“I just want justice for my son,” said the boy’s mother.
Chicago authorities have revealed that the man who was fatally shot by a police officer earlier this week during what police described as an “armed confrontation”
“My biggest fear as chief of the Chicago Police Department was a deadly encounter between us and a minor, especially given the recent rise in violent crime involving minors across the city,” Chicago police said in a statement Thursday. “Unfortunately, that fear became a reality earlier this week.”
The incident took place in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago in the early hours of Monday, when officers responded to a signal for multiple shots and noticed two men in an alley. One of the alleged robbers fled police, leading to a pedestrian chase followed by a confrontation, according to a preliminary statement from the Chicago Police Department.
One of the police officers fired his weapon, hitting the individual in the chest. A weapon was recovered and the person was pronounced dead at the scene. The other man has been detained and remains in custody, police said.
The Cook County Medical Expert’s Office later identified the deceased as 13-year-old Adam Toledo. The boy’s mother, Elizabeth Toledo, also confirmed his death in front of the WLS station in Chicago.
“He was so full of life,” she told WLS. “They just took it from him.”
As she planned her son’s funeral, the grieving mother said she wanted to know “what happened.”
“I just want answers,” she said. “I just want justice for my son.”
The Chicago Police Department did not disclose the boy’s name or age, as the chief said he “did not want to violate his privacy as a minor.” According to Brown, the employee involved was placed on a routine administrative duty for 30 days.
The shooting is being investigated by the Civilian Police Reporting Service (COPA), the civilian police oversight agency in Chicago.
“Currently, COPA is making every effort and exploring all legal possibilities that will allow the public release of all videos that film the tragic fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo,” the agency wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “COPA is in contact with the Toledo family and will provide the family with an overview of all videos.”
The Chicago Police Department “fully” supports the COPA investigation and “strongly” calls for the publication of “any and all videos” related to the incident, including worn-out footage, according to the chief.
COPA said in a statement Friday afternoon that it would release the video of the body camera and other materials related to the shooting.
“COPA has found that certain provisions of state law designed to protect the confidentiality of juvenile files do not prohibit the agency from releasing materials related to the investigation into the fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo by a Chicago police officer,” the statement said. The statement “The COPA Adviser concluded that the Juvenile Court Act does not prohibit the publication of the worn-out body and video footage of third parties received by the Agency so far.”
The agency did not say when it would be released.
“The decision to split a second to use lethal force is extremely difficult for any officer,” Brown said, “and it’s always a heavy burden for officers involved in fatal shooting incidents.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said it was “critical that COPA release the relevant videos first to the family and then to the public, as soon as possible, with appropriate protection, given his age.” The mayor said “transparency and speed are crucial” because the boy’s family and the public “will undoubtedly have many questions”.
“As the mother of a 13-year-old, I can only imagine the incredible pain that this boy’s parents are experiencing at the moment,” Lightfoot wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “My heart goes out to them.”