DOWNTOWN — Former Rep. Luis Gutierrez wants Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to apologize to the Latino community after video of Adam Toledo’s shooting contradicted statements a prosecutor made in court.
At a Sunday news conference Downtown, Gutierrez criticized Foxx, saying her office perpetuated a false narrative when Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said Toledo was shot during an “armed confrontation” and had a gun when police officer Eric Stillman shot him.
Videos released April 15 show the shooting, which happened March 29 in a Little Village alley. They appear to show Toledo tossed a gun moments before being killed, and his hands were up and empty when Stillman fatally shot him.
But during an April 10 bond hearing for Ruben Roman, the 21-year-old who police allege was with Toledo that night, Murphy said Toledo was holding a gun when he turned toward the officer before Stillman shot him.
Just before videos of the shooting were made public, a spokesperson for the State’s Attorney’s Office said Murphy was wrong about that detail in court.
“I am disappointed in your explanation of the misleading description propagated by one of your top lieutenants,” Gutierrez said, addressing Foxx. “Your office turned a 13-year-old boy into a gun and effectively silenced many of us in our communities. You silenced us, muzzled us.”
The former congressman, who served the 4th District of Illinois for 26 years and is known for championing Latino rights, said he wants an apology from Foxx’s office, which waited five days to correct its description of the shooting.
Officials said Murphy was placed on administrative leave last week after he “failed to fully present the facts surrounding the death of the 13-year-old boy,” according to a spokesperson for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. The Sun-Times first reported Murphy was placed on administrative leave.
Gutierrez, who in 2015 condemned former State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez‘s handling of the Laquan McDonald case, said it’s shameful Foxx has not yet watched the Toledo video, as she told the Tribune on Thursday.
“You came into office because your predecessor hid a video of Laquan McDonald, and now you take this very cavalier attitude that you aren’t even going to watch it?” Gutierrez said. “You turned your back on all of us seeking justice in the city.”
Gutierrez said this inaction by Foxx shows she does not care about the Latino community and the Toledo case is not important to her.
In an interview with the Sun-Times Thursday, Foxx acknowledged she should have known what Murphy was going to say in court and took responsibility for the error. But Gutierrez said that’s not enough to regain the trust of Chicago’s Latino community.
“The road ahead to regain [her] trust is a steep hill to climb,” he said. “If she had people from that community working around her, I know they would have brought [the video] to her.”
Gutierrez said he plans to call Foxx’s office Monday morning and ask for a meeting to discuss ways she can better reach the Latino community. One way is to have more Latino staff members on her team to increase representation, he said.
“Start right now, start sending your state’s attorneys out there to mentor people,” he told Block Club about Foxx. “There are great Latino lawyers in the city of Chicago — I’m sure some of them can become bureau chiefs and start leading.”
Gutierrez’s demands echo those of activists from Little Village, who want Murphy to resign and want Foxx to charge Stillman with murder. A lawyer for Stillman said he doesn’t expect the officer to be charged with a crime.
Stillman has been placed on administrative duties for 30 days. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating the shooting.
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