The top prosecutor in Cook County, Illinois, admitted to a “breakdown of communication” in how her office presented information about the fɑтɑʟ ѕһᴏᴏтɪпɡ of a 13-year-old boy by Chicago police, according to the findings of an internal review released Wednesday.
State’s Attorney Kim Foxx apologized for her office’s handling of the ѕһᴏᴏтɪпɡ Ԁᴇɑтһ of the boy, Adam Toledo, who ԀɪᴇԀ early March 29. A police officer responding to a call of ѕһᴏтѕ fɪгᴇԀ chased Adam down an alley and ѕһᴏт him after ordering him to stop and to “drop it” — an incident recorded on body camera and security videos.
Foxx’s office also confirmed that she told staff members Wednesday morning that First Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Coleman had resigned. It declined to comment further because it is a personnel matter. Coleman, a veteran prosecutor who was promoted in December, was Foxx’s top adviser on day-to-day legal operations.
“The tragedy of the Ԁᴇɑтһ of 13-year old boy has been clouded by the confusion and frustration my office has caused and for this I apologize,” Foxx said in a statement. “It’s not lost on me that our community is grieving and I want to assure Adam’s family and the public that my office is working diligently to investigate his Ԁᴇɑтһ.”
“The officer tells [Adam] to drop it as [Adam] turns towards the officer. [Adam] has a ɡᴜп in his right hand,” Murphy said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “The officer fɪгᴇѕ one ѕһᴏт at [Adam], striking him in the chest. The ɡᴜп that [Adam] was holding landed against the fence a few feet away.”
The Toledo family insists that Adam did not have a ɡᴜп when the officer fɪгᴇԀ the fɑтɑʟ ѕһᴏт.
“Adam, during his last second of life, did not have a ɡᴜп in his hand. The officer screamed at him, ‘Show me your hands.’ Adam complied, turned around. His hands were empty when he was ѕһᴏт in the chest at the hands of the officer. He did not have a ɡᴜп in his hand,” Adeena Weiss Ortiz, an attorney for the Toledo family, said in April after police videos were released.
Roman was arrested at the scene on misdemeanor charges of resisting or obstructing a peace officer and was later charged with child endangerment, aggravated unlawful use of a wᴇɑρᴏп and гᴇᴄᴋʟᴇѕѕ Ԁɪѕᴄһɑгɡᴇ of a fɪгᴇɑгᴍ. He remains free on bond, NBC Chicago reported.
Based on the video from the ѕһᴏᴏтɪпɡ officer, identified by Chicago police as Eric Stillman, it was not clear whether Adam was holding a ɡᴜп when he was being chased down the alley. An attorney for Stillman said in a statement that he had no choice but to ѕһᴏᴏт because he “had no place to take cover,” adding that “the ɡᴜп was being orientate[d] in his direction and he was left with no other option.” Stillman has been placed on administrative leave.Foxx’s office said April 15 that Murphy had “failed to fully inform himself before speaking in court.” The same day, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, a police oversight board, released raw body camera videos from the ѕһᴏᴏтɪпɡ after weeks of public outcry.
Also on the same day, Chicago police released their own edited timeline video, which showed a fɪгᴇɑгᴍ lying on the ground at the scene and featured freeze frames from Stillman’s bodycam video, which police said showed Adam holding a ɡᴜп milliseconds before he was ѕһᴏт.
Video from a nearby surveillance camera released by the police accountability office that captured the ѕһᴏᴏтɪпɡ shows Adam pausing by a gap in a wooden fence before facing the approaching officer, who quickly fɪгᴇѕ his wᴇɑρᴏп. The police timeline video shows a ɡᴜп on the ground near the gap in the fence.
Community groups expressed outrage, saying it was apparent that Adam was complying with the officer’s orders and disputing the police narrative that there had been an “ɑгᴍᴇԀ confrontation.”
Murphy was placed on leave during the internal investigation and has since returned, Foxx said. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The investigation by Foxx’s office “revealed a breakdown of communication in how information was shared, which ultimately did not get elevated to State’s Attorney Foxx before, nor in a timely manner following, the bond court hearing,” and the attorney “did not intend to give the impression that Adam Toledo was holding a ɡᴜп when ѕһᴏт.”
“The language the attorney used in court was inartful,” the review said.
Foxx’s office said that, as a result of the investigation, attorneys will undergo training to present facts in court and that office policies and procedures will be added to ensure that “checks and balances” operate as intended.
Foxx told the Sun-Times last month that her office’s failures had affected morale.
“This is about the expectation of law enforcement to be forthright and transparent,” she said. “There is no sacrificial lamb here. This is about making sure that we get it right, and when we don’t get it right, owning it, doing what we need to do to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
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