The nine-minute body camera footage from Chicago officer Eric Stillman’s body camera shows the 34-year-old white cop stepping out of his patrol car and chasing after Adam Toledo in an alley at 2:30 a.m. on March 29 in Little Village, a Mexican neighbourhood on the city’s West Side.
After that, the video shows Stillman shouting “stop” to Toledo before catching up to him and ordering him to show him his hands. Toledo managed to raise his hands just as Stillman fired one shot and then rushed to the boy as he collapsed to the ground.
“Shots fired, shots fired. Get an ambulance over here now,” the policeman is heard saying in the video.
“Stay with me, stay with me,” Stillman said. “Somebody bring the medical kit now!”
According to the Chicago Police Department, Toledo had a revolver in his possession at the time of the shooting.
On Thursday, the department posted a portion of the same video to its website. The department marked it with an arrow on a still shot, pointing to what seemed to be a handgun in Toledo’s right hand before Stillman opened fire.
“838 milliseconds between gun shown in hand and single shot,” the police department said in a caption.
An attorney for the family, Adeena Weiss Ortiz, said during a news conference after the release of the video that Toledo complied with Stillman’s orders, dropped his weapon and turned around before the officer opened fire.
“I don’t know if the officer had enough time or not. All I know is the officer is trained to not shoot an unarmed individual,” she said.
Ortiz also said the Toledo family found some solace and comfort to see the video of their son in his last moments.
“They want justice for Adam, whatever that may entail,” she said. “This is a very close, tight-knit Hispanic family. All of those who lived with him adored this child.”
Around 5 minutes and 30 seconds into the film, the cop shines a spotlight on a handgun feet away from where police worked feverishly to save Toledo’s life by doing CPR on him.
Officers were pursuing Toledo and a 21-year-old man after receiving reports of eight shots fired in the neighbourhood, according to the police. The other man was detained.
“There were a number of forces that met up at two-thirty in the morning on March 29 in an alley, and, simply put, we failed Adam,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said during a news conference before the video was released.
The city’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability has posted 33 data files linked to the incident, including other police body camera recordings, footage from nearby surveillance cameras, and records. Stillman, who has been on the force for six years, was named as the officer who shot and killed Toledo in one of the records.
The crime, along with the deadly police shooting of Daunte Wright in a Minneapolis suburb on Sunday and the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd in May 2020, has heightened tensions in Chicago.
“Chicago, as well as way too many parts of our country, has a long legacy of police violence and police misconduct that have left far too many residents, especially those who are Black and brown, in a constant state of fear and pain,” Lightfoot said.
Following the dissemination of the video recordings, city authorities advised residents to stay peaceful as they prepared for civil unrest. More police officers and city vehicles will be deployed to secure businesses during any violence, they added.
After Floyd’s murder, which was also captured on tape, Chicago, like many other American cities, saw protests and looting.
Toledo’s family said in a statement issued to local media that they welcomed the community’s solidarity and were thankful that the demonstrations in Chicago had been calm over the past few days.