The attorney for Adam Toledo’s family said the 13-year-old did not have a gun in his hand when he was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer.
The family was not present for a press conference late Thursday afternoon in La Grange Park. The attorney said the family is going through a lot of pain after seeing the body cam video of the shooting, which was released to the public by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability on Thursday.
“(It was) especially moving, saddening, distressful to see a 13 year old boy shot at the hands of the officer,” she said. “For those of you with children you can relate to some of the pain that the Toledos’ are feeling today.”
The body camera video that shows the shooting begins with about 1 minute and 45 seconds of the officer driving to the scene in the Little Village neighborhood before exiting his vehicle and running down an alley.
“Police, stop! Stop right f***ing now,” the officer can be heard yelling as Adam appears to pause near a fence bordering a parking lot at the end of the alley. Toledo is then seen turning toward the officer with his hands up.
The officer can be heard yelling, “Hey show me your f***ing hands, drop it, drop it,” firing one shot as Adam turns and puts his hands up, just under 20 seconds after the officer exited his vehicle.
As Adam turns and raises his hands, he’s illuminated by a flashing light and the body camera footage appears to show that both of the boy’s hands are empty.
“Those videos speak for themselves,” she said. “Adam during his last second of life did not have a gun in his hand.”
A surveillance video from across the parking lot, though recorded from a distance, appears to show Adam make a tossing motion with his right hand behind the fence before turning to face the approaching officer. It was at that time that the officer fired.
“This is why I want to be especially clear right now that that child comply at the officer’s request, dropped the gun, turned around, the officer’s saw his hands were up and pulled the trigger,” he said.
The Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney said Toledo had a gun in his right hand when he was shot by police during a bond hearing for 21 year old Ruben Roman over the weekend.
A spokesperson for the SAO walked those comments back on Thursday.
“An attorney who works in this office failed to fully inform himself before speaking in court,” a spokesperson for the office said in a statement in response to questions over whether or not the teen was in fact holding a gun at the time of the shooting. “Errors like that cannot happen and this has been addressed with the individual involved. The video speaks for itself.”
Speaking on behalf of Toledo’s family, attorney Adeena Weiss Ortiz said the body cam video was hard for the family to watch.
Surveillance video from Farragut High School provides a different angle of the shooting. The family’s attorney believes Toledo tossed the gun behind the fence before turning to face the officer.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office are conducting investigations of the shooting. The attorney said right now the family just wants justice for Adam.
“I don’t know if the officer had enough time or not all I know is that the officer’s trained to not shoot an unharmed individual not shoot an unharmed child,” she said.