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Elected Officials And Other Leaders Express Grief, Outrage Over Adam Toledo Police Shooting Video

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Reaction ranged from heartbreak to outrage among elected officials and caucuses late Thursday, following the release of video of the police shooting that killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo.

Gov. JB Pritzker called for "justice" and "accountability" after the shooting.

"As a father, I know to my core that Adam Toledo's family is living a parent's worst nightmare. My heart goes out to all who love him," Pritzker said in a statement. "Parents deserve neighborhoods that will nurture their kids. Children deserve to be safe. Communities deserve to live with hope for the future. Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old child, was shot to death. This is a moment that calls for justice for our children and accountability in all our public institutions. The State of Illinois is committed to this work, whether it is transforming our justice system or investing in communities to create durable and long-term progress."

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) put the Adam Toledo shooting in the context of other deaths at the hands of police – including the death of George Floyd, for which former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin is now on trial, and the deadly shooting of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota this past weekend:

"In the midst of the trial of Derek Chauvin and the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, Chicago has come to face the shocking fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo. He was a seventh grader at Gary Elementary School in Little Village with his whole life ahead of him. My heart breaks for his family and friends, who are grieving the loss of his young life.

"The Civilian Office of Police Accountability has committed to completing a full, thorough, and objective investigation of the entire incident. That process should move forward in a fair and expeditious manner.

"From Laquan McDonald to Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Sandra Bland, and tragically many other Black and Brown men and women whose names we do not know, their lives have been lost to brutal acts of racial injustice. The evidence shows that we are dealing with a system of justice that isn't being applied equally—and we need to change that.

"As Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I'm committed to meeting this historic moment with real change.

"I am grateful that protests so far have remained peaceful and urge all Chicagoans to continue to face this tragedy with peaceful resolve in order to honor Adam's memory and work constructively to bring the change we need."

Illinois House Speaker Emmanuel "Chris" Welch (D-Westchester) called the Adam Toledo shooting a "tragedy that should never have happened.

"While I appreciate the release of this video, I can't imagine what it's like for Adam's parents to have to relive their loss. Given that, I hope we can all learn from this heartbreaking event," Welch wrote on Twitter. "Adam was a kid who deserved a full, happy life, but the system failed him. That's what I intend to focus on—not just as a legislator, but as a father. As we work through this tragedy, I plead with everyone to please keep the peace."

Illinois Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) called Adam's death "horrifying."

"As a parent, I can't imagine having to watch a video like this. This has to stop," he wrote on Twitter.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle expressed grief and called for justice:

"My thoughts right now are on a 13-year-old child who should still be with us.

"Adam Toledo.

"I grieve with his family and loved ones who mourn the unimaginable. My heart breaks as I think of my own children, grandchildren, and former students.

"Let us pray for peace, which, I must admit, even I cannot find in this moment and every single time a person of color is killed by an officer.

"There are far too many of these times now.

"Adam Toledo was just a child and should still be alive.

"We must demand justice and accountability for this tragedy and address the law enforcement system that have allowed this to happen time and time again."

Illinois state Rep. Lakesia Collins (D-Chicago) drew attention to a disparity between how police treat white people versus people of color.

"It takes a village to raise a child, is an African proverb that essentially means that every individual in a society is in one way or another responsible and critical in the development of a child. Adam Toledo was a child and the City of Chicago failed him. In particular the Chicago Police Department and the officer who took his life away.

"We have seen nationwide, police handle white offenders with care and grace, even after committing some of the most horrendous acts. When white men attack Black or Asian communities we see them safely apprehended but innocent Adam Toledo lost his life. The institution of policing is flawed to its core. As a mother, when you tell your children to do right, that you will try your best to protect them, it's a shame that because of the world we live in, because of their race, someone can hurt our children and get away with it.

"Our city is only successful because of the children who are born and raised here and go on to change the world. Adam never got that chance and it is a travesty. I hold Adam's memory along with all those who have perished too early. The time is now for us all to work together in order to support his family and seek swift justice and action so that those who need to are held accountable and so that this never happens again."

The Chicago City Council Progressive Reform Caucus issued a call for civilian oversight of the Chicago Police Department:

"We are outraged and saddened after seeing the video footage of a Chicago police officer shooting and killing a 13-year-old child. Our sincerest condolences go to Adam's family and community. We know that Adam's life was precious, that he was loved, and that our city can and must do so much more for our youth. As we grapple with the trial of Derek Chauvin over the murder of George Floyd, the murder of Daunte Wright, and now the killing of Adam Toledo, it is incumbent upon us to reimagine policing and our approach to public safety.

"The members of the Chicago Progressive Caucus remain focused on correcting the systemic issues which led to Adam's death. It is time to embrace civilian oversight for our police department by passing the Unity Ordinance. Our public safety system should above all prioritize the value of life, equity, and the well being of all our residents. We must expedite the vital creation of the community police oversight board so we may commence the public examination of the CPD regulations, policies, and procedures that are fraught with inequities. We need transparency and accountability from top to bottom so our communities can heal and truly be safe."

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