The death of a 13-year-old boy, who dreamed of joining the police but was gunned down by a cop in an “gun showdown” this week, horrified the crime-tired city of Chicago, prompting the mayor to ask. some answers. down.
The Cook County medical examiner confirmed to the Daily Beast that Adam Toledo died of a gunshot wound to his chest on Monday. His death, which came after a confrontation with Chicago police in Little Village, was classified as a homicide.
The boy’s family, community leaders and even Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot are asking police to release videos of the incident. The officer involved in the shooting has been on duty for at least 30 days pending an investigation.
“Adam was a seventh grade student at [Gary Elementary] School, loved sports and was a good kid. He didn’t deserve to die like he did, ”the Toledo family said in a statement Friday.The family said Adam was killed “as a result of the unreasonable conduct of a Chicago police officer” and that they “would seek justice for this heinous crime”. They added that they were not informed of Adam’s death until two days after his assassination.
“We are confident that the Chicago Police Department and the Police Civil Accountability Office will conduct a full investigation, that there will be transparency, and that the Toledo Family will find out the truth about what happened to Adam.
Police said the incident began at around 2:35 am Monday when officers responded to a call of “several shots fired in S. Sawyer’s Block 200”. Upon arrival, they found two men – later identified as Toledo and Ruben Roman Jr., 21 – “in a nearby alley” and at least one was armed. Police said the armed person fled from the scene, prompting officers to launch a foot chase that ended in an “armed confrontation.”
“The officer fired his gun hitting the offender in the chest,” a spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department said in a statement. “A weapon was found and the culprit was declared dead at the scene.”
Police said Roman had been taken into custody and charged with resistance or obstructing a peace officer. According to court records, Roman pleaded guilty in 2019 to possession of an illegal firearm and was sentenced to probation.
In an interview Thursday with the Chicago Sun-Times, the teenager’s mother, Elizabeth Toledo, said she last saw her son the day before the shooting as they attended a memorial service for a relative. She said she didn’t know what caused the incident and that she “just wanted answers on what really happened”.
“I haven’t heard from the cops since yesterday when they knocked on my door,” she said Thursday.
“He wanted to be a cop growing up. And the next thing you know, a cop killed himself.”
The mother of four said her son was “always happy”, loved animals and dreamed of joining the police.
“He wanted to be a cop when he grew up,” Toledo said. “And the next thing you know, a cop killed himself.”
Monday’s tragic shooting comes as Chicago battles a siege of homicides and shootings. According to Chicago Tribune, 134 people were killed this year alone, which is higher than the same period in 2020. Last year had already been the worst year on record for gun-related homicides, according to the medical examiner’s office. Cook County.
Amid outrage over Toledo’s death, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown issued a statement Thursday, calling it a “tragedy” and insisting that he absolutely wanted to post body camera footage.
“My biggest fear as the superintendent of the Chicago Police Department was a fatal encounter between one of our own and a minor, especially given the recent increase in violent crime involving minors across our city,” he said. Brown said. “Unfortunately, that fear became a reality earlier this week. Any loss of life is tragic, especially when it concerns young people. On behalf of the entire Chicago Police Department, I offer my condolences to the minor’s family. ”
The shooting is under investigation by the Police Civil Accountability Office. On Thursday, however, COPA released a statement saying the body camera footage cannot be released without a court order due to the Juvenile Court Act, which prohibits them from sharing videos of underage victims.
They said they “Make all possible efforts and seek all legal avenues that will allow the public release of all video material,” noting that they are in contact with the Toledo family and will allow them to review all images.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot took to Twitter on Thursday to request the release of the footage, adding that she “can only imagine the incredible pain this boy’s parents are experiencing right now.”
“Because her family and the public will no doubt have many questions, we must post all relevant videos as soon as possible,” said Lightfoot, noting that this is among “the most complex cases COPA is investigating” and that “transparency and speed are crucial. ”
“We have to ask ourselves how our social safety net failed this boy, which led to the tragic events in the early hours of Monday morning,” she said.