Hundreds protest Chicago police killing of 13-year-old boy - GulfToday

Hundreds protest Chicago police killing of 13-year-old boy


Activists rally and protest near Mayor Lori Lightfoot's home in the Logan Square neighbourhood in Chicago. AP

Gulf Today Report

Hundreds marched through the streets of Chicago on Friday to protest the police shooting of Adam Toledo, a day after the city released a graphic video of a police officer shooting and killing the 13-year-old Latino boy in an alley two weeks ago.

Demonstrators chanted "Hands up, don't shoot!" and "No justice, no peace!" while hoisting signs with messages such as "Justice for Adam Toledo" and "Stop Racist Police Terror!" in a march that remained peaceful as night fell.


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The demonstrators observed a moment of silence and expressed solidarity with the boy's relatives, who had implored protesters to remain peaceful. The rally began in Logan Square Park, about five miles (8 km) north of where the shooting occurred.

Chicago police and protesters clash near Logan Square Park in Chicago on Friday. Tyler LaRiviere/AP

The nine-minute video, recorded by Eric Stillman's body camera, shows showed the 34-year-old officer chasing and shooting Toledo on March 29 at 2:30 a.m. in Little Village, a working-class neighbourhood on the city's West Side with a large population of Mexican Americans.

After a police officer chased a 13-year-old boy into an alley and shot him to death, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot demanded a new policy that would protect officers, suspects and bystanders in what she called one of the most dangerous actions an officer can take: a foot pursuit.

The mayor's demand was fueled by the release of a video showing officer Eric Stillman shooting Adam Toledo in the chest following a foot chase that lasted a mere 19 seconds. Now a host of questions loom about what, if anything, can be done to reduce the risk of such a deadly encounter.

Video of last month's encounter was released Thursday and provoked an outpouring of grief and outrage. It shows Officer Eric Stillman shooting Adam Toledo less than a second after the boy drops a handgun, turns toward Stillman and begins raising his hands.

A protester gestures during a demonstration near Logan Square Park on Friday. Reuters

Some viewers have called for Stillman to be charged or fired. But for others, the video shows how difficult such decisions might be for prosecutors and police higher-ups, with an officer making a quick decision to shoot after chasing a suspect down a dark alley while responding to a report about gunshots.

Whether Stillman is charged will be up to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office, which will get the Civilian Office of Police Accountability’s report after the independent board completes its investigation.

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