April 16 (UPI) — A police watchdog agency released video Thursday of a Chicago police officer shooting and killing 13-year-old Adam Toledo while his hands were raised last month.
The Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which investigates potential cases of police misconduct, released 17 body camera videos — including graphic video from the shooting officer’s camera that shows Toledo being shot and lying motionless with blood on his chest and face. They also released four third-party videos, audio transmission, recordings of 911 calls, ShotSpotter recordings, and response and arrest reports.
The shooting officer’s body camera video shows him pushing another man out of the way as he pursues Adam through an alley while shouting “stop” before Adam pauses near a fence.
Surveillance video shot from across a parking lot appears to show Adam tossing something behind the fence and later video shows a gun in that location.
Adam raises his arms, which appear empty in the videos, as officers shout at him to show his hands and drop whatever he is holding. The officer then shoots Adam less than a second after he began to turn toward the officers with his hands raised.
After the shot is fired about half a dozen officers respond to the scene calling for medical attention and one officer begins chest compressions after saying he can’t feel a heartbeat.
The response report states that Adam was armed with a semi-automatic pistol that was “displayed, not used” and the officer lists “defense of self” as the reason for the shooting.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot described the videos as “incredibly difficult to watch, particularly at the end” during a news conference on Thursday.
“No one should have a video broadcast widely of their child’s last moments, much less be placed in the terrible situation of losing their child in the first place,” she said. “Simply put, we failed Adam, and we cannot afford to fail one more young person in our city.”
Amid plans for protests on Thursday evening, Lightfoot called for people to “proceed with deep empathy and calm and most importantly, peace.”
She also said people should “reserve judgement” and “wait until we hear all the facts.”
Adeena Weiss Ortiz, an attorney for the Toledo family, said they are exploring legal action against the officer who shot Adam, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“If you’re shooting an unarmed child with his arms in the air, it’s an assassination,” she said.
Colleen Connell, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, issued a statement calling for a “complete and transparent” investigation into the shooting.
“The people of Chicago deserve answers about the events surrounding this tragic interaction,” Connell said. “These answers must come through complete disclosure and public reporting and not through careful assertions crafted by police and prosecutors. Given the long, sad history of the CPD, public accountability must be the guide post for this moment.”