The police department released a video sequence that shows close-up video and freeze frames in which 13 year old Adam Toledo appears to have a gun seconds before turning with raised hands.
Police Officer Eric Stillman has been identified as the officer who fatally shot the teen on March 29 in the Little Village neighborhood. Toledo’s death sparked protests among the community which is demanding change from the Chicago Police Department and Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Stillman’s attorney Tim Grace said “the officer was faced with a life-threatening and deadly force situation.”
The apparent intention of the released freeze frames are to provide emphasis on the “seconds” between Adam discarding the weapon and Stillman firing a shot.
The freeze frames support the Cook County state’s attorney’s office statement that Initial reports that claimed Toledo had a gun in his hands when he was shot are false.
The freeze frame shows the gun in Adam’s right hand as he discards it behind the fence. There is nothing in his raised left hand.
Stillman yells, “Hands — show me your f—ing hands.” Toledo then drops what seems to be a gun behind a fence, according to officials.
As the officer yells, “Drop it!” Toledo put both of his hands up. In less than one second according to the prosecutors’ account, Toledo allegedly tosses the gun behind the fence, and is shot by the officer.
Police Officer Eric Stillman
“This did not have happen,” said Alison Flowers, Invisible Institute Director of Investigations. “This was completely avoidable and Officer Stillman is a product of his training, whether we like it or not.”
The Invisible Institute, an investigative organization that tracks police misconduct, said Stillman has three misconduct complaints since he became a Chicago police officer in 2015. Two involve improper search. None resulted in disciplinary action.
21-year-old Ruben Roman was with Adam Toledo the morning of the incident. Authorities report surveillance video captured Roman firing at passing vehicles which triggered the police response.
Both ran, according to officials. In the footage, Stillman tackles Roman to the ground, then, while another officer arrests him, gets back up to chase Toledo.
Gloves worn by Roman tested positive for gunshot residue, according to Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy. He said seven shell casings recovered by officers matched the handgun Roman is previously seen using and that he says Toledo later appears to be carrying.
Roman now faces felony charges of reckless discharge of a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, child endangerment and violating probation.