Mayor demands to know how teen killed by Chicago cop got gun

Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 11:02 PM PDT
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CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she has ordered the police department to capture and bring to justice whoever provided the 13-year-old boy the handgun he was carrying last week when he was fatally shot by a police officer.

Adam Toledo, 13, was shot in the chest after he ran from officers on March 29. He died at the scene and a gun was recovered.

Lightfoot said at a news conference Monday that the city will “use every resource” to track down the origins of that gun.

A vigil to remember 13-year-old Adam Toledo was held Monday in the Chicago neighborhood of...
A vigil to remember 13-year-old Adam Toledo was held Monday in the Chicago neighborhood of Little Village. The teen died from a gunshot wound to the chest after he ran from officers on March 29.(Source: Elizabeth Toledo, WLS via CNN)

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability has said it will release body camera footage of the shooting soon. Ephraim Eaddy, a spokesman for the police accountability board, said Friday the plan is to release it to the family first, but the public release could come quickly after that — even the same day.

The video comes from a body camera of an officer who was at the scene of the shooting, and although Eaddy declined to say if it was from the body camera of the officer who shot the teen, he said it captures the foot pursuit of the teen and the shooting itself.

The shooting happened at about 2 a.m. on Monday. According to police, officers were dispatched to an area in the Little Village neighborhood on the city’s West Side after the department’s ShotSpotter technology detected the sound of gunfire nearby.

When they arrived, Toledo and a 21-year-old man ran away. While chasing the teen, there was an “armed confrontation” during which the officer shot him once in the chest, police said. He died at the scene. The 21-year-old man was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest.

The officer who shot the teen was placed on administrative leave, which is standard practice in police shootings. Police haven’t released the name of the officer, which is typical for the department early on during such investigations.

When the police accountability board said the shooting had been captured by an officer’s body camera, there were immediate calls to release it. The city has a troubling history of trying to suppress video that reflects poorly on the police department, including in the 2014 killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald — for which the officer who shot the Black teenager 16 times eventually was convicted of murder — and in a botched 2019 raid during which a naked, Black, innocent woman wasn’t allowed to put on clothes until after she was handcuffed.

Police Superintendent David Brown released a statement in which he said the department “adamantly” supported the release of the footage of Monday’s shooting. He gave no indication of what was on the video or even if he had seen it, but in past cases, the police department has quickly moved to release video of police shootings to dispel speculation about officer misconduct. At the same time, in a case that has already gained widespread attention because of the boy’s age, Brown pointed to a recent spate of violent crimes involving minors in the city.

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