CHICAGO – The family of 13-year-old Adam Toledo has requested the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) to not immediately release bodycam footage of the deadly police shooting of the boy.
The announcement comes after the Toledo family viewed the video for the first time on Tuesday evening at COPA headquarters.
Just after 7:50 p.m. Tuesday, COPA released the following statement. In it, COPA says the agency will not immediately release the footage as the family continues to grieve. However, they told family COPA must comply with Chicago’s video release policy and release it eventually.
“COPA has advised family representatives that, while it is acutely sensitive to the family’s grief and their desire to avoid public release of materials related to Adam’s tragic death, COPA is mandated to comply with the City’s Video Release Policy,” part of the statement reads.
Today the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) provided the Toledo family an opportunity to view video and other materials of the March 29, 2021 fatal officer-involved shooting of 13-year old Adam Toledo. Over the last two-weeks, COPA has maintained regular contact with the family and its representatives during this sensitive time to expedite todays viewing in coordination with their availability.
At the request of the Toledo family, today COPA will not immediately release video and other materials as the family continues to grieve their loss. COPA has advised family representatives that, while it is acutely sensitive to the family’s grief and their desire to avoid public release of materials related to Adam’s tragic death, COPA is mandated to comply with the City’s Video Release Policy.
While COPA is in the very early stages of this investigation, interviews of witnesses; civilian and law enforcement officers are ongoing. Investigators have obtained police reports, ShotSpotter, OEMC transmission and 911 call, audio recordings and other relevant evidence.
COPA is committed to completing a full, thorough and objective investigation of the entire incident which includes not only the officer’s use of deadly force but also the actions of other involved officers leading up to and following the deadly shooting to determine whether each officers’ actions complied with Department policy directives and training.
At this time, it’s unknown when exactly the video will be released.
Attorneys for the Toledo family released a statement after the viewing thanking COPA, Chicago authorities and the community as they continue to conduct their own investigation.
“Adam’s memory can best be honored by refraining from violence and working constructively for reform,” they said.
City officials have been preparing for the release for days, but only after the family sees it.
Adam Toledo was laid to rest on Friday and family said they appreciate support and respect shown towards them during this time.
Around 2:30 a.m. on March 29, police were dispatched to the 2300 block of South Sawyer after a ShotSpotter detected eight gunshots nearby. Adam and a 21-year-old man, later identified as Ruben Roman, ran off as officers arrived, according to Roman’s bond proffer.
According to the proffer, Roman and Adam were fleeing together in the alley when both officers exited their vehicle and began a foot pursuit.
Roman was then taken to the ground and detained, dropping a pair of red gloves to the ground that later tested positive for gunshot residue.
The other officer at the scene continued to chase Adam down the alley after calls to stop. Adam then stopped near a break in a wooden fence with his left side facing the officer and his right hand at his right side.
According to the proffer, the officer tells Adam to drop the gun in his right hand, later found to have belonged to Roman, as he turned towards the officer.
The officer fired one shot towards Adam, fatally striking him in the chest. The gun in Adam’s hand landed against the fence a few feet away from where he was standing.
The officer immediately requested emergency assistance and began chest compressions before Adam was pronounced dead at the scene.
Adam’s identity was not released until days later.