The Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountability has released graphic and disturbing police body cam videos showing the shooting death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo. You can watch the main video below and get a link to all of the released documents and videos.
The release comes after a prosecutor who said Toledo had a gun in his hand when shot was admittedly “not fully informed,” according to WGN-TV.
The videos appear to show Toledo dropping a gun and raising his hands when he was shot. Police said previously that they recovered a 9MM Ruger along a fence near the shooting, and they released a photo of it. The officer is identified in the reports as Eric Stillman. Read about Stillman here.
The videos are somewhat at a distance and it all happens quickly, but others also believe that Toledo had just dropped the weapon when shot. The Chicago Tribune’s Jason Meisner also wrote of a second video in the release batch: “Surveillance video released today appears to show Adam Toledo toss a gun (later recovered) beside a fence and turn toward the officer as he gets shot. It all happens in a second.”
What’s this in Adam’s right hand? Is this what we think it is? pic.twitter.com/cHu1rJSSjy
— wyatt (@wyattsheepie) April 15, 2021
According to ABC7, police say that the gun “is visible in one frame in Toledo’s right hand, down at his side” in the videos.
Surveillance video released today appears to show Adam Toledo toss a gun (later recovered) beside a fence and turn toward the officer as he gets show. It all happens in a second. https://t.co/sH3At1ABq3 pic.twitter.com/SDt3HPQNSn
— Jason Meisner (@jmetr22b) April 15, 2021
“A 13-year-old boy appears to have dropped a gun and raised his hands just before a Chicago Police officer fatally shot him,” Fox40 reported.
You can watch the videos for yourself below.
The shooting occurred in March, 2021, in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot held a news conference in advance of the video release to plead for calm. “Look, I don’t want to get into the real substance of this because the independent investigation is going on, but I’ve seen no evidence whatsoever that Adam Toledo shot at the police,” Lightfoot said in the news conference. She called the videos “incredibly difficult to watch.”
Yes he did. In his right hand. He tossed it behind the fence as he turned to face the officer.
Not judging the officer's actions. But the boy certainly had a gun in his hands. pic.twitter.com/luKCHpnT69
— Christian Delante (@DelanteMedia) April 15, 2021
You can watch all of the videos here and obtain investigative case reports at the website as well. The caption with the released videos and documents says, “This post includes all relevant video, audio and Chicago Police Department records in COPA’s possession that are required to be released related to use of force in this fatal officer-involved shooting and the events immediately following it.” Be forewarned that the videos are extremely graphic.
— Sam Charles (@samjcharles) April 15, 2021
Here’s what you need to know:
The First Video Shows the Shooting of Toledo
The first video, which you can watch above, shows the officer shooting Toledo at about 2 minutes in. It’s titled, BWC 1 | Shooting Officer. The officer yells, “Hey show me your f***ing hands, drop it.”
This surveillance video shows the shooting from a farther distance.
Outrage spread quickly on Twitter in some corners, but others pointed out the split-second between Toledo appearing to have the gun and then his hands being empty.
Kid had his hands up. No gun. pic.twitter.com/Why7ZyFsf6
— Little Caesars Has Fallen (@lib_crusher) April 15, 2021
He stopped running
He had his hands up
He complied with the officer's orders
He was shot
Justice for Adam Toledo
— Bebop The Socialist Cop (@BebopOtt) April 15, 2021
Others also believed you could see Toledo dropping the gun before raising his hand as the officer fires with it all happening in a split second.
Then dropped and hands went up. pic.twitter.com/e8pRzydAbl
— 1 lot hero (@1_lot_hero) April 15, 2021
Toledo’s family issued a joint statement with the mayor asking people to respond peacefully to the videos’ release. “Yesterday, the City of Chicago’s Corporation Counsel, Celia Meza, met with Adeena Weiss Ortiz and Joel Hirschhorn, legal representatives for the Toledo family,” the statement read. “Based on the Civilian Office of Police Accountability’s announcement that it will be releasing the videos, both parties agree that all material should be released, including a slowed-down compilation of the events of March 29 that resulted in the tragic death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo.”
A Prosecutor Initially Said Toledo Had a Gun in His Hand But the Office Now Says That’s Inaccurate
According to WGN-TV, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy made the comment about the gun in a proffer presented during a bond hearing for a 21-year-old man who was with Toledo the night he was shot.“The officer tells [Toledo] to drop it as [Toledo] turns towards the officer. [Toledo] has a gun in his right hand,” he wrote.
WGN sought more information and is now reporting that the state’s attorney’s office “says the detail about Adam having a gun in his hand the moment he was shot was inaccurate.”
COPA wrote in a news release that the videos were the same as those reviewed by Toledo’s family.
According to Block Club Chicago, another video shows Toledo with Ruben Roman, 21, who is accused of firing shots “at a target that is out of view.” Shortly thereafter, the officer starts chasing Toledo.