Family unaware of any plans to release Adam Toledo shooting video, spokesperson says

A representative for the family of Adam Toledo, the 13-year-old who was fatally shot by police in Little Village on March 29, said they are unaware of any city plans to release the officer’s body-worn camera footage today.

On Wednesday, a Chicago Police Department deputy chief told officers under their command that the department “will release the police shooting video…this Friday.” Calling the information “subject to change,” the high-ranking officer ordered certain units to alter their shift hours for Friday and to ensure their full uniforms were ready at their stations. He also said their days off might be canceled.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said the video would not be released until after Toledo’s family has an opportunity to see it privately. This week, she said she hoped the family would have that chance “sooner rather than later.”

Thursday evening, a spokesperson for Toledo’s family said they were communicating with the city about an opportunity to view video and other materials related to the shooting. But, they said, no one from the city had informed them of any plans to release materials publicly.

Meanwhile, some of the investigative materials have begun to circulate through unauthorized channels, including images from a police officer’s body-worn camera, sparking concerns that the public may see and react to pieces of information before officials release it in a fuller context.

Some of the images show a person wearing white shoes, blue jeans, and a dark sweatshirt standing next to a large opening in a wooden fence along the Farragut Career Academy High School parking lot. Timestamps on the images align with the time of the Toledo shooting. On March 29, police released a photo of a handgun resting upside-down along a wooden fence as the department announced the incident.

Portions of leaked CPD body-worn camera footage show a person who appears to be standing just outside the left-hand side of this fence opening on the 2300 block of South Spaulding. | Google

The camera images reviewed by CWBChicago are not clear enough to identify the person or determine conclusively if they have anything in their hands.

In its first official statement about the shooting, CPD said Toledo was shot following “a foot pursuit…which resulted in a confrontation in the alley” of 2300 South Spaulding. Less than an hour before that statement was released, a CPD spokesperson described it as an “armed confrontation.”

Since then, CPD Supt. David Brown has refused to say if Toledo had a gun in his hand when the officer shot him. Lightfoot, who claims she has not seen the video, put her focus on finding the adult who “put a gun in a child’s hand.”

Yesterday, a judge issued an arrest warrant for Ruben Romeo, the 21-year-old who police said ran from the scene of a shots-fired incident with Toledo. According to the Sun-Times, Romeo failed to show up in court Wednesday for a 2019 gun case that he is on probation for.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com