Video of Chicago police fatally shooting 13-year-old Adam Toledo is released

CHICAGO Published: Apr 16, 2021, 09:47 AM(IST)

In the video, less than one second passes between when Adam raises his hands and when the officer shoots him in the chest. It is still unclear that whether the boy had gun in his hand at the time of shooting.

Story highlights

Release of the officer’s body camera footage set off a fresh round of consternation over police conduct in Chicago, even as it stirred debate over what the images — grainy and graphic — actually showed.

A shaky, fast-moving video released in Chicago on Thursday shows a police officer chasing a boy down a dark alleyway, yelling at him to stop. “Stop right now!” the officer screams while cursing, telling him to drop his gun. “Hands. Show me your hands. Drop it. Drop it.”

As the boy turns and lifts his hands, a single shot rings out and he collapses. The boy, Adam Toledo, was killed. He was 13.

Release of the officer’s body camera footage set off a fresh round of consternation over police conduct in Chicago, even as it stirred debate over what the images — grainy and graphic — actually showed.

Activists announced protests against police abuse for downtown Chicago, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot called for calm.

Adam, who lived in Chicago’s Little Village, a predominantly Latino neighbourhood on the city’s West Side, was one of the youngest people killed by police in Illinois in years.

Adeena Weiss Ortiz, a lawyer representing the Toledo family, said at a news conference Thursday that the video shows that Adam, who was Latino and a seventh-grader at Gary Elementary School, was attempting to comply with the officer’s orders.

“He tossed the gun,” she said. “If he had a gun, he tossed it. The officer said, ‘Show me your hands.’ He complied. He turned around.”

The key events took place in a matter of one second. In an analysis, The New York Times slowed down the police video, as well as another of the 21 videos released by authorities.

As the officer, identified in police reports as Eric Stillman, 34, fires the single shot, Adam is raising his arms and appears to be empty-handed. At the moment before the shooting, the Times’ analysis shows, Adam can be seen holding what appears to be a gun behind his back, which he drops behind a wooden fence just before he raises his hands.

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