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Video Of Police Shooting 13-Year-Old Adam Toledo To Be Released Thursday

The city has prepared for potential unrest in the wake of the video’s release, though memorials and protests in Toledo's honor have been peaceful.

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CHICAGO — Videos from the night police shot and killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo will be released Thursday, a city agency confirmed.

The videos come from body cameras worn by police when an officer fatally shot Toledo on March 29 in Little Village. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability — which is investigating the shooting — will also release third-party video, transmission from the city’s Office of Emergency Communications, ShotSpotter recordings, case incident information and tactical response and arrest reports.

People will be able to view that material online come Thursday, according to COPA.

COPA initially said it would not release video of the shooting due to Toledo’s age — but, amid mounting pressure, the agency reversed course and said it would release videos within 60 days. The office first invited Toledo’s family to watch the videos, which they did Tuesday.

The family asked COPA to delay releasing the videos, but officials said they would still come out.

After viewing the footage on Tuesday, attorneys Adeena Weiss Ortiz and Joel Hirschhorn said “the experience was extremely difficult and heartbreaking for everyone present and especially for Adam’s family.”

The attorneys did not disclose what the family saw on the video, but they said they are conducting their own investigation into his death “as we seek justice for Adam and his family.”

Credit: GoFundMe
Elizabeth Toledo with her son, 13-year-old Adam Toledo.

Toledo, a seventh-grader at Gary Elementary School, was laid to rest on Friday. His family thanked Little Village community members for the outpouring of support they have received since his death.

“Adam’s memory can best be honored by refraining from violence and working constructively for reform,” the attorneys said.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday she has seen the videos. She would not comment on what they show, but she said there are multiple videos.

Before Lightfoot saw the videos, she said someone described what they showed to her. In a news conference April 5, she repeatedly said Toledo had a gun.

Toledo’s family is “still, critically, in the throes of grief,” Lightfoot said Wednesday. “I want to be respectful of the family, but I also do think something like a police-involved shooting, particularly under these circumstances, it’s important for us to be transparent.”

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Mourners gather in Little Village in honor of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, shot and killed by Chicago Police on March 29.

Peaceful protests and memorials have been organized to honor Toledo and to call for police to be held accountable. Two protests were staged Tuesday and Wednesday Downtown.

“There have been too many Black and Brown lives taken at the mercy of the Chicago Police Department — and we need this to stop now. We are tired of this continuing to happen,” said Jaqueline Herrera, Violence Prevention director at Enlace in Little Village.

Little Village resident Ana Solano, who attended a balloon release for Toledo April 5, said, “It’s important to celebrate [Toledo’s] life and not just point fingers.”

The city has prepared for potential unrest in the wake of the video’s release. More police have been stationed Downtown and large trucks have been prepared to block neighborhood commercial strips to protect businesses from looting like that experienced last summer.

In a phone call with Little Village leaders Wednesday, city officials urged community members to help “keep the peace.” 

The officer who shot Toledo has been placed on administrative duties for 30 days, which is “routine protocol,” Supt. David Brown previously said. COPA is investigating and Lightfoot said she has urged the agency to be “expeditious.”

Lightfoot also said the Police Department will reform its foot chase policy, which endangers officers and community members.

Police have said the shooting happened about 2:30 a.m. March 29 in the 2300 block of South Sawyer.

Officers were responding to a ShotSpotter alert of eight shots fired in the 2300 block of South Sawyer Avenue when they saw two “males” in an alley, and one of them had a gun, Supt. David Brown said Monday. The officers chased, “which resulted in an armed confrontation,” Brown said.

An officer shot once, fatally hitting Toledo in his chest, police said.

Brown has repeatedly refused to answer questions about which of the “males” had a gun. Prosecutors have said Toledo was holding a gun and was told twice to “drop it” before the police officer shot him.

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