DOWNTOWN — Little Village activists are demanding Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx file murder charges against Eric Stillman, the police officer who killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo in a Little Village alley last month.
Gathered outside Foxx’s office Thursday, they also called for the resignation of Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy as video of Toledo’s shooting appears to contradict statements the prosecutor previously made in court. The prosecutor said Toledo was holding a gun when he was shot, but video appears to show Toledo was empty-handed.
Baltazar Enriquez, president of the Little Village Community Council, said Foxx’s office disrespected the Toledo family and the community by allowing the errant statement to be made in court.
“It was a blatant lie,” Enriquez said.
Enriquez called on the State’s Attorney’s Office to take the case seriously and not turn it “into a joke.”
“We are not playing games, charge the officer now,” he said.
Last week, graphic videos were released showing Stillman, a Chicago police officer, fatally shooting Toledo as he raised his hands in a Little Village alley March 29. The videos sparked outrage in Chicago and nationally, leading to protests.
During a bond hearing for Ruben Roman, the 21-year-old who police allege was with Toledo that night, prosecutor Murphy said Toledo was holding a gun when he turned toward the officer before Stillman shot him.
But just before the body cam videos were made public, a spokesperson for the State’s Attorney’s Office said Murphy was wrong about that detail in court. Video appears to show Toledo tossing the gun behind the fence moments before he was shot.
Immediately after commanding Toledo to show his hands, Stillman shot the boy at close distance. Toledo’s hands were raised when he was shot, the footage shows.
“An attorney who works in this office failed to fully inform himself before speaking in court,” Sarah Sinovic, a spokesperson for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, said in a statement. “The video speaks for itself.”
Sinovic did not say why it took prosecutors five days after Murphy made the statement in court to correct that information.
Officials confirmed Murphy was placed on administrative leave last week after he “failed to fully present the facts surrounding the death of the a 13-year-old boy,” Sinovic said. The Sun-Times first reported Murphy was placed on administrative leave.
The State’s Attorney’s Office is “conducting an internal investigation into the matter,” Sinvoic said.
Asked about the demands of Little Village activists, Sinovic did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.
But Foxx told the Tribune on Thursday she had not seen the Toldeo video or read the details prepared by prosecutors ahead of the Roman court hearing.
Foxx told the Tribune her office has taken the past week to “figure out who should have flagged it, what the discrepancy was, why the discrepancy was made and what happened along the chain to allow this to happen.”
Prosecutors are still assessing whether Stillman will face charges, according to the report.
Meanwhile, outside Foxx’s office, the small group of activists said they filed complaints against Foxx and Murphy with the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission.
Kristian Armendariz, a youth organizer with the Little Village Community Council, demanded accountability and “justice for Adam Toledo.”
Stillman has been placed on administrative duties for 30 days. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating the shooting.
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