Chicago officials will release bodycam footage of fatal police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo on Thursday

Christine Fernando, USA TODAY
·4 min read

CHICAGO – Police body camera video will be released Thursday from last month's fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo by a Chicago officer who chased him into an alley, according to a statement by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

The materials will include bodycam footage, transmissions from Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications, ShotSpotter recordings, as well as response and arrest reports. All materials will also be made available on COPA's website.

Planned protests and community events Wednesday evening were sparsely attended. About a dozen protesters first gathered at the city's downtown Federal Plaza to demand police accountability and justice for Adam. The crowd later grew to two dozen marching through the streets of downtown Chicago with a drummer leading.

Handfuls of police officers on bicycles flanked the crowd on either side as three police cars followed closely behind. A Black Lives Matter flag flew alongside a banner with a photo of Adam, the hashtag #justiceforadamtoledo, and the words "CPD stop killing our children."

Little Village Community Council president Baltazar Enriquez started a lineup of speeches by asking Mayor Lori Lightfoot to share "the truth of what happened" to Adam.

"Today we ask for transparency," he said.

Enriquez said the shooting is just further reason to abolish the police department and funnel its resources into social services.

Troy Gaston, a speaker at the protest, echoed Enriquez's calls for transparency and said the officer involved should be held accountable.

"These young men of color residing in disinvested communities, officers are engaging them as enemy number one," he said.

"Enough is enough," he continued. "Who is next? Who's child is next?"

The speeches ended with more chants calling for solidarity.

"Black and brown united will never be divided," the protestors chanted.

Jose Rojas, 22, took a knee for Adam during a moment of silence. Protestors raised their fists in the air. "We love you Adam," a few of them said as they stood up again.

Rojas, a Little Village resident, said he wanted the officer who shot Adam to face criminal charges. He said he saw himself and his loved ones in the 13-year-old boy.

"It could have been anybody," he said. "It could have been me. Justice for Adam is justice for all of us."

Abigail Garcia, 7, right, takes a knee with her mother Judith Garcia and others during a peaceful protest on Tuesday in downtown Chicago.
Abigail Garcia, 7, right, takes a knee with her mother Judith Garcia and others during a peaceful protest on Tuesday in downtown Chicago.

COPA informed the Toledo family, through the family's attorney, on Wednesday about the planned release of the video. Adam's family viewed the footage on Tuesday night, the family's attorneys said in a statement, and had requested the footage not be immediately released to the public, according to COPA.

"COPA has remained sensitive to the family’s grief and is carrying out this release in accordance with the City’s Video Release Policy," a statement by COPA, which investigates cases of potential police misconduct, said. "COPA’s core values of integrity and transparency are essential to building public trust, particularly in incidents related to an officer involved shooting, and we are unwavering in our commitment to uphold these values."

Also Wednesday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she had seen "multiple videos" of the shooting but would not comment on the details. While acknowledging the need for transparency, Lightfoot said city officials would "work with the family to move this process along" and added, "I think we have to be respectful of them and move at their speed. That’s what we’re endeavoring to do in balancing a range of different issues."

Tensions and frustrations toward police are mounting in Chicago, where Chicagoans joined communities across the country this week in marching and mourning Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man who was fatally shot by a police officer last weekend in Brooklyn Center, just miles from where former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the death of George Floyd.

What we know: Prosecutors allege 13-year-old had a gun when he was shot by Chicago police

Adam was killed in the early-morning hours of March 29 when police responded to the Little Village neighborhood after the department's ShotSpotter technology detected eight gunshots. When police arrived, Adam and a 21-year-old man fled, authorities said.

The officer shot Adam once in the chest after an "armed confrontation," according to police. Prosecutors have said the boy was holding a gun when the officer shot him. He died at the scene.

Officials have not publicly identified the officer, who has been placed on administrative leave for 30 days.

Contact News NOW Reporter Christine Fernando at cfernando@usatoday.com or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Adam Toledo video: Chicago police to release footage of shooting today