Emotional Lightfoot calls for peace as COPA releases Toledo footage

Chicago News

CHICAGO —  Mayor Lori Lightfoot spoke Thursday afternoon ahead of the release of police video that shows Chicago officers fatally shooting 13-year-old Adam Toledo.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability released video footage Thursday afternoon of the deadly shooting. The mayor said she has seen the videos and they were “incredibly difficult to watch.”

“…I say that as a mother of a 13-year-old myself but as a mayor who is passionate about protecting our young people,” the mayor said at a noon press conference.

Lightfoot, who at times during the press conference became emotional, said that everyone who views the video needs to proceed with peace, empathy and calmness.

NOTE: WGN has edited the video in this story to stop at the moment just before 13-year-old Adam Toledo is shot. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

Thursday morning, Lightfoot released a joint statement with the Toledo family and the family’s attorney that read in part:

We acknowledge that the release of this video is the first step in the process toward the healing of the family, the community and our city. We understand that the release of this video will be incredibly painful and elicit an emotional response to all who view it, and we ask that people express themselves peacefully.    

COPA’s investigation is ongoing as we seek to determine the full facts in this case. To that end, we call for full cooperation with COPA. We remain committed to working together toward reform. We ask that you continue to respect the Toledo family’s privacy during this incredibly painful and difficult time. 

“As more people see this footage, I want to ask that everyone tuning in right now to think first and foremost of Adam Toledo and what his family is enduring every single day since they’ve learned of his passing,” the mayor said.

Adam was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer in the early hours of March 29 in the Little Village neighborhood on the Southwest Side. Officers were called to the area after a ShotSpotter detected gunfire nearby.

Police officials said the shooting followed an “armed confrontation,” and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said during a court hearing last weekend that Adam had a gun in his hand when he was shot.

The boy’s family viewed the video footage at COPA’s office on Wednesday. A representative for Adam’s family didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Along with police bodyworn camera footage, COPA also released third-party video, police radio transmissions, ShotSpotter recordings and CPD incident reports, Eaddy said in a statement.

“No parent should ever have a video broadcast widely of their child’s last moments,” Lightfoot said.

The mayor said “we have failed Adam,” and said there are too many young people in Chicago who have been left vulnerable by systemic failures that the city needs to face.

Around 2:30 a.m. on March 29, police were dispatched to the area near the 2300 block of South Sawyer after a ShotSpotter detected eight gunshots nearby, and Adam and a 21-year-old man ran off as officers arrived.

Two responding officers chased Adam and another man — identified by police and prosecutors as Ruben Roman — into the alley in the 2300 block of South Spaulding near Farragut Career Academy High School.

Prosecutors said Adam had a gun in his hand while in that alley, where the officer fatally shot the 13-year-old.

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