*Body camera video footage released Thursday shows a Chicago police officer fatally shooting 13-year-old Adam Toledo as he raised his hands into the air. The teenager appears to toss a gun before turning to face the cop moments before the shooting.
Speaking at a news conference ahead of the video’s release, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot described the footage as “excruciating.”
Toledo was shot in the chest and killed by police on March 29 following a foot pursuit by officers who were responding to gunshots that were picked up by a police audio scanner. Police encountered Toledo and 21-year-old Ruben Roman, who fled the scene. When the officer catches up to the teen, he orders him to raise his hands and yells, “Drop it, drop it.” The officer fires a single shot to Toledo’s chest as the teen raises his empty hands.
Cops gave Tamir Rice (12) only 1.7 sec before killing him
Cops gave Adam Toledo (13) only .8 sec before killing him
Cops gave Aiyana Jones (7) only 0 sec before killing her
But for the adult mass murderers of Parkland, Aurora, Atlanta, & Charleston—Cops arrested them all alive
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. قاسم رشید (@QasimRashid) April 16, 2021
Police have said a semi-automatic pistol was recovered a few feet away from the victim. Lightfoot said there was “no evidence” Toledo fired the weapon before he was shot.
An attorney for the officer claimed he was “faced with a life-threatening and deadly force situation” and “was left with no other option” but to shoot the child dead.
“Those videos speak for themselves,” the Toledo family’s attorney Adeena Weiss Ortiz said Thursday. “Adam, for the last second of his life, did not have a gun.”
“Simply put, we failed Adam,” Lightfoot said Thursday. She then urged the city to keep the peace before the graphic video was released.
“There are several videos that kind of start at the beginning of the episode, but watching the bodycam footage which shows young Adam after he is shot is extremely difficult,” Lightfoot said. “I would just say, and I’ve said this to a number of people on my staff … as a mom, this is not something you want children to see.”
Per PEOPLE, Ruben Roman, the man who was with Toledo, allegedly fired the shots that prompted the police response. He’s been charged with reckless discharge of a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, as well as child endangerment and violating probation, reports the Sun-Times. He is being held on $150,000 bail.
The officer who shot Toledo has not been identified.
In a joint statement released before the videos were made public, the Toledo family and the mayor said: “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,” reports WGN TV. “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.”