CHICAGO (CBS) — The family of Adam Toledo, the 13-year-old shot and killed by Chicago police said they want transparency with the circumstances surrounding the child’s death.

Adeena Weiss Ortiz, the family’s attorney, said the mother is not ready to speak to the media about the  shooting. But only to say that he was a happy child who loved animals and playing with Legos. She said the family will get to see any available bodycam video of the incident next week.

She said Adam, who went to Gary Elementary School, had no criminal background and was not involved in any gang activity. The child died at 2:30 in the morning. The mother was informed about her child’s death days afterwards. He had four siblings.

“At this time, the family doesn’t have all the information, and they are encouraging the full cooperation of COPA, and the Chicago Police Department and transparency in obtaining the video as soon as possible, Weiss Ortiz said.

“I just want to know what really happened to my baby,” said Adam’s mother, who sobbed as she addressed the media. “They had a lot of options. But not kill him. They could have shot him in the leg, his arm, up in the air. I don’t know but not kill my baby.”

Early Monday morning, Chicago Police arrived for a ShotSpotter alert of multiple shots fired in the 2300 block of South Sawyer Avenue in the Little Village area. Grainy surveillance video shows officers pulling up and getting out, but what played out next in the alley is only captured on police body camera.

Police said Toledo and a 21-year-old man were in the alley. According to COPA, both ran.

They captured the man, but the teen was shot. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said it was a single bullet to the chest.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability said Thursday that it will take some time before we or anyone in the public can see the video. But as CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, the family of the teen – Adam Toledo – will get the chance to watch the video whether it is released or not.

Police never mentioned the person they shot was 13 years old. Instead, that information was released three days later by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Then, and only then, did tweets from police Supt. David Brown speak about the young victim. In a statement, Brown said:

“My greatest fear as the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department has been a deadly encounter between one of our own and a juvenile especially given the recent rise in violent crimes involving juveniles throughout our city. Unfortunately, this fear became a reality earlier this week. Any loss of life is tragic, especially when it involves youth. On behalf of the entire Chicago Police Department, I extend my condolences to the family of the juvenile, who was fatally shot by a Chicago Police officer in the early morning hours of Monday, March 29, 2021. I’m not naming this young man because I do not want to violate his privacy as a juvenile,” Brown said in a statement. “The split-second decision to use deadly force is extremely difficult for any officer, and is always a heavy burden to bear for officers involved in fatal shooting incidents. We fully support the investigation being conducted by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), and adamantly call for the release of any and all video, including body-worn camera footage, related to the incident, as permitted by laws pertaining to juveniles.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot followed, saying: “Because his family and the public will undoubtedly have many questions, we must release any relevant videos as soon as possible. Recognizing that these are the most complex cases that COPA investigates, transparency and speed are crucial.”


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