatally shot in the Little Village neighborhood earlier in the week was a 13-year-old boy

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Chicago's police oversight agency said it will release video of the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy by Chicago police in the city's Little Village neighborhood.

Despite earlier claims that video would not be made public due to a state law preventing video involving a juvenile from being released without a court order, Chicago's Office of Police Accountability said the law does not in fact prohibit the release of the "troubling footage" showing Adam Toledo's fatal shooting.

"COPA’s General Counsel concluded that the Juvenile Court Act does not bar publication of the body worn and third-party video camera footage the agency has obtained to date," the agency tweeted. "COPA will therefore follow established city policy, which requires public posting of material not later than 60 days after the incident."

The group said it is working with Toledo's family to schedule a viewing.

"Again our condolences are with the Toledo family during this challenging time," the tweet read.

Calls to release body-camera video grew Thursday after it was revealed that the person Chicago police fatally shot in the Little Village neighborhood earlier in the week was a 13-year-old boy.

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

The teen's mother gave an emotional plea Friday, asking for answers to her son's death.

Elizabeth Toledo, the teen's mother, asked that COPA and the Chicago Police Department provide transparency on her son's death, after receiving limited information.

"I just want to know what really happened to my baby," she said. "They had a lot of options, but not kill him. They could have shot him in his legs, his arms, up in the air, I don't know but not kill my baby."

Attorney Adeena Weiss-Ortiz said the family did not hear of Adam's death until two days following the shooting, and continues to seek additional information. She said the family is not aware where Adam was at the time of the shooting nor why he left his home.

"All we know at this time is a 13-year-old boy died. Adam was a good kid. He had no criminal history. He went to Gary Elementary School. He shared time with his four siblings. And all we know is that he was shot," Ortiz said. "Ironically, this child wanted to be an officer, and he was shot by the hands of another officer."

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

Police said officers responded to the area after an alert of multiple shots fired and saw two males standing in a nearby alley.

"One armed offender fled from the officers," Chicago police said Monday. "A foot pursuit ensued which resulted in a confrontation."

Police said an officer shot the person, later identified as Toledo, in the chest. Toledo was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police, who said officers took the second person into custody and recovered a weapon from the incident.

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.

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

COPA said Thursday that the incident was captured on body camera footage but because of Toledo's age, state law prevented the agency "from publicly releasing videos involving a juvenile" without a court order.

COPA said materials that can be released - 911 calls and incident reports, among others - will be released within 60 days of the shooting under city policy.

In a second statement Thursday, COPA spokesman Ephraim Eaddy said the agency was "currently making every effort and researching all legal avenues that will allow for the public release of all video materials which capture the tragic fatal shooting of 13 year old Adam Toledo."

"COPA’s commitment to transparency remains unwavering, one of our core values and paramount to our ability to build and sustain trust," Eaddy continued.

"The death of 13 year old Adam Toledo is tragic and we have all been saddened by this incident. COPA has been in contact with the Toledo family and will provide the family a review of all video materials," the statement reads. "We are committed to releasing video materials to the extent legally possible and as a part of our commitment to transparency and building public trust."

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown on Thursday called the shooting his "greatest fear."

"My greatest fear as the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department has been a deadly encounter between one of our own and a juvenile especially given the recent rise in violent crimes involving juveniles throughout our city," Brown said in a statement. "Unfortunately, this fear became a reality earlier this week."

"Any loss of life is tragic, especially when it involves youth," Brown continued, offering his condolences to the boy's family without naming Toledo so as not to "violate his privacy as a juvenile."

"The split-second decision to use deadly force is extremely difficult for any officer, and is always a heavy burden to bear for officers involved in fatal shooting incident," Brown said.

"We fully support the investigation being conducted by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, and adamantly call for the release of any and all video, including body-worn camera footage, related to the incident, as permitted by laws pertaining to juveniles," he added.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday tweeted that her "heart goes out" to Toledo's parents.

"As a mother of a 13-year-old myself, I can only imagine the incredible pain this boy's parents are experiencing at this moment. My heart goes out to them," Lightfoot said.

"The facts and the circumstances around this case are under investigation, but we must ask ourselves how our social safety net failed this boy leading up to the tragic events in the early hours of Monday morning," she continued.

Lightfoot called it "critically important" that COPA release relevant videos to the family and then the public "as quickly as possible, with appropriate protections, given his age."

"Because his family and the public will undoubtedly have many questions, we must release any relevant videos as soon as possible," Lightfoot said. "Recognizing that these are the most complex cases that COPA investigates, transparency and speed are crucial."

The investigation into the incident remains ongoing.

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