Honoring his 14th birthday, family of Adam Toledo plans home for at-risk teens

CHICAGO (AP) – Family members of a 13-year-old boy who was fatally shot and killed by a Chicago police officer announced plans on Wednesday to build a house in rural Wisconsin where boys at risk could escape the dangers of city streets.

Adam Toledo’s mother stood in front of a mural of her son recently painted in the neighborhood of Little Village, where he was killed on March 29th. She complained that she couldn’t be with her son on Wednesday, her 14th birthday. She might be able to save others like him.

Watch: Passenger beats Southwest Airlines flight attendants, resulting in facial injuries and tooth loss

“What I really want is to have Adam back, and we can’t,” wrote Betty Toledo in a speech read by someone else because she was too emotional to speak. “We can try to help other families protect their sons from the temptations that brought Adam into the streets that night, the night he was killed.”

The family also alluded to the portrayal of Adam’s life, which had been part of the narrative since shortly after his death, when Mayor Lori Lightfoot appeared to suspect the boy was involved in gangs.

“Gangs hunt down our weakest and corrupt these young minds with promises of family and clarity,” she said during a press conference at which she asked police to find out how the boy got the gun that police carried until shortly before He was shot.

What we know about the 9 victims killed in the San Jose VTA mass shootings

The shooting attracted national attention and brought new control into the Chicago Police Department’s use of force policy, particularly after the release of the video showing that the boy was not holding a gun the moment he was shot. On Wednesday, the department announced that it was introducing a new policy that severely restricts officers’ powers to pursue suspects on foot.

But it was the boy’s short life that Toledo’s family and others focused on Wednesday. While Lightfoot and others have suggested the boy be attracted to gangs, the family also wanted to know that he is a curious little boy who plays with his younger brother, loves animals, jokes, and tells his mother not to get together To worry.

“He was a little kid, he made a mistake and everyone is just judging him and taking things from the last moments and minutes of his life,” said Esmeralda Toledo, the boy’s 24-year-old sister. Nobody, she said, “deserves the way he died or the bad, negative things that are said about him.”

The family’s lawyer, Joel Hirschhorn, said the announcement had to be postponed for a short time on Wednesday because the artist and family wanted to paint over what “a cowardly, evil person” had scrawled on the mural.

12 fully vaccinated people died of COVID in LA County and showed gunshots work “extraordinarily well,” health officials say

Hirschhorn said donations had already been received and he had signed a contract to purchase about 71 acres in Potosi, southwest Wisconsin, including a small barn, a facility for boys to sleep in, and land to grow crops and livestock to breed. Modeled on the Boys Farm in South Carolina, Hirschhorn works to “bring these marginalized, vulnerable boys out of danger where gangs, guns and violence reign” and bring them to a safe environment where they can learn about agriculture and farming as a team. “

Authorities said a gun detection alerted police to a spot where a gun was fired multiple times. When they arrived, an officer spotted the boy and the man they later said had fired the gun and pursued them.

They said Toledo, who apparently received the gun from the man after he fired it, ran into an alley. The body camera video showed part of the chase and the moment when Officer Eric Stillman shot Toledo in the chest less than a second after dropping or throwing the gun.

What can be done to bridge the gap between the police and the communities they serve?

The Civilian Police Accountability Office (COPA), which investigates police shootings, is continuing its investigation. On Wednesday, spokesman Ephraim Eaddy said he could not comment on the investigation and that no recommendation had been made on Stillman. Stillman was put at the desk, and what Eaddy called an unusual move the board recommended adding 30 days to Stillman’s desk.

  • Toledo Family Attorney Adeena Weiss-Ortiz (right) speaks on behalf of Adam Toledo’s mother Elizabeth Toledo (center) during a press conference about the opening of Adam’s Place Inc., a nonprofit designed to help Chicago youth at risk and others Cities in the Midwest to have no issues in the West Side of Chicago on Wednesday May 26, 2021. Adam Toledo, 13, was shot dead by a Chicago police officer on March 29th. (AP Photo / Shafkat Anowar)
  • Esmaraldo Toledo, 24, right, sister of the 13-year-old police shooting victim, sheds tears as family lawyer Adeena Weiss-Ortiz comforts her during a press conference announcing the opening of Adam’s Place Inc., a nonprofit organization will aim to help vulnerable teenagers from Chicago and other Midwestern cities have no problems on the West Side of Chicago on Wednesday May 26, 2021. (AP Photo / Shafkat Anowar)
  • Toledo family attorney Adeena Weiss-Ortiz speaks in front of a mural painted in honor of Adam during a press conference announcing the opening of Adam’s Place Inc., a nonprofit that serves youth at risk from Chicago and beyond to help other Midwestern cities on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 in the West Side of Chicago. Adam Toledo, 13, was shot dead by a Chicago police officer on March 29th. (AP Photo / Shafkat Anowar)
  • Police family members who shot dead 13-year-old Adam Toledo stand in front of a mural painted in his honor during a press conference announcing the opening of Adam’s Place Inc., a nonprofit that helps youth at risk Chicago and other Midwestern cities are said to remain in the West Side of Chicago on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 with no problems. (AP Photo / Shafkat Anowar)
  • Mourners gather as they speak out during a press conference marking the opening of Adam’s Place Inc., a nonprofit aimed at helping youngsters at risk in Chicago and other Midwestern cities avoid trouble, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 Shedding tears in the West Side of Chicago. Adam Toledo, 13, was shot dead by a Chicago police officer on March 29th. (AP Photo / Shafkat Anowar)

© Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved

Comments are closed.