Video of fatal Chicago police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo released
A Chicago police oversight board released body-camera video Thursday of an officer fatally shooting a 13-year-old boy, images that Mayor Lori Lightfoot called “excruciating.”
The officer can be seen running down an alley, chasing Adam Toledo last month and ordering him to stop, according to footage made public by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.
“Freeze stop! Stop right f—ing now! Hey show me your f—ing hands! Drop it, drop it,” the officer seems to say in the video before firing a shot.
The officer then radioed for help.
“Shots fired, shots fired, get an ambulance over here now,” he said as he tended to the mortally wounded teen. “Look at me, look at me, look at me, you all right?”
The officer was joined by several colleagues, and they pumped the teen’s chest in hopes of reviving him.
“Where you shot man, where you shot?” the officer asked, but never received an answer. “Stay with me, stay with me!” The officer is heard saying he thought the teen was shot in the chest.
After other officers arrived to relieve him and continue the chest compressions, the shooting officer stepped away and appeared to sit on the ground with his elbows resting on his knees. He did not immediately speak after leaving the wounded teen’s side.
The officer was identified in documents as Eric Stillman, and his attorney also confirmed he is the officer involved.
About two hours before the video was released, Lightfoot warned Chicagoans to brace themselves for the “extremely difficult” images.
“It was excruciating,” Lightfoot old reporters ahead of the video’s release. “Watching the body-cam footage, which shows young Adam after he’s shot, is extremely difficult.”
She added: “And I would just say … as a mom, this is not something you want children to see.”
Toledo was allegedly in an alley with a 21-year-old man when police responded to a call of shots fired in the 2300 block of South Sawyer Avenue, shortly after 2:30 a.m. on March 29, authorities said.
The pair allegedly fled and police say one officer eventually opened fire on Toledo, hitting him in the chest before he was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.
After the release of the raw body camera videos, police on Thursday also released an edited timeline video that showed a firearm lying on the ground at the scene of the shooting. It also featured freeze frames of the firing officer’s body camera video that police say shows Toledo was holding a gun immediately before he was shot.
Based on the video from the shooting officer, it was not clear if Toledo was holding a gun at the moment he was shot. An attorney for the Toledo family said the video showed Adam did not have a gun at the moment the officer fired the fatal shot, NBC Chicago reports.
“Adam, during his last second of life, did not have a gun in his hand. The officer screamed at him, ‘Show me your hands.’ Adam complied, turned around, his hands were empty when he was shot in the chest at the hands of the officer. He did not have a gun in his hand,” attorney Adeena Weiss Ortiz said.
Lightfoot said she did not believe Toledo fired on the officer. But she also credited that officer for immediately providing medical care.
“I’ve seen no evidence whatsoever he shot at police,” she said. “When you see … the footage, you’re going to see that officer spring into action to try to revive Adam, to call for medical assistance.”
Stillman’s attorney, Timothy M. Grace, said in a statement that the officer had no choice. He said the officer chased the juvenile and gave repeated commands, including to stop, and “don’t do it.”
“The juvenile offender had the gun in his right hand, came to a fence, looked at the officer which could be interpreted as attempting to acquire a target and began to turn to face the officer attempting to swing the gun in his direction,” Grace said in the statement.
“The officer had no place to take cover or concealment, the gun was being orientate[d] in his direction and he was left with no other option,” Grace said.
Toledo’s family was shown the video in private on Tuesday, officials said.
Viewing the footage was “extremely difficult and heartbreaking for everyone present, and especially for Adam’s family,” according to the family’s legal team.
“We want to thank COPA for giving the Toledo family the opportunity to review body camera video and other evidence before its public release,” family attorney Joel Hirschhorn said in a statement.
Ruben Roman, the man with Toledo just before the fatal encounter with police, was arrested and charged with reckless discharge of a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, endangerment of a child and violating probation, police said. Prosecutors say they have video of Roman firing shots before police responded and arrested him.