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Chicago review board releases body cam footage of fatal police shooting of 13-year-old boy

Chicago's independent police review board on Thursday released the body camera footage of an officer's fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo on March 29.

The big picture: Tension continues to rise nationwide in response to police misconduct and racism. Thursday's footage release comes days after officer Kim Potter fatally shot Daunte Wright in a traffic stop near Minneapolis, where the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former police officer accused of murdering George Floyd, is ongoing.


Details: The video released by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability shows an officer chasing Toledo, who was Latino, on foot down an alley in Little Village, a predominantly Latino and Black neighborhood on the city’s West Side.

  • After several seconds, the officer yells, “Police! Stop! Stop right (expletive) now!” As Toledo slows down, the officer shouts, “Hands! Hands! Show me your (expletive) hands!”
  • After the officer catches up to the teenager, Toledo turns toward the camera and the officer yells: “Drop it!”
  • While repeating that command, the officer fires a single round and Toledo immediately falls to the ground, holding his chest.
  • The officer then approaches him and radios for an ambulance for a gunshot victim, noting the shots fired were from the police.
  • After the officer performed chest compressions on the teen and other officers arrived on the scene, the video shows the officer who fired the shot shining a light on a handgun on the ground near Toledo after he was shot.

What they're saying: “We live in a city that is traumatized by a long history of police violence and misconduct,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said during a news conference Thursday before the video was released, according to AP.

  • “No family should ever have a video broadcast widely of their child’s last moments, much less be placed in the terrible situation of losing their child in the first place,” she added.
  • “So while we don’t have enough information to be the judge and jury of this particular situation, it is certainly understandable why so many of our residents are feeling that all too familiar surge of outrage and pain."
  • "It is even clearer that trust between our community and law enforcement is far from healed and remains badly broken.”

Lightfoot asked the public to remain peaceful and reserve judgment until the board completes its investigation into the shooting, according to AP.

  • The mayor declined to say whether the video showed the teen holding a firearm when he was shot, but she called a prosecutor’s recent assertion that Toledo had a gun when he was shot "correct."
  • "I see no evidence whatsoever that Adam Toledo shot at police," Lightfoot added Thursday.
  • Law enforcement claimed after the shooting that a handgun the boy had been carrying was recovered at the scene and a 21-year-old man, who authorities said also fled on foot after being confronted by police, was arrested.
  • The 21-year-old man appeared in a Cook County courtroom last Saturday and was charged with felony reckless discharge, unlawful use of a weapon and child endangerment.

Zoom out: "Chicago, like other American cities, has struggled to stem a surge in shootings during the coronavirus pandemic. In the first quarter of 2021, there were 131 homicides, the most violent start to a year since 2017," the New York Times writes.

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