Hundreds of grieving and angered Chicago residents rallied throughout the weekend to protest the police killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo last month. While a number of people from Adam’s Little Village community had taken to the streets after learning of his killing nearly three weeks ago, demonstrations ramped up starting Friday following release of body cam video (note: link does not include footage) showing Chicago police shooting and killing Adam while he had both hands up in the air.
“The video released today speaks for itself—Adam was unarmed in his last seconds of life, contrary to now-retracted claims by city leadership that an armed confrontation occurred between Adam and the police,” said Rep. Chuy García, who is also a Little Village resident. “Like so many other Latino and Black children confronted by police, he was not afforded the benefit of the doubt that we’ve seen given to white suspects. Instead, Adam was robbed of his future.”
Similarly, another elected official from Adam’s largely Latino neighborhood expressed outrage following the footage release, calling the killing a “murder,” The Guardian reported. “So if you put your hands up, they shoot. If you put your hands down, they shoot,” the report quotes state Rep. Edgar Gonzalez saying on the chamber floor. “If you walk, you run, you hide, you sleep, you do exactly as they say, they still shoot. So I ask the members of this chamber, what are we supposed to do?”
“So, compliance doesn’t seem to save you, not even a child,” Brown University sociology associate professor Nicole González Van Cleve told NBC News. The report cites research showing that Latino residents are killed by police at a rate 6 times higher than white residents. “Despite repeated calls for police accountability and systemic reform, Latino and Black youth continue to be killed by police,” García continued in his statement. “We must acknowledge decades of policies that perpetuate systemic racism, sanction policy brutality, and fail our youth.”
Demonstrations continued through the weekend, with CBS Chicago reporting at least 100 people gathering on Sunday. Protests were not isolated to the Chicago area, either. South Florida Sun Sentinel reports that Miami area residents gathered to remember Toledo and Black victims of police violence, including Daunte Wright and 17-year-old Anthony Thompson Jr. In Charleston, South Carolina, residents also gathered for a candlelit vigil, Live 5 News reported. “The groups, led by the Charleston chapter of Black Lives Matter, are asking for a more peaceful outreach to minority communities and change in the police department to prevent more stories like Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo,” the report said.
Even before the release of the body cam footage, Chicago police had omitted key details about the child in statements to the media and public. In an initial statement on March 29, police referred to the boy as an “offender.” A family lawyer said he had no criminal history. A second statement on April 1 then called him a “juvenile,” but still didn’t list his age. Mother Jones reported “it took reporters digging through an autopsy ledger to break the news about his age that day, according to Lakeidra Chavis, a Chicago-based reporter at the Trace, which covers gun violence.” And, horrifically, it took police two days to inform Adam’s mother that her son was dead.
Adam’s killing by Chicago police comes as the 1-year anniversary of the shooting death of 18-year-old Andrés Guardado by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department approaches in June. While the coroner’s office announced a nearly unprecedented inquest into his death overseen by a former court of appeals justice, four members of the sheriff’s office, including the deputy who shot and killed Guardado, refused to testify, “invoking their 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination even though none of them have been accused of a crime,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
“First @LACoSheriff dismissed the investigation into Andres’s death as a ‘circus stunt,’” tweeted Julián Castro, who as a 2020 presidential candidate released an ambitious policing reform plan addressing the exact kind of police violence that led to the 18-year-old’s killing at the hands of law enforcement. “Now officers refuse to cooperate with the inquiry. You’re there to serve and protect the people, not yourselves. This looks like a cover up to protect officers and prevent accountability.”
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.