Adam Toledo’s family announces nonprofit on what would have been his 14th birthday

Adam Toledo’s family announces a non-profit organization on his 14th birthday

To press

Wednesday May 26, 2021
ABC News Radio

(CHICAGO) – The family of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old killed by a Chicago police officer, are creating a “rural sanctuary” for youth at risk outside of Chicago in Adam’s honor. The non-profit organization called Adam’s Place aims to provide a safe and supportive space for historically underserved boys ages 10-14.

On Adam’s 14th birthday, the family held a press conference Wednesday to announce the project

Betty Toledo said of family lawyer Adeena Weiss Ortiz, “If he saw me in any way down, he would say, ‘Mom, don’t worry, everything will be better. I think about what Adam would say to me, and I think about how I can make things better. “

“What I really want is to have Adam back,” she added. “And I can’t, but we can try to help other families protect their sons from the temptations that brought them onto the streets that night.”

Adam was shot dead by a police officer in the Little Village neighborhood on March 29, just after 3:00 a.m. Little Village is a predominantly Latin American community.

Body camera footage shows an officer chasing Adam through an alley. Adam stopped at an opening in the fence and seemed to drop a gun behind it when the officer yelled, “Hands – show me your hands. Drop them!”

He raised his hands and the policeman fatally shot him.

Adam’s older sister, Esmeralda, told reporters that her brother was just “a kid just learning his way around the world, and he deserved a chance to make mistakes and learn from them – like all of us. And we have before.” done. ” because nobody is perfect. “

Esmeralda tearfully remembered Adam as a fun teenager who tried to grow a small mustache and made mistakes with his homework.

According to the organization’s website, Adam “was a good kid, but despite our best efforts, he would sneak out at night, attracted by older teenagers who were unaware of his well-being.”

On the night of his death, he was accompanied by the 21-year-old Ruben Roman.

Roman is now charged with reckless discharge of a firearm and illicit use of a weapon by a criminal, as well as endangering the child and violating parole.

The Adam’s Place program is based on Boys Farm, a nursing service founded in South Carolina in 1960. Adam’s Place will be located on 91 acres of farmland, where the boys on the program will care for animals, tend gardens and become academics and personal development courses and more.

“This is what Adam wants: a place with animals, a place to make friends, a place to feel safe,” wrote the Toledo family on the organization’s website.

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