Chicago, IL — Last year, the country watched in horror as Chicago police officer Eric Stillman gunned down a 13-year-old boy, Adam Toledo. Adam had his hands up and was unarmed when Stillman killed him. In March, the city of Chicago announced that Stillman would face no charges.
One would think that Chicago cops would attempt to avoid killing more unarmed children after such a high profile case left a dark stain on their department. However, the lack of accountability for Stillman seemingly granted them permission to do it again. On Wednesday, Chicago police shot another unarmed 13-year-old boy.
According to police, they were investigating a stolen car being driven by an alleged carjacker. The boy was not the carjacker but when police pulled over the vehicle, the child jumped out of the backseat and ran away.
Officers were trying “to stop a stolen vehicle wanted in connection with a vehicular hijacking from a neighboring suburb,” in the 800 block of North Cicero Avenue about 10:15 p.m., according to a statement from Chicago police.
Police would claim that as the boy ran, he "turned toward officers" briefly before one of them opened fire and shot the unarmed child.
“All of a sudden, I see a little guy wearing all black get out of the car and run toward the gas station, and his hands were up,” one witness who asked not to be identified told ABC7.
“And I seen the cop run up to the boy and started shooting. That boy didn’t have no gun or nothing,” the witness said.
“They said, ‘Put your hands up, put your hands up!’ The boy’s hands were up. There’s other people out there that seen it. I got it all on my phone — his hands were up. He didn’t have a gun,” the witness said. “They shot him for no reason.”
“No shots were fired at officers,” Chicago police Superintendent David Brown said during a brief evening news conference at police headquarters Thursday.
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Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford told the Chicago Tribune that the boy was shot once. He was unarmed and no guns were recovered from the scene.
“When Chicago Fire (Department) arrived on scene, the Chicago Police Department was rendering medical aid to the patient on the ground,” Langford said.
The boy is currently hospitalized in serious condition, according to a Civilian Office of Police Accountability news.
“Worse fear confirmed!” anti-violence group GoodKids MadCity tweeted after the shooting. “Especially knowing how this child will be handcuffed to the hospital bed, criminalized by the media & silenced from sharing their version of what happened, locked away in the” Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that "police body camera video of the shooting was turned over to COPA, as well as video from a police POD surveillance camera and a third-party camera, the agency said in a statement. But because the shooting involves a juvenile, COPA said it is prohibited by law from making the video public under a city policy that requires most video be released within 60 days."
Footage from the execution of Adam Toledo was only released because his family granted COPA permission to do so. If the same does not happen in this incident, the public will not see the video.
Earlier this year, in Philadelphia, a police officer shot and killed a 12-year-old boy in a similar fashion. Police claimed that even though Thomas Siderio was fleeing, he was still a threat. However, a grand jury disagreed.
Last week, the now-former officer Edsaul Mendoza was charged with first-degree murder, third-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, and other charges in connection to the fatal shooting of Thomas.
Police admitted that Thomas was unarmed with Mendoza killed him.
Whether or not this officer in Chicago will face similar accountability is unknown. However, given the fact that the officer who killed Adam Toledo was let off, it will not be surprising if he faces no charges.