What happened the night of March 29? COPA releases videos the night Adam Toledo was shot and killed by a Chicago Police Officer



A memorial for 13-year-old Adam Toledo, who had his hands up when he was shot by police, is seen in an alley near the 2300 block of South Sawyer Avenue Friday afternoon, April 16, 2021, in Chicago. (Pat Nabong/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

CHICAGO — On Thursday afternoon the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) released body cam footage and other materials from the early morning of March 29, when 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot and killed in a foot chase in Little Village by a Chicago police officer.

The graphic video shows Toledo being chased in an alley around 2:37am near the 2400 block of South Sawyer Avenue by officer Eric Stillman, 34, of the 10th District. 

The extensive video footage gathered from body-worn cameras, surveillance footage and other recordings appears to show Toledo holding a gun and dropping it behind an open fence seconds before he turns towards Stillman with his hands raised, unarmed. n.  Seconds later , Stillman shoots Toledo in the chest area at close proximity. 

Toledo is seen immediately falling to the ground. For a detailed description of the event, the Chicago Tribune has written a detailed report. (warning: link contains graphic video)

Moments before the shooting, officers reported to the scene after receiving an alert of eight shots fired. Upon arriving officers encountered two individuals in an alley, one being Toledo and the other being 21-year-old Ruben Roman. Roman was detained by another officer that morning. 

“Stay awake, I can’t feel a heartbeat, stay awake buddy,” can be heard in one of the videos from an officer performing CPR on Toledo after being shot. 

Toledo was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Tuesday, the Toledo family viewed the video for the first time.

“The video was extremely difficult and heartbreaking for everyone present and especially for Adams’s family,” Adeena Weiss Ortiz and Joel Hirschhorn,the family’s attorneys, said in a statement

In a press conference given by Mayor Lori Lightfoot and community organizers before the release of the video, officials warned the public of the graphic images shown in the video. 

Lightfoot said that after watching the video two facts about the tragedy remain clear. 

“First, in the middle of the night this child came into contact with an adult who had a gun and then ended up getting shot by a police officer,” Lightfoot said. “Second, there are too many young people in our city who have been left vulnerable by system failures that we simply must fix.”

Lightfoot didn’t discuss the specific details of the video but said, “I’ve seen no evidence whatsoever that Adam Toledo shot at the police.” 

Moments after the release of the video, a press conference was held outside Ortiz’s office.

“The fact of the matter is that he was walking on the street and he was shot, shot unarmed. That could have been me in that street, that could have been my son in that street, that could have been any one of us in that alley,” Ortiz said. 

The officer who shot Toledo has been placed on administrative duties for 30 days, which is “routine protocol,” said Supt. of the Chicago Police Department David Brown in a press conference held Monday.

COPA at the moment is investigating the shooting before recommending what actions should be taken.