Politics

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Urges Calm as Police Footage of Shooting of 13-Year Old Adam Toledo Is Released

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is urging calm as the Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountability moves to release bodycam footage from the March 29 shooting death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo.

The materials related to Toledo’s March 29 shooting death will include footage from body-worn cameras, third-party video and other recordings, COPA said Wednesday in a news release.

Toledo died of a gunshot wound to his chest, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. Officers responded to an area on Chicago’s West Side after learning that gunshots were detected by police-operated technology. Toledo and a 21-year-old man fled on foot when confronted by police and an officer shot the teen once, authorities said. The department described it as an armed confrontation.

A handgun the teen was carrying was recovered at the scene, police said. Prosecutors allege that Toledo had gun residue on his hand.

This hearkens back to the 2014 Laquan McDonald officer-involved shooting, a 17-year old Black kid who was shot 16 times by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke. Then-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, the Chicago Police Department, and the District Attorney’s office appeared to drag their feet in releasing the bodycam footage. When the video footage was released over a year later, it sparked unrest and protests, but nowhere near what is occurring in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota and other cities across the nation.

No doubt, this current tinder-box state is what Lightfoot fears.

Mayor Lightfoot was covered in the Chicago Sun-Times:

Hours before the release of a shooting video she called “incredibly difficult to watch, particularly at the end,” Lightfoot choked back tears as she urged Chicagoans to stay calm and reserve judgement until the Civilian Office of Police Accountability completes its investigation.

An emotional Mayor Lori Lightfoot acknowledged Thursday that Chicago “failed” 13-year-old Adam Toledo and vowed to use his death at the hands of police as a catalyst to provide constructive alternatives for teenagers like him.

“Simply put, we failed Adam. And we cannot afford to fail one more young person in our city. . . . We must do more to help children like Adam before they end up in encounters like this one,” the mayor said.

“Sometimes, the streets are every bit as seductive and powerful as a narcotic. Families do everything they can — moms, dads, grandparents — to love and support their children. But they’re fighting against powerful, powerful forces. We’ve got to give them the tools that they need to be able to support and keep their children from harm.”




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