Top Chicago cop recommends firing of officer who fatally shot Adam Toledo

CHICAGO — Interim Chicago Police Supt. Eric Carter has recommended that the Chicago Police Board fire the officer who shot and killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo in March 2021. Carter signed off on the charges against Officer Eric Stillman on Monday.

David Brown, who recently resigned as CPD superintendent, previously recommended a five-day suspension for Stillman. The Cook County state’s attorney’s office has declined to press criminal charges against the officer.

Chicago Police Board President Ghian Foreman announced last autumn that he supported a disciplinary hearing for Stillman. The police superintendent must sign off on charges for the matter to move to the board for review, according to the Office of Inspector General’s website. It is not clear why Brown did not sign off on the charges before leaving office last month.

Interim Supt. Eric Carter has recommended the firing of the Chicago police officer who fatally shot Adam Toledo in March 2021. | Chicago Police Department; COPA

Officials have said that Toledo ran from officers while carrying a gun, which he ditched behind a fence a split-second before turning toward Stillman.

The allegations signed by Carter accuse Stillman of using “deadly force [that] was not necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm from an imminent threat.” Stillman also failed to “use de-escalation techniques to prevent the use of deadly force as a last resort,” Carter wrote.

Carter’s filing alleges the violations of seven Chicago Police Department rules, including bringing discredit upon the department, disobedience of an order or directive, disrespect or maltreatment of any person, incompetency or inefficiency in the performance of duty, unlawful or unnecessary use or display of a weapon, and engaging in an unjustified verbal or physical altercation.

According to the allegations, Stillman’s decision to chase Toledo on foot was inconsistent with the department’s training because he did not notify dispatchers before undertaking the chase, did not wait for backup, and separated from his partner.

Stillman also “failed to activate his body-worn camera in a timely manner in that he waited until after he exited his vehicle to do so,” Carter wrote. Stillman’s shooting of Toledo was recorded by his body camera, and the video began while he was driving the squad car. However, the audio portion did not start until a few seconds before the shooting.

When Brown recommended a five-day suspension for Stillman, it was for failure to activate his camera. Brown, responding to a recommendation by the city’s police oversight agency, COPA, that Stillman be fired, said he believed Stillman should not be found in violation of the department’s use of force and foot pursuit policies.

“It is my opinion, based on a thorough review of the material, the parties and the public will benefit from a full evidentiary hearing on this matter,” Foreman said when making the announcement.

Here are images of the document Carter signed on Monday:

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