Video released Thursday by Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability shows a Chicago police officer fatally shooting 13-year-old Adam Toledo as Toledo stood with his hands in the air.
The evidence, which includes body-camera footage from officers as well as video collected from third parties, shows an officer chasing the seventh-grader down an alley. When Toledo stops near a gap in a fence, the officer orders him to “show me your fucking hands!” Footage from another angle seems to show Toledo tossing a gun behind the fence before turning around. (A gun was recovered there after the shooting.) But an instant after Toledo puts his empty hands in the air, the officer shoots him. It all happens horrifyingly quickly in the video, but it is apparent that Toledo was not holding a gun when the officer shot him dead.
At a bond hearing on Saturday for Ruben Roman, who was with Toledo the night of the shooting, a state’s attorney claimed that Toledo had a gun in his hand when he was shot. But just before the videos were released Thursday, the prosecutor’s office backed off that story, with a spokesperson telling WGN that the prosecutor “failed to fully inform himself before speaking in court.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has called for peace in the wake of the video release and said in a press conference that the video is “excruciating.” It is.