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Adam Toledo shooting Chicago: Bodycam footage shows police officer killing 13-year-old boy

Horrific bodycam footage shows the moment an American teenager was gunned down with his hands in the air by a police officer.

WARNING: Distressing images

Horrific body cam footage documenting the final moments of American teenager Adam Toledo shows him being gunned down with his hands in the air by a police officer.

Disturbing video shows the Chicago officer fatally shooting the 13-year-old in an alley at around 2.30am on March 29 as he ran from police while allegedly carrying a handgun, alongside Ruben Roman, 21, the US Sun reports.

Body cam footage, CCTV video, Office of Emergency Management and Communications transmissions, ShotSpotter recordings, and Case Incident Tactical Response were all released.

The arrest reports published by Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) indicated that the teen posed an “imminent threat of battery with a weapon” as pressure mounted for the footage to be shown.

The police report said Officer Eric Stillman shot Adam for allegedly not following directions, running, using significant force likely to “cause death or great bodily harm,” and being armed with a semiautomatic pistol.

In one nine-minute graphic body cam clip, a cop drives to the scene, where he knocks over one man they’re pursing and chases another, later identified as Adam.

“Stop right f***ing now – show me your f***ing hands!” the cop shouts, after officers responded to reports of at least nine gunshots and a “lot of commotion” in the South Sawyer area, according to the 911 dispatcher audio.

Adam, wearing a white hat and carrying something, can be seen running ahead and ducking towards a gap in the fence before turning towards the cop and raising his empty hands as gunshots ring out.

“Shots fired, shots fired – get an ambulance over here now!” the cop can be heard saying before approaching the boy, who is bleeding profusely. “Look at me – where are you shot?”

After calling for help and confirming they had a gunshot victim shot “by the police,” the officer said: “Where are you shot man, where are you shot? Stay with me, stay with me.”

The disturbing video shows Adam gasping for air and the officer leaning over him, repeatedly asks the dispatcher to send an ambulance for a “chest wound” as he frantically tries to administer first aid.

When other officers arrive on the scene, the cop can be heard saying that he could not feel a heartbeat before they perform CPR.

“Come on, little man, talk to me,” another officer pleads as Adam lies on the ground – minutes later, the sound of an ambulance rings out and towards the end of the clip, the first officer who shot him sits nearby.

In another body cam video, a female police officer talks to the second man they were pursuing – later identified as Roman – who is on the ground, and tells him: “Put your hands behind your back.”

“Let me see your f***ing hands,” she tells him. “Dude, let me see your hands. You don’t have anything else on you?”

She tells another officer they were pursuing “those two” in an apparent reference to Adam and his companion, noting the cuffed suspect (Roman) dropped red gloves – which later tested positive for gunshot residue.

She runs over to where Adam has been shot and officers are attempting to revive him. Moments later, she and the officer who apparently shot Adam, locate a gun nearby a gap in the fence where Adam was standing.

As the officer walks away from Adam’s body, the female cop appears to touch his arm as sirens ring out and he sits, bowing his head.

The Toledo family’s lawyer Adeena Weiss Ortiz told reporters Adam did not have gun in his hand when he was shot but noted that they didn’t want to incite violence during a press conference this evening.

Weiss Ortiz said if the footage is slowed down, whatever Adam had in his hand was dropped in-keeping with the officer’s demands – therefore, even if he was holding it, it was irrelevant because he tossed it.

“I don’t think it matters whether Adam is a choir boy, whether he is involved in some other untoward activity — the fact of the matter is that he was walking in the street and he was shot unarmed,” she said.

Meanwhile, surveillance footage also shows the fatal chase through a gap in the fence, as Adam turns and falls.

Speaking about the tragic incident, COPA said: “Videos released today have not been edited in any form, however redactions protecting personal and private identifying information have been made.

“COPA’s commitment and practice since inception, is to release video and other materials in an objective and transparent manner, without commentary or narrative and in their original state as captured during the incident.

“Release in this manner is necessary to avoid even the slightest appearance of bias or prejudgement in advance of the completion of our investigation.

“Finally, videos released today are identical to those reviewed by the family and their representatives on April 13, 2021 at COPA’s headquarters.

“We ask for calm and peace following today’s release and ask for patience as COPA continues to bring this investigation to conclusion.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and community leaders held a briefing after 12pm local time before authorities released the video, which has already been viewed by Adam’s family.

Lightfoot became emotional on Thursday as she called for better gun control and pleaded for peace in The Windy City, describing the video as “excruciating” to watch.

“We have too many damn guns on our streets,” she told reporters, her voice cracking. “I’ve spoken to and I will continue to speak with the Biden administration about what the federal government must to.”

Lightfoot was visibly upset when she told reporters said the city was “awash” with illegal guns and said people who put firearms in the hands of children like Adam must be held accountable.

“When you see — and I urge you, if you watch it, watch all the footage — you’re gonna see that officer spring into action to try to revive Adam, to call for medical assistance,” she went on.

“I know that most officers go through their whole career and they never fire their weapon in the line of duty. I also know that every time it happens, it’s extraordinarily traumatising for them.”

The mayor’s office and Toledo family attorneys previously said they “agreed that all material should be released, including a slowed-down compilation of the events” of the teen’s death in a joint statement.

“We understand that the release of this video will be incredibly painful and elicit an emotional response to all who view it, and we ask that people express themselves peacefully,” it read.

“We acknowledge that the release of this video is the first step in the process toward the healing of the family, the community and our city.”

Earlier this month, Lightfoot strongly implied that Adam had become involved with a gang, who gave him the gun he was holding, reported WMAQ, but this has yet to be confirmed.

“Gangs are preying on our most vulnerable, corrupting these young minds with promises of familia and lucre,” she said. “None of us should accept that we have adults here and across Chicago preying upon vulnerable teenage boys.”

A Chicago Times op-ed described Adam as an isolated teen who was classified as a special education student early on, which separated him from everyone else at school and made him vulnerable.

It reported that teachers at Mariano Azuela Elementary School flagged a change in his behaviour over the past couple of years, when he wore an earring to school, shaved his eyebrow, and cut a gun out of a piece of paper.

“A lot of people failed him. A lack of socialisation around other students is going to lead to something bad,” one educator told photojournalist Mateo Zapata.

“The easy way out was hanging out with people that he thought cared about him.”

The police report released by COPA today said the incident was not drug or gang related, however.

On Tuesday, the Toledo family asked that the footage and other evidence weren’t released straight away by COPA, which investigates police shootings.

Through their lawyer, Adam’s family said seeing the video was “extremely difficult and heartbreaking for everyone present.”

“We also want to thank leaders and members of the Latino community for remaining peaceful in their protests and calls for justice,” the statement said.

“Adam’s memory can best be honoured by refraining from violence and working constructively for reform.”

A GoFundMe set up to help the Toledo family with funeral expenses noted that “ironically one of [Adam’s] dreams was to become a police officer” and that he was “a child that brightened up the room when he would walk in.”

“It weighs heavy on our hearts to be planning our last goodbyes instead of watching him grow up and live out those dreams,” read the fundraiser appeal, which has since amassed over $52,000 in donations.

Roman, who was with Adam, was charged with reckless discharge of a firearm, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and child endangerment.

The 21-year-old allegedly fired shots before police gave chase and cuffed him, while another cop told Adam to stop and “drop” the gun he was holding, according to Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy.

This story originally appeared in the US Sun and has been reproduced with permission

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