Chicago Police Officer Shoots 13-Year-Old Boy Dead; Mayor Calls for Release of Video Evidence

An unnamed police officer in Chicago has been placed on administrative duty after fatally shooting a 13-year-old white boy named Adam Toledo. The officer and his colleague had responded to reports of gunfire at Little Village, a large Hispanic community on the West Side, around 2 a.m. Police officers saw Toledo and another kid at an alley, and they pursued them when the kids fled on sighting them.

Police spokesman Tom Ahern said one of the officers shot one of the youths during an “armed confrontation” and Toledo died at the scene. A handgun was recovered from the scene and this was shown on Twitter. But Toledo’s mate was ultimately arrested and currently in police custody. The Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) is investigating the matter and promised transparency and accountability to the public after concluding the investigations.

“COPA is committed to a full and thorough investigation into the officer’s use of deadly force to determine if their actions were in accordance with Department policy and training and ask for the public’s patience,” the organization wrote.

Chicago Police Superintendent, David Brown, expressed sadness at the event, saying he had always feared for a deadly encounter between a police officer and a youth. Adding that active-duty officers are always faced with the split-second decision to use deadly force in armed encounters, he stated that his fears became a reality with Toledo’s death at the hand of an officer.

Superintendent Brown urged COPA to release video footage of the encounter to the public so that everyone can know what actually transpired. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot who has a 13-year-old daughter also tasked COPA with releasing video evidence of the killing. She said Toledo’s family would want to know what happened to their boy and a bodycam video would answer their questions.

“Because his family and the public will undoubtedly have many questions, we must release any relevant videos as soon as possible,” Lightfoot stated. “Recognizing that these are the most complex cases that COPA investigates, transparency and speed are crucial.”

COPA said they will release the video footage of what happened in accordance with Chicago’s Video Release Policy. The organization said a court order would be required to release the video given that Toledo was a kid, but that the video could be released within 60 days of the unfortunate event. COPA also said they are “currently making every effort and researching all legal avenues that will allow for the public release of all video materials which capture the tragic fatal shooting” of the teenager.

As of March 28, there were 129 murders in Chicago, above the 97 that was recorded within the same period in 2020. Within the same time, 565 gun shootings were recorded, against the 407 recorded in 2020.