Everyone in Chicago has now heard about this case where a 13-year old boy was shot by the police. The media is claiming he was “unarmed” but this is a misconception. Unfortunately, this was a justified situation according to the things that others have seen. From police perspective, the Adam Toledo Chicago incident was a misfortune, but also justified.
The Adam Toledo Chicago Incident
The Officer Tatum
on YouTube proves to you through a play-by-play video that you should not listen to certain groups when it comes to these incidents. If a person is not going to show you the full footage or tell you that the kid was unarmed, they are misrepresenting the situation. When you see the full footage, you will see that this was a justified situation according to the law.
The Full Footage from The Chicago Police Department
The Chicago Police Department
has released the full footage of the videos that are captured from different locations – some of which are body-worn cameras, and some of those are from residences. It starts with a few seconds of security camera video from a nearby church, showing the teen walking down the street with a male adult at 4 am. The security footage then shows the man that Adam was with fire off at least eight rounds with a gun.
The reason why police got involved was because they responded to an adult man firing eight shots at an unknown target – it could have been at a random object or person. The footage provided by The Chicago Police Department shows bodycam footage from the two cops who were involved. The officer then chased the teen down the alley and the video is showing Adam stopping near a fence.
“A slowed-down version of the video, prepared by the Chicago Police Department, shows Adam standing in a large gap in a wooden fence with his side to his officer and what appears to be a gun behind his back.” – article from POLICE Magazine
The Officer Approaches Adam
After the officer stopped Adam, slowed down footage revealed that Adam did in fact, have a gun in his hand. You can see in the video that the law enforcement
officer has his flashlight aimed at Toledo and he tells him to “drop it”. When Adam moves his right hand toward the officer, the officer fires one shot and the teen falls to the ground. Still images from the scene do include a handgun.
As a police officer, when you see someone running down an alley, you automatically think “Oh no, why is this guy running from me? He looks guilty.” When a person just randomly stops like Adam did, it usually means that you are ready for something to happen. Something DID happen – he had a gun in his hand, the police officer saw the gun and said ‘drop it, drop it, drop it”. Not only was Adam tucked away in the corner, but he wasn’t putting his hands up which is when he threw the gun away. The cop sees him pull the gun and he throws it at the same time that he puts his hands up. The cop didn’t know that the gun went in a different direction instead of aimed at him.
A Split Second Decision
This is an unfortunate situation but it is a textbook use of force. Adam is slowing down but he hesitated to put his hands up. On top of that, the officer sees Adam pull a gun out. Adam threw the gun behind the fence which the cop can’t see, then he turned around to face the cop, and was shot. When the court evaluates this footage, they will have to decide “did this officer have reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or death. Also, the court is going to decide if there was reason to believe that he is a dangerous fleeing felon? The answer is yes. Adam and this man fired eight shots into the community – which makes them armed and dangerous at this point – both of them.
The cop knows that at any point, the kid can turn around and start shooting at the cop. All the cop knows at this point is that the individuals are armed. The cop had every reason to believe that his life was in danger. When you see someone pull a gun out, you have to make a split-second decision – you don’t have time to debate whether he has a gun or not. You have to beat him to the punch. It’s unfortunate that Adam was only 13. However, at the end of the day, it is a justified use of force.
Unfortunately, the media has painted Adam as “just a kid”. While the situation was unfortunate, Adam was out at 3 am with a gun, shooting at random and then proceeding to run from the police. The police had to use deadly force to eliminate a perceived threat. At the end of the day, the police used a justified use of force.