The Civilian Office of Police Accountability has released officer body camera footage in the fatal Chicago shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo.
In the clip, an officer chases down Adam Toledo and yells at him to stop. The 13-year-old stops, looks at the officer and seemingly begins raising his hands, then drops to the ground after a shot is fired by the police.
“Shots fired, shots fired, get an ambulance down here now,” the officer said.
The disturbing footage shows him succumbing to the gunshot wound. The clip appears to show that Toledo was not in posession of a weapon at the time of the shooting. It took the officer less than 20 seconds after getting out of his car to shoot the child.
In a statement, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability specified the video has “not been edited in any form, however redactions protecting personal and private identifying information have been made.” The COPA is asking for “calm and peace following today’s release.”
The graphic body camera footage is available to view here, but viewer discretion is advised.
The Toledo family viewed the body camera video before it was publicly released. The footage was not immediately made public due to the family’s wishes, but the COPA said it must comply with the city’s video release policy. “COPA has advised family representatives that, while it is acutely sensitive to the family’s grief and their desire to avoid public release of materials related to Adam’s tragic death, COPA is mandated to comply with the City’s Video Release Policy,” a statement reads.
In a press conference ahead of the release of the footage, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the body camera video was “incredibly difficult to watch.” She added, “As more people see this footage, I want to ask that everyone tuning in right now think first and foremost of Adam Toledo and what his family is enduring every single day since they’ve learned of his passing.”
Police were called to the Little Village neighborhood on the Southwest Side in the early hours of March 29, citing reports of gunfire from a ShotSpotter. Toledo was with 21-year-old Ruben Roman at the time of the shooting. Toledo was shot and killed by a Chicago officer, with police officials maintaining the shooting followed an “armed confrontation.” The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office claimed during a court hearing last weekend that Toledo had a gun in his hand at the time of the shooting.
Ruben Roman is facing felony charges of unlawful use and reckless discharge of a firearm, child endangerment, and violating probation. Police indicated he fired seven or eight shots while standing next to Adam Toledo, and they both ran when the officers arrived. Roman was arrested, and gave police a fake name for the 13-year-old.
Adam Toledo was first reported missing by his mother Elizabeth Toledo on Friday, March 26. He had returned home the following day, but Elizabeth did not report that to authorities. Officers later called the home to check on the missing person report, and he went missing again late on March 27 or early March 28, but a report was not filed. On March 31 detectives called Elizabeth Toledo again to say her description of her son matched an unidentified person in the morgue.