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Chicago police offcer shoots and kills 13-year-old Adam Toledo

   April 10, 2021 12:15 AM
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by The Oregon Herald Staff

13-year-old Adam Toledo killed by Chicago police officer Adam's mother had to identify her son's body at the morgue
CHICAGO, Illinois - Police staff have finally identified the boy as Adam Toledo. He was shot and killed by a police officer earlier this week during what police described as an armed confrontation with a 13-year-old boy.

"My greatest fear as the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department has been a deadly encounter between one of our own and a juvenile especially given the recent rise in violent crimes involving juveniles throughout the city," Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said in a statement Thursday. "Unfortunately, this fear became a reality earlier this week."

Toledo's grandfather told reporters, "We want to know how it happened and why they robbed him of his life" . "If the government is the one who commits this type of crime then who are we supposed to turn to complain? I want justice. That's all I ask for."

Investigators said they found a gun near the shooting, but the have not said whether 13-year-old Adam fired it or was even in possession of the gun. Police have so far refused to identify the police officer who killed Adam. He has been placed on administrative leave.

In the beginning, Adam's identity had initially been kept secret. His mother mother had not learned that her son had been shot and killed especially by their own police officer until Wednesday. That is when Adam's mother went to the Cook County medical examiner's office and identified her son.

Adam was shot and killed in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood early Monday, when officers responded to an alert of multiple gunshots and spotted two young boys in an alley. One of the boys, who police later say was armed, ran away when they saw the police. Officers then ran after the boys which followed by some sort of confrontation, so far not clear as to exactly what happened.

At some point, one of the officers fired his gun, hitting Adam in the chest - not an leg or arm but in the chest. A gun was recovered or found and Adam was pronounced dead at the scene. The other boy was taken into custody.

It was later discovered that Adam lived in the Little Village neighborhood.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office later identified the deceased as 13-year-old Adam Toledo. The boy's mother, Elizabeth Toledo, also confirmed his death to Chicago ABC station WLS.

"He was so full of life," she told WLS. "They just took it away from him."

As she plans her son's funeral, the grieving mother said she wants to know "what happened."

"I just want answers," she said. "I just want justice for my son."

The Chicago Police Department did not release the boy's name or age because the superintendent said he did "not want to violate his privacy as a juvenile." The police officer who killed Adam was placed on routine administrative duty for 30 days.

Mother Elizabeth Toledo spoke to ABC station WLS in Chicago on March 29, 2021.

The shooting is being investigated by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, the civilian oversight agency of the Chicago Police Department.

"COPA is currently making every effort and researching all legal avenues that will allow for the public release of all video materials which capture the tragic fatal shooting of 13 year old Adam Toledo," the agency wrote on Twitter Thursday. "COPA has been in contact with the Toledo family and will provide the family a review of all video materials."

The Chicago Police Department sau they ffully supports the COPA investigation and will release any and all video related to the incident, including body-worn camera footage, according to the superintendent.

COPA announced in a statement Friday afternoon that they will release the body camera video and other material related to the shooting.

"COPA has determined that certain provisions of state law intended to protect the confidentiality of juvenile records do not prohibit the agency's release of material related to its investigation of a Chicago Police Officer's fatal shooting of 13-year old Adam Toledo," the statement said. "COPA's General Counsel concluded that the Juvenile Court Act does not bar publication of the body worn and third-party video camera footage the agency has obtained to date."

However, the agency did not say when it would be released.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said "it is critically important that COPA release relevant videos first to the family, and then to the public, as quickly as possible, with appropriate protections, given his age." The mayor said "transparency and speed are crucial" because the boy's family and the public "will undoubtedly have many questions."

"As a mother of a 13-year-old myself, I can only imagine the incredible pain this boy's parents are experiencing at this moment," Lightfoot wrote on Twitter Thursday. "My heart goes out to them."