Hours before it went public, Mayor Lori Lightfoot arranged a private screening of the Adam Toledo filming video for her city council leadership team. Top police officers carried out the city councils.
Ald. Chris Taliaferro, 29, the former Chicago police officer who chairs the city council’s public safety committee, was as emotional as he expected.
“It’s both tragic and terrible. It’s tragic because you see the death of a young 13 year old who was on the street early that morning. And it’s awful just to absorb the fact that a life is lost. A 13-year-old who did not see his potential, ”said the chairman.
Taliaferro refused to say whether the shooting was justified or not. He doesn’t want to prejudice what he hopes will be a “thorough and swift” investigation by the civilian police accountability office.
“I have to be aware of my position. I don’t want anyone to be influenced by the opinions of elected officials while an investigation is in progress. You read the newspaper. You see the news, ”he said.
The chairman only said that the video clearly shows that Adam Toledo had a gun in his hand. He refused to say when the teen dropped the gun.
“I cannot describe the order. Even when I think about it, it is very difficult to describe what happened. The public can see for themselves and determine whether or not the policeman had reason to believe that his life was threatened, ”he said.
“The young man had a gun and everything happened so quickly. It’s not an enhanced video. Everything happened so quickly and the officer immediately took action to help Mr. Toledo too. “
Taliaferro said his heart goes out to both the Toledo family and the officer who shot the teenager and the officer’s family.
“The Toledo family lost a young and promising life regardless of whether he was out on the street early that morning. I pray for you. I also pray for the officer’s family. Nobody wants to come to work as a police officer and take their own life, ”said Taliaferro.
“Whenever you take someone’s life, it sits with you mentally. … But I am proud of his actions. He did what he was trained to do. Mr. Toledo is not seen as the culprit. He also saw him wounded. And he helped immediately. He was trying to save his life. He immediately started CPR. He assessed Mr. Toledo’s injuries. ”
A still from a video captured by a Chicago policeman’s body-worn camera shows Adam Toledo just before he was shot by the policeman. Still image from COPA video
Lightfoot again vowed Thursday to reform a foothunting policy that “puts everyone at risk: the officers, the person being persecuted and bystanders”.
Taliaferro urged the mayor to be careful how far she goes to contain the Chicago police chases “at a time when crime is very high”.
“If the police can’t follow a fugitive offender on foot, do we send a signal to our offenders that they won’t be caught because nobody is chasing me? Nobody will follow me on foot? That may be the case that someone who commits a crime sends the wrong message or even thinks about committing a crime. It could potentially give them a propensity to commit this crime because I know the police are not going to hunt, ”he said.
“That could easily have happened during a household. It could easily have happened under any circumstances – and it did. I remember early after moving into town where a gentleman was shot dead on a cell phone on Lake Shore Drive. These things happen. ”
Taliaferro said police reform is necessary. This also applies to policy changes. But he said it must be done in such a way that both the residents of Chicago and the police officers who serve and protect them are protected.
“If we implement policies designed to harm our residents by preventing the police from arresting a perpetrator for lack of chase, we may be in trouble. Our crime rates could skyrocket, ”he said.
Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez, 25th, was so shocked by the video that he asked Housing Committee Chairman Harry Osterman, 48th, to suspend a meeting to consider Lightfoot’s proposed revision of the city’s affordable housing ordinance.
“It’s a very emotional time,” said Sigcho-Lopez.
Osterman replied, “It’s emotional for all of us. … What you asked for is appropriate. ”
After that, Sigcho-Lopez had tears in his eyes as he talked about what he saw in the video released on Thursday.
“A police officer shot a 13-year-old boy who stopped and raised his hands when the police officer told him to do so. A boy whose body was completely open and vulnerable to a policeman’s weapon, ”he said.
“What we saw is exactly what happens when cops learn that their life is more important than that of others. Our system protects the broken notion that black and brown children are disposable. Now is the time to tear down this racist, violent system and repair our city. The mayor has no more chances. Our city cannot afford to lose another life. ”