13-year-old Adam Toledo had his hands raised when a police officer shot him to death, newly released body-cam footage confirms
In an alley in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, a 13-year-old boy named Adam Toledo died on the pavement after being shot by a police officer. He was killed on March 29 and body-cam footage released to the public yesterday shows his heart-wrenching final moments.
According to reports from the Chicago Tribune, the child appeared to have a gun at some point but had dropped it before turning to the police officer who ended his life, Adam’s hands raised and empty.
In a statement to the Chicago Sun Times, Adam’s mother Elizabeth Toledo told the world about her sweet baby boy — because let’s be entirely clear here — 13 is a baby. Thirteen is a child. The police took barely a second to decide to take the life of a child who had his hands raised in surrender.
“He had a big imagination and curiosity since he was a little baby. He was goofy and always cracking jokes, making everyone laugh. He loved animals and riding his bike,” Elizabeth shared.
“Adam was really into zombies. And the zombie apocalypse. He even had this zombie apocalypse bag packed and ready to go. Some of his favorite movies and TV shows were ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,’ ‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘SpongeBob SquarePants,’ ‘Toy Story,’ ‘Cars,’ ‘The Walking Dead,’ she said.
She shares that her son’s favorite foods were Taco Bell, pizza, chicken wings, chips and candy. He was 13 and he loved Taco Bell and now his life is over.
“May he rest in peace,” she said.
Look at him. Look at his baby face. He died in some back alley after a cop spent barely seconds assessing whether he was dangerous before pulling the trigger and snuffing out his young life. In the horrifying video of his final moments, the officer lifts his sweatshirt to try to locate his wound. The top of his Hanes underwear is sticking out. That’s the brand my 11-year-old son wears. His exposed torso looks like a little kid’s torso because that’s what he was. A little kid.
We need to keep saying that because I feel like we’re losing sight of it. The fact that a literal child can be gunned down in an alley by cop, on video, and there will STILL be people insisting it was the right thing to do. I wonder if those same people who say Adam Toledo “should’ve just complied” would feel that way if they lost their middle school child who also loved The Walking Dead in a horrific shooting in an alley? Or is that callous and cruel attitude only reserve for other people’s kids?
Protests erupted in the wake of Adam’s death with citizens demanding accountability along with somber remembrances for the young boy.
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot is calling for “calm” as the investigation continues. “I don’t want to get into the real substance of this because the independent investigation is going on. But I’ve seen no evidence whatsoever that Adam Toledo shot at the police,” she says.
“We can’t have that be what young people experience in our city,” says Lightfoot. She also acknowledges how horrific the footage is to see. “It was excruciating” to watch the video, she says. “There are several videos that kind of start at the beginning of the episode. But watching the body-cam footage, which shows young Adam after he is shot, is extremely difficult.”
Chicago police are continuing to make preparations for protests resulting from the video’s release.
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