Chicago Police Shoot and Kill 13-Year-Old, Family Demands Justice

A 13-year-old boy was fatally shot by Chicago police officers earlier this week in what they are calling an "armed confrontation," and the boy's family is demanding justice.

According to a press release issued by the Chicago Police Department, the incident occurred on Monday, at approximately 2:36 a.m. local time when officers responded to a "ShotSpotter alert of multiple shots fired in the 2300 block of S. Sawyer."

After arriving at the scene, officers discovered two males in an alley, but according to the release, one of the men was armed and fled from police.

"A foot pursuit ensued which resulted in a confrontation in the alley of the 2300 block of S. Sawyer. The officer fired his weapon striking the offender in the chest," the department wrote in the release. "A weapon was recovered and the offender was pronounced deceased on the scene."

That statement noted that the incident was under investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) and added that the officers involved in the fatal shooting have been placed on "routine administrative duties for a period of 30 days."

After reaching out for comment, Newsweek was directed by the Chicago Police Department to the release.

The boy was identified by the COPA as 13-year-old Adam Toledo. In the statement issued by the COPA, it noted that one of the men involved in the incident has been taken into police custody.

COPA Provides Update on Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting Near 2400 S. Sawyer pic.twitter.com/QfHP7c9O7y

— COPA (@ChicagoCOPA) April 1, 2021

Ephraim M. Eaddy, a public information officer for the COPA, wrote to Newsweek, "The death of 13 year old Adam Toledo is tragic, and we have all been saddened by this incident. COPA has been in contact with the Toledo family and will provide the family a review of all video materials."

"We are committed to releasing video materials to the extent legally possible and as a part of our commitment to transparency and building public trust," Eaddy added.

Shortly after the incident was reported by the police department and the COPA, Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown issued a statement saying that his "greatest fear…has been a deadly encounter between one of our own and a juvenile."

"Unfortunately, this fear became a reality earlier this week." Brown's statement said. "On behalf of the entire Chicago Police Department, I extend my condolences to the family of the juvenile.… The split-second use decision to use deadly force is extremely difficult for any officer, and is always a heavy burden to bear for officers involved in fatal shooting incidents."

We fully support the investigation being conducted by @ChicagoCOPA, and ​adamantly call for the release of any and all video, including body-worn camera footage, related to the incident, as permitted by law​s pertaining to juveniles. pic.twitter.com/vJ3JuroITx

— Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown (@ChiefDavidBrown) April 1, 2021

While speaking to WLS-TV in Chicago, Toledo's mother, Elizabeth, said, "I just want justice. I just want answers.… What happened? I just want justice for my son. That's all."

According to WLS-TV, Toledo's family is being represented by Weiss Ortiz PC.

In a statement sent to Newsweek, a spokesperson for Weiss Ortiz PC wrote that the fatal shooting of Toledo was "due to the unreasonable conduct of a Chicago Police Officer."

"We are confident that the Chicago Police Department and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability will conduct a thorough investigation, that there will be transparency, and that Toledo Family wilt find out the truth of what happened to Adam. Adam was killed on March 29th, 2021, but the Toledo Family was only notified of his death two days later," the statement said.

Chicago Police
A Chicago Police decal on a Chicago Police vehicle is on display at the 112th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois on February 6, 2020. Raymond Boyd/Getty

The statement added, "The Toledo Family will seek justice for this reprehensible crime and requests privacy during this time of mourning."

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also recently discussed the fatal shooting of Toledo in a Twitter thread on Thursday, calling for the COPA to release the body camera footage.

"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. My heart goes out to them," Lightfoot wrote. "While the investigation is ongoing 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."

While the investigation is ongoing 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.

— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) April 1, 2021