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News > U.S.

Chicago Protests after Video Released of Police Killing 13 Year Old

  • Adam Toledo, 13, was shot and killed by police on March 29 following a foot pursuit by officers.

    Adam Toledo, 13, was shot and killed by police on March 29 following a foot pursuit by officers. | Photo: Twitter/@quackiheart

Published 16 April 2021

Chicago braces for new protests on Friday after releasing a police body-cam video showing a police officer’s fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy with his hands in the air.

A large demonstration is planned for Friday night at Logan Square Park north of the predominantly Latino community of Little Village where Adam Toledo grew up, with thousands expected to attend after the teenager was killed by a white cop last month.

Footage of the killing was released by Chicago’s civilian office of police accountability on Thursday, and, contrary to earlier statements made by authorities that Toledo possessed a weapon, the video shows nothing in his hands.


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Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot said the video was “incredibly difficult to watch, particularly at the end."

Lightfoot asked for on Thursday given of the violence that took place earlier this week at protests in Minnesota after the death of Daunte Wright; a 20-year-old Black man shot dead in Brooklyn Center by a white police officer who said she mistook her service handgun for a Taser.

Hundreds of demonstrators have been gathered outside the heavily guarded Brooklyn Center police headquarters every night since former officer Kim Potter killed Wright during a traffic stop on Sunday. Cops have repelled protesters with tear gas grenades, rubber bullets, flash-bang grenades, and lines of riot police, in tactics denounced even by the city's mayor Mike Elliott.

Similarly, anger lingers in Chicago over last month’s murder of two young black men, Anthony Alvarez, 22, and Travon Chadwell, 18, by the police as well.

Toledo was shot and killed by police on March 29 after being chased by officers.

At the time of his murder, Toledo was with Ruben Roman, 21, previously charged with several felonies.

Authorities initially alleged that Adam had a gun in his hand as he turned towards officers after failing to obey commands to stop.

But the body-cam video released yesterday showed Adam stopping after the officer shouts after him, turning and putting his hands up, with no sign whatsoever of a weapon. The teen is then shot in the chest from a short distance away by the officer, identified as Eric Stillman, 34, who has been with Chicago's police since August 2015.

After the footage was released, dozens of residents gathered in Little Village on Thursday night to express their outrage.

Thursday’s protests in Little Village—a community of 75,000 people with about 80% of Mexican descent—and elsewhere in the city were mostly peaceful. The Chicago Sun-Times noted that a group of almost 50 people also met in Millennium Park and marched to the police headquarters downtown.

Former mayoral candidate Ja’Mal Green tore down police tape cordoning off the building and demanded Lightfoot’s resignation over the shooting, local media reported.

After viewing the video on Tuesday, the Toledo family initially asked for the recording not to be immediately released to the public but later stated that "we acknowledge that the release of this video is the first step in the process toward the healing of the family, the community and our city,” read a joint statement made by Lightfoot and the Toledo family’s lawyers.

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