Video footage released Thursday by Chicago officials shows what happened in the final moments of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, who was fatally shot by a Chicago police officer responding to a shots fired call last month.
The boy appears to have both hands empty and arms raised in the moment he was hit with a single shot to his chest, but still images show he appears to have been holding a gun just a moment before.
What are the details?
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability, a police watchdog, released extensive footage along with original documentation to the public. The video showing Toledo’s death is extremely graphic and disturbing, and is taken from the body camera of the officer who shot the teen.
At around 2:30 a.m. on March 29, officers responded to a report of eight shots being fired in the Little Village neighborhood, when they encountered Toledo and then-21-year-old Ruben Roman, CBS News reported. Both Toledo and Roman attempted to flee.
In the bodycam footage, Roman is tackled by one officer while another takes chase after the fleeing 13-year-old.
The officer can be seen chasing Toledo down an alley at around 2:38 a.m., yelling to the teen, “Stop! Stop right f***ing now!”
Toledo stops and turns toward the officer, who then yells, “Show me your f***ing hands,” then “Drop it!” before firing the shot.
WGN-TV reported video stills of the fast-moving footage shows that the 13-year-old “appears to have dropped a gun and raised his hands just before” he was shot. The outlet shared a video released by Chicago police showing the sequence of events that night in chronological order.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the bodycam video doesn’t show Toledo “throwing away the gun, and the boy doesn’t appear to be holding a weapon in his raised hands…but another video shows him apparently throwing something through a gap in the fence to the other side — and a video shows an officer discovering a handgun there.”
USA Today reported that Toledo “can be seen tossing what appeared to be a gun behind the fence as he slows down, according to surveillance video shot from across a parking lot,” and that “the video shows the gun coming to rest on the backside of the fence.”
An attorney for the Toledo family emphasized that in the moment the teen was killed, he was complying with police and did not have a weapon in his hands. Adeena Weiss Ortiz called for justice in the officer-involved shooting, saying, “If you’re shooting an unarmed child with his hands in the air, it is an assassination.”
According to BuzzFeed, the attorney said, “”Adam, during his last seconds of life did not have a gun in his hand. His hands were empty when he was shot in the chest at the hands of the officer. He did not have a gun in his hand, contrary to the reports made earlier today.”
She added, “It could be a gun, I’m not going to deny that it could be a gun. It is not relevant because he tossed the gun. If he had a gun, he tossed it. The officer said, ‘Show me your hands.’ He complied. He turned around.”
The Sun-Times reported that the officer involved in the shooting “is a recipient of the superintendent’s award of tactical excellence and 47 other commendations, and he has a military background.” The outlet noted that it will not release the officer’s name because he has not been officially accused of any wrongdoing.