Chicago, IL

Video of 13-Year-Old Police Shooting Video Adam Toledo to be Released Today

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Police body camera footage, third party video, OEMC transmissions, shot spotter recordings, case incident reports, arrest reports and tactical response documents will all be posted online sometime today.

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Adam Toledo, 13 year old victim of police shooting

It has not been announced what time the video and other documentation related to the shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo will be released to the public. Tensions in Chicago have been mounting in the two and a half weeks since the boy was shot by police. Last night protesters gathered and marched shouting demands that the video footage be released.

Yesterday, the family arrived at Chicago Police Department headquarters to finally view the video footage more than two weeks after the shooting. The family’s attorney said they were waiting for the police to gather extra materials for the family to view with the video. The video and other documents could not be released to the public until after the family had a chance to view them.

This morning the following joint announcement stating the footage would be released was made by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Toledo family:

"Yesterday, the City of Chicago’s Corporation Counsel, Celia Meza, met with Adeena Weiss Ortiz and Joel Hirschhorn, legal representatives for the Toledo family. 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.

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 shooting occurred 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. When they arrived they observed two males in a nearby alley.

Police said Toledo was with a 21-year-old man, Ruben Roman, during the incident, and that Roman gave a false name for Toledo. Roman has been charged with the unlawful use and reckless discharge of a firearm, child endangerment which are felony charges and violating probation.

Prosecutors stated that when police arrived, Roman fired seven or eight shots standing next to Toledo and then both fled. Roman was apprehended, while police continued to chase Toledo.

The teen was reported to have stopped by a break in a wooden fence, and at that point the police officer ordered him to show his hands. Prosecutors say Toledo was standing with his left side facing the police officer, and that he had his right hand down at his right side. Adam then turned towards the officer, and prosecutors say he had a gun in his right hand.

The officer ordered Adam to drop the gun. When he did not do so, prosecutors say pne of the officers shot the teen once in the chest. That officer gave Toledo CPR, but the teen did not survive the shooting.

According to reports, the gun the teen was holding landed about 10 feet away. His right hand tested positive for gunshot residue. Fired shell casings from near where Roman fired shots matched the 9-millimeter handgun that was recovered near Toledo, indicating that the teen got the gun from the man. The police officers involved have been placed on administrative duties for 30 days which is in line with Chicago Police Department policy when such an incident occurs.

Immediately after the shooting, Chicago Office of Police Accountability (COPA) stated that the body camera video of the shooting would not be released because of state law governing cases involving a minor. They reversed the decision under public pressure saying the “troubling footage” would be released after the victim’s family viewed it. City policy requires that the body cam footage be publicly released within 60 days of an incident.

COPA made a statement Wednesday saying 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."

In addition to the official investigation, the family is conducting their own investigation independently.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has seen all the footage but refuses to comment on it. She will give a press conference this afternoon. Chicago Police have canceled days off for some officers in order to prepare for possible unrest.

Despite their terrible grief and confusion over the shooting of their loved one, Adam Toledo's family requests that people express themselves peacefully when the video footage and other documentation are released.

"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 family joined by Chicago Mayor Lightfoot, stated.

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