On Friday, a Chicago prosecutor was suspended after he allegedly “failed to fully present the facts” concerning the death of Adam Toledo.
Early March 29, Chicago police received a call that people were shooting at moving vehicles. Cops responded to the Little Village neighborhood and came upon 21-year-old Ruden Roman and 13-year-old Toledo, both of whom officers said attempted to flee.
Last week, a police watchdog group called the Civilian Office of Police Accountability released body camera footage showing the lead-up to Toledo’s fatal shooting.
The video footage shows police tackled Roman, while another officer chased after Toledo. After chasing the teen down an alley while Toledo had a gun in his hand the entire time, the officer in pursuit believing this young man had just fired the weapon at vehicles on the road, the teenager then suddenly stopped and turned his body around to face the officer who yelled, “Show me your f***ing hands,” and then “Drop it!” before firing at Toledo. Of all the videos presented of this event, the only one that should matter is the one that shows Toledo still had the gun in his hand less than a second prior to being shot.
WGN-TV reported Toledo “appears to have dropped a gun and raised his hands just before a Chicago police officer fatally shot him.” There are degrees of “just before,” that could change this case dramatically.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that one angle of body camera footage doesn’t show Toledo “throwing away the gun, and the boy doesn’t appear to be holding a weapon in his raised hands…but another video shows him apparently throwing something through a gap in the fence to the other side — and a video shows an officer discovering a handgun there.”
On Friday, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy was put on paid administrative leave after telling Judge Susana Ortiz that Toledo was holding a gun when police shot him.
“In court last week, an attorney in our office failed to fully present the facts surrounding the death of a 13-year-old boy,” a spokeswoman for State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, the same Kim Foxx who suddenly dropped all charges against actor/singer Jussie Smollett who set up a hate hoax crime, said. “We have put that individual on leave and are conducting an internal investigation into the matter.”
Murphy made the comments during a bond hearing for Roman, saying, “The officer tells Adam to drop it as Adam turns towards the officer. Adam has a gun in his right hand.” Murphy then told Judge Ortiz, “The officer fires one shot at Adam, striking him in the chest. The gun that Adam was holding landed against the fence a few feet away.”
That was wrong, but I do not believe it was done maliciously. After all, there are multiple versions of footage of what happened. Going back to the footage that shows Toledo had the weapon in his hand for what has been reported as just milliseconds prior to turning around to face the officer, he ditched the weapon, but the ditching was bladed off by Toledo’s body. The officer didn’t see it and that is a legitimate reason why the officer fired.
Sarah Sinovic, a spokeswoman for Foxx, said that not all of the footage that was released the day before was available to the prosecutor when he read the statement at Ruben’s bond hearing. Sinovic declined to say what footage actually was available then and who within the state’s attorney’s office had seen it.Strange how much press this shooting case gets out of Chicago.
“It’s still under investigation what videos were available to Murphy,” Sinovic said. “We’re still trying to figure out what he had access to when he made the statements in court.”
Foxx reportedly said in a letter, “For many of you it may have been jarring to see our statement regarding this matter. It is indeed a rarity to see the Office make such a public statement related to the actions of an [assistant state’s attorney]. It was not done lightly.”