• Wed. May 12th, 2021


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Chicago to Release Video of Deadly Police Shooting of 13-Year-Old Adam Toledo

The Chicago police said that officers were called shortly after 2:30 a.m. on March 29 to an address in the Little Village, a heavily Latino neighborhood on Chicago’s west side, responding to reports of gunfire. The officers saw two people in an alley and started chasing them.

One, a 21-year-old man, was arrested, the authorities said. An officer pursuing Adam fired his gun once, striking him in the chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Soon after the shooting, police officials described an “armed confrontation” and shared a photograph on social media of a firearm resting on the ground.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability said initially that although the shooting had been captured by the officer’s body camera, it would not make the footage public. The agency said it was abiding by a longstanding practice of not releasing video in cases involving minors, but that 911 calls and police reports, among other evidence related to the case, would be released within 60 days of the shooting. Nothing about the identity of the officers has been released.

Pressure to share the video quickly intensified from activists and City Hall.

“We’re going to be out here every day until that tape is released,” Enrique Enriquez, a resident of the Little Village neighborhood, said during a vigil last week.

Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, said in a series of posts on Twitter that “we must release any relevant videos as soon as possible,” adding that “transparency and speed are crucial” in an investigation as sensitive as this one. Ms. Lightfoot was criticized and later apologized in December after her administration attempted to block the airing of body camera footage from a botched police raid.

“As a mother of a 13-year-old myself, I can only imagine the incredible pain this boy’s parents are experiencing at this moment. My heart goes out to them,” Ms. Lightfoot said on Thursday, adding, “The facts and the circumstances around this case are under investigation, but we must ask ourselves how our social safety net failed this boy leading up to the tragic events in the early hours of Monday morning.”

David O. Brown, the Chicago police superintendent, also urged investigators to release as much video as the law would allow. He said that a fatal encounter between an officer and a minor had been “my greatest fear,” and he noted a rise in violence involving juveniles in the city.