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Calls Mount To Release Body Cam Video After Chicago Police Shot And Killed 13-Year-Old Adam Toledo This Week

CHICAGO (CBS) -- There were growing cries Thursday night to release the video of a 13-year-old boy being shot and killed by Chicago Police this week.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability said Thursday that it will take some time before we or anyone in the public can see the video. But as CBS 2's Jermont Terry reported, the family of the teen – Adam Toledo – will get the chance to watch the video whether it is released or not.

The police body cam video will be crucial in clearing the air.

Early Monday morning, Chicago Police arrived for a ShotSpotter alert of multiple shots fired in the 2300 block of South Sawyer Avenue in the Little Village area. Grainy surveillance video shows officers pulling up and getting out, but what played out next in the alley is only captured on police body camera.

Police said Toledo and a 21-year-old man were in the alley. According to COPA, both ran.

They captured the man, but the teen was shot. The Cook County Medical Examiner's office said it was a single bullet to the chest.

Adam Toledo
(Credit: Legal Help Firm)

In the early part of the investigation, a Chicago Police spokesman tweeted a picture of a gun that police said was found at the scene that night.

But police never mentioned the person they shot was 13 years old. Instead, that information was released three days later by the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

Then, and only then, did tweets from police Supt. David Brown speak about the young victim. In a statement, Brown said:

"My greatest fear as the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department has been a deadly encounter between one of our own and a juvenile especially given the recent rise in violent crimes involving juveniles throughout our city. Unfortunately, this fear became a reality earlier this week. Any loss of life is tragic, especially when it involves youth. On behalf of the entire Chicago Police Department, I extend my condolences to the family of the juvenile, who was fatally shot by a Chicago Police officer in the early morning hours of Monday, March 29, 2021. I'm not naming this young man because I do not want to violate his privacy as a juvenile," Brown said in a statement. "The split-second 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 the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), and adamantly call for the release of any and all video, including body-worn camera footage, related to the incident, as permitted by laws pertaining to juveniles."

Mayor Lori Lightfoot followed, saying: "Because his family and the public will undoubtedly have many questions, we must release any relevant videos as soon as possible. Recognizing that these are the most complex cases that COPA investigates, transparency and speed are crucial."

Neither COPA nor the CPD have stated if Toledo had the gun, pointed it at officers, or fired a shot. Yet police insist the officer feared for his safety.

COPA said it is working all legal avenues to get the video released, but laws with regard to juveniles currently prohibit it.

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