Mayor Lori Lightfoot and lawyers for 13-year old Adam Toledo’s family have issued a call for calm as the city prepares to release video of the teen’s fatal police shooting Thursday.
“We acknowledge that the release of this video is the first step in the process toward the healing of the family, the community and our city,” the joint statement between Lightfoot and Toledo’s family lawyers said. “We understand that the release of this video will be incredibly painful and elicit an emotional response to all who view it, and we ask that people express themselves peacefully.”
At a press conference on the video Thursday afternoon, the mayor said the video was expected to released at about 2:30 p.m.
The city’s top lawyer, Celia Meza, met with Toledo family attorneys Adeena Weiss Ortiz and Joel Hirschhorn on Tuesday and they agreed “that all material should be released, including a slowed-down compilation of the events of March 29 that resulted in the tragic death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo.”
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which investigates all shootings by police, issued a statement Wednesday saying the video and other materials would be released Thursday, and that the Toledo family had been notified of that decision.
“COPA has remained sensitive to the family’s grief and is carrying out this release in accordance with the city’s video release policy,” the statement read. “COPA’s core values of integrity and transparency are essential to building public trust, particularly in incidents related to an officer-involved shooting, and we are unwavering in our commitment to uphold these values.”
Toledo was fatally shot by a police officer in the early morning hours of March 29 in a Little Village alley after a foot pursuit, touching off protests and demonstrations in the neighborhood. COPA’s choice to disseminate the footage sets up what may be the most anticipated release of police video in Chicago in years — perhaps since a judge ordered a video of the 2014 shooting of teenager Laquan McDonald to be made public more than five years ago.
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SOURCE: Chicago Tribune, Gregory Pratt and Jeremy Gorner