CHICAGO — Activists on Friday marched to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s home to protest the deadly police shooting of a 13-year-old boy. The rally also served as a vigil to pay tribute to Adam Toledo, who was fatally shot by an officer early Monday morning.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability said Friday that, after re-examining state privacy laws, it would release bodycam footage of a CPD officer shooting and killing Adam in Little Village. The release of the video will come only after the boy’s family has the opportunity to view it first, COPA said.
Policy states that COPA release video within 60 days of an incident.
Adam was shot and killed by an officer in the 2300 block of South Sawyer Avenue shortly after 2:30 a.m. Monday after a ShotSpotter alert signaled police to gunfire in the area. In a preliminary statement, police officials said officers from the CPD’s Ogden District arrived at the scene and saw two males in a nearby alley.
The boy’s mother said she wasn’t notified of Adam’s death for two days, and she thought he was missing. At a press conference she said she just wants to know what happened to her child.
After a foot chase, an officer shot Adam once in the chest during an “armed confrontation.” The boy was pronounced dead at the scene. A 21-year-old man who was with Adam at the time was arrested after the shooting, and a police spokesman said a gun was recovered at the scene.
It remains unclear, though, exactly what city leaders knew about the shooting and when. Typically, bodycam footage of police shootings is reviewed by leaders of the CPD within hours of the shooting’s occurrence. CPD sources told WGN that CPD Supt. David Brown has been in Texas for several days in advance of the Easter holiday, and a department spokesman refused to respond to questions about Brown’s travel plans or when he would return to Chicago.
However, in the department’s first statement on the shooting, the CPD neglected to disclose Adam’s age and the age of the other man who was arrested. It wasn’t until Thursday that the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office released Adam’s age.
The Toledo family wants to uncover the truth and believe there’s more to the story than what has been released by the department.
“They had a lot of options, but not kill him,” mother Elizabeth Toledo said. “I just want to know what really happened to my baby.”
Lightfoot and Brown both issued statements Thursday — more than two days after the shooting occurred — calling for the bodycam footage to be released, despite the fact that the footage is already in the city’s custody.
COPA initially said it would not release the bodycam footage because Toledo was younger than 18 when he died. However, the agency issued another statement Thursday saying that it was explore legal avenues to see that the footage was eventually released.
A CPD spokesman told WGN that Adam’s mother reported the boy missing on Friday, March 26. The next day, she told police that he returned home, and the missing person alert was canceled. However, according to the CPD, Adam’s mother told police that her son left home again on March 27, though she didn’t file another missing person report.
Though the boy was killed early Monday, detectives at first struggled to learn his identity, according to a CPD spokesman. Eventually, an investigator checked through recent missing person reports — both opened and closed — and noticed similar characteristics between the boy killed by police and Adam.
Detectives contacted Adam mother again on Wednesday, and she met police at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office, where she then identified her son’s remains, according to the CPD.