Body cam footage of fatal Adam Toledo shooting released

Megan Krok, Views Editor

On April 15, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability released body camera footage of the fatal police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, just over two weeks after the incident occurred.

In the early hours of March 29, Chicago police were responding to reports of gunshots fired in a Little Village alleyway. When police arrived at the location, they were met by Toledo and 21-year-old Ruben Roman. The two had reportedly been shooting at moving vehicles that night.

Roman was quickly taken into custody, however Toledo began running from the officers.

The body camera footage then shows 34-year-old Chicago police officer Eric Stillman begin chasing Toledo. Stillman reports that he saw Toledo holding a gun in his right hand, which footage shows Toledo dropped. He then quickly raised both of his hands to Stillman. Within only one second of this action, according to Chicago police officials, Stillman fired a singular, fatal shot at Toledo.

“He was 100% right.” John Catanzara, head of the Chicago police union, defended on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time.“Time-lapse video shows that that officer had eight-tenths of a second to determine if that weapon was still in his hand or not. Period.”

Despite claims siding with Stillman, leadership in Illinois called for change following Toledo’s death.

“It’s abundantly clear that our entire system failed Adam,” Governor JB Pritzker commented.

Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot noted that it is understandable that Chicago residents feel outraged by the incident. “It’s even clearer,” she stated in a press conference, “that trust between our communities and law enforcement is far from healed and remains badly broken.” 

However the mayor followed this statement by encouraging the city’s residents to wait for the facts despite this period of understandable outrage.

Just days after this footage of the Toledo shooting was released, officer Derek Chauvin, who killed George Floyd sparking national protests last summer, was found guilty on all counts of murder just this past Tuesday. And while this was a victory for many Americans, 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was fatally shot by Ohio police the same day. Between both the Toledo and Bryant shootings, law enforcement remains with continuous demands for change from police reform activists.

As the investigation of Toledo’s death continues, Stillman has been placed on administrative duty.