Chicago mayor urges calm in the city as body-cam footage of fatal shooting of Toledo is released for first time Protesters along Chicago’s South Michigan Avenue during a peaceful protest on Wednesday ahead of the release of video of the fatal police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo. Photograph: Shafkat Anowar/AP Body camera video footage released for the first time on Thursday appears to show a Chicago police officer fatally shooting Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old, as he raised his hands into the air. The footage has ignited fresh outrage in the city where Toledo was shot last month. On Thursday, Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, stood alongside Latino community leaders and called for calm. Lightfoot, her voice breaking while speaking at a press conference before the footage was released to the public, described the video as “incredibly difficult to watch, particularly at the end” and said “we failed Adam”. Toledo was shot and killed by police on 29 March following a foot pursuit by officers. At the time of the shooting, Toledo was with Ruben Roman, 21, who has been charged with several felonies in connection to that night including child endangerment and reckless discharge of a firearm. The authorities had initially indicated that Toledo had a gun in his hand as he turned towards officers during the chase, after failing to obey commands to stop. But video released on Thursday showed Toledo stopping as the officer shouts after him, turning and putting his hands up, with no sign of any weapon. The boy is then shot in the chest by the officer from a short distance away. The officer was identified on Thursday as Eric Stillman, 34, a white man who has been with the department since August 2015. “I want to ask again that everyone tuning in right now think first and foremost about Adam Toledo, about what his family is enduring every single day since they learned of his passing,” Lightfoot said at the press conference. In the wake of the video’s release, reactions ranged from sorrow to rage as the circumstances surrounding Toledo’s death became more clear. Ibram X Kendi, National Book Award winner and anti-racist activist, tweeted of the shooting: “His hands were up. But even if they were down, #AdamToledo should be breathing right now. But again.” The US senator Ed Markey, who represents Massachusetts, tweeted: “We need justice for Adam Toledo, killed at just 13 years old by police violence.” Chicago activists and politicians have highlighted the legacy of racist policing in the city and lack of investment in youth programming. “Policing is broken. It’s been broken for a very long time,” said Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa of Chicago’s 35th ward, writing in a newsletter. Information on the shooting, including Toledo’s age, was not made public until days after it happened. Elizabeth Toledo, Adam’s mother, had not been notified about his death until two days after the shooting, leaving her to think her son was missing. On Thursday, Lightfoot said: “We failed Adam and we cannot afford to fail one more young person in our city.” During the press conference, the mayor spoke on a number of issues related to Toledo’s death, including fractured trust between Chicago’s marginalized communities and police officers, the importance of investing in Chicago’s youth through social programs, and implementing meaningful gun reform to prevent more illegal firearms from entering Chicago. There have been calls for Lori Lightfoot to resign, with Toledo’s death one of several police-involved shootings and misconduct scandals that have taken place during her tenure. Mayor Lori Lightfoot discusses the videos of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, who was fatally shot by a Chicago police officer, during a news conference at City Hall on Thursday. Photograph: Ashlee Rezin Garcia/AP Adam Toledo had “a big imagination and curiosity”, loved animals and riding his bicycle and had a fascination with zombies, his mother said in a statement. “He even had this zombie apocalypse bag packed and ready to go. May he rest in peace,” she said. Elizabeth Toledo said in early April that two days after the shooting, police had reached out to the family asking for a photo of Adam. She thought it was for his missing persons report but about 30 minutes later the police knocked on her door asking her to go to the medical examiner’s office to identify his body, she said in an interview with local media outlet Block Club Chicago. Protests have taken place across the city, calling for transparency and accountability, as many are angered by a string of police-involved shootings that have killed young Chicagoans in recent weeks. In addition to Toledo’s death last month, Anthony Alvarez, 22, and Travon Chadwell, 18, were killed by Chicago police in March. These police-involved shootings have coincided with the ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer charged with murdering 46-year-old George Floyd last May, as well as renewed protests over the police shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man shot by police during a traffic stop last Sunday. While Lightfoot avoided talking at the press conference about previous reports about Toledo holding a gun, as prosecutors charging Roman have alleged, the mayor did confirm that there was “no evidence whatsoever that Adam Toledo shot at the police”. Video footage entering the public domain appeared to suggest neither that Adam Toledo fired at police nor that he was holding a weapon. The Toledo family, who viewed the videos on Tuesday, asked for the recordings not to be immediately released to the public. As more protests were planned for Thursday night after the release of the footage, Lightfoot, as well as Toledo’s family, have asked for peace amid rising tensions across the city. “We acknowledge that the release of this video is the first step in the process toward the healing of the family, the community and our city,” read a joint statement made by Lightfoot and Toledo’s family lawyers. “We understand that the release of this video will be incredibly painful and elicit an emotional response to all who view it, and we ask that people express themselves peacefully,” the statement added. Increasing police accountability was a key part of Lightfoot’s election platform when she was running for mayor. She has served in the role since 2019.