Adam Toledo, Chicago shooting video: 13-year-old allegedly had gun

CHICAGO – Tensions are high as the city prepares for the release of “disturbing video” of the fatal police shots of 13-year-old Adam Toledo last month.

On Saturday, prosecutors described what the officer’s body camera showed, claiming Adam had a gun when he was fatally shot on the west side of the city.

The details were revealed during a hearing for Ruben Roman, 21, who was with Adam when he died. Prosecutors said that shots fired by Roman alongside Adam sparked a series of events that led to the fatal shooting.

Adam’s family is scheduled to watch the police bodycam video this week before it is released to the public. In a statement Monday, Chicago police said they had canceled officials’ days off to “ensure public safety” as the city was monitoring “events across the country” but did not specify what.

“Out of caution, CPD will allocate additional resources in the city’s communities,” the statement said.

Here’s what we know on Monday:

What happened before Adam Toledo’s shooting?

At the bail hearing on Saturday, prosecutors shed more light on what happened. They said the surveillance video shows Roman going to a corner and assuming a “shooting stance” while a vehicle drives by before firing seven or eight shots while standing next to Adam.

The relationship between Adam and Roman is unclear.

Police said ShotSpotter technology detected eight shots and officers were dispatched to the neighborhood on the west side of the city at around 2:30 a.m. on March 29. When the police arrived, Adam and Roman fled, said Chicago Police Department superintendent David Brown at a press conference last Monday.

One policeman attacked and arrested Roman while another was chasing Adam, who prosecutors said was holding a gun in his right hand when the policeman shot him. Officials repeatedly told Adam to put the gun down before he was shot, prosecutors said.

This weapon matched cartridge cases found in the area where the novel was firing, prosecutors said.

An officer shot Adam in the chest once during the “armed confrontation” in an alley, the police said. Adam died on the scene.

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Who is the officer concerned?

The identity of the officer who shot Adam has not been released. He was taken on administrative leave for 30 days, which Brown says is “routine protocol.”

What do we know about Ruben Roman?

Following the shooting, Roman was released from custody on an offense before being taken back into custody.

An arrest warrant was issued last week after Roman skipped a court hearing on Wednesday for illegally using gun charges in an unrelated case. He was found hidden in a closet in his mother’s house on April 9, prosecutors said.

When asked about Adam’s identity, Roman gave a false name, denied knowing the boy or fired shots, and claimed to be in the alley waiting for a train, prosecutors alleged.

Roman’s attorney, assistant defense attorney Courtney Smallwood, described Adam’s death as “tragic” and rejected the implication for which Roman is responsible.

“The victim is dead by the Chicago cops, not my client,” she said, according to The Associated Press.

Roman was held on $ 150,000 bond on charges of illicit use and reckless discharge of a firearm, child endangerment and parole violation. He was previously charged with offenses for resisting arrests in connection with the March 29 shooting.

The Toledo family were present during the hearing but were unable to comment, their lawyers Adeena Weiss-Ortiz and Joel Hirschhorn said in a statement.

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Did the family watch the footage? When will it be released?

According to a statement from their attorneys, Adam’s family will be viewing the police body camera footage and other related materials this week. They did not provide when or what details would be released.

“The City of Chicago, the Chicago Police Department and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability have been very cooperative,” the family said in a statement that “requested expedited meetings with relevant authorities to obtain evidence and review police body camera footage and other things available video. “

The police body camera footage will likely be released to the public after the family views it.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) initially said it was forbidden to post the video because Adam was a minor. It changed course, however, saying that state law “has not received agency banning the publication of the worn-out body and video camera footage from third-party agencies.”

The office described the body camera video as “worrying”.

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How does the family react?

Adam’s funeral took place on Friday. “The family values ​​the support and respect for their privacy during this time of grief,” the family said in a statement last week.

At a press conference last Monday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked “how a 13-year-old boy came into possession of a gun” before information was released on whether Adam had a gun when police shot him. Lightfoot spoke of “gangs … that hunt our weakest”.

After the press conference, the family replied that they were “concerned about assumptions, implications and statements made today that are not supported by the facts published so far”.

“We can only refute these statements or react to them once we have received the evidence that is currently only known to the police,” the statement said. “However, we want to correct the hurtful and misrepresentation of Adam as a lonely child on the street that no one could turn to. That is just not true.”

Adam was a “loved and supported 13-year-old boy” from a “close-knit family,” the statement said. He lived with his mother, 90-year-old grandfather, and two of his siblings, and his father was in his life, the statement said. He attended Gary Elementary School, where he had the support of his teachers and classmates.

“Adam wasn’t alone,” the statement said.

What did the mayor say?

At a press conference last Monday, Lightfoot called for changes to the way police follow up suspects on foot and called for a “thorough, swift” investigation.

Lightfoot said the tragedy underscored the need to change Chicago police policies. Foot pursuit is one of the most dangerous activities for the police, as they are often separated from their partners and communication becomes difficult.

“We cannot and will not postpone foot tracking reform for another day,” said Lightfoot. “We can no longer afford to postpone what we can address today until tomorrow because life is really at stake.”

Lightfoot said she spoke briefly to Adam’s mother, Elizabeth Toledo, to offer her condolences.

“Let’s not forget that a mother’s child is dead,” she said. “Siblings are without their brother. And this community mourns again.”

How did the public react?

Dozens of parishioners gathered for a balloon release vigil in the neighborhood of Little Village where Adam died last Monday night.

Ana Solano, an organizer of the grassroots organization Únete La Villita, helped organize a rally after the vigil, which “gave people the opportunity to express our anger and sadness and to process our trauma together as a community”.

Solano said the shooting was particularly traumatic for the Chicago Latino community, especially young people who might see themselves in Adam. The rally should demand responses and accountability from Chicago police, she said.

Some of these answers may come from the release of the body camera footage, but Solano is at times reluctant to watch the “traumatizing” video.

“I can’t even imagine how it would feel for his mother to see it,” she said. “And even if the video comes out, will the police really hold themselves accountable?”

A GoFundMe page raised more than $ 50,000 for the Toledo family.

“Adam had many dreams that he can never live on,” wrote Elizabeth Toledo on the page. “Ironically, one of his dreams was to become a cop.”

Contact News Now reporter Christine Fernando at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.

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