On March 29, 2021, a 13-year-old Latino boy, named Adam Toledo, was killed by Officer Eric Stillman of the Chicago Police Department.
After being signaled about gunshots in the area, police arrived and began chasing Toledo as well as the 21-year-old that he was with, Ruben Roman. Stillman continued to chase Toledo after Roman was caught and yelled at him to “show me your [expletive] hands.” CCTV footage shows that Toledo tossed something, which officers claim was a gun, and put his hands up. Stillman fired, fatally shooting the 13-year-old in the chest.
Bodycam footage was recently released and an independent investigation into the incident is currently underway. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed that the footage was “incredibly difficult to watch” – a sentiment shared by most who have viewed it.
There have been multiple protests around the country demanding justice for Adam Toledo and a defunding of the police. The Chicago Police Department has an exorbitant budget of over $1.6 billion. CPD also received $281.5 million in CARES Act money, which, activists pointed out, would have been better spent supporting struggling families and community programs. It’s time that Mayor Lightfoot and other leaders take their constituents’ concerns seriously by reinvesting police budgets into social programs that will actually help people and prevent violence. Furthermore, Stillman, who is currently on desk duty, needs to be removed from the police force.
On the GoFundMe page for his funeral, Adam Toledo’s family described him as a child who loved to play with LEGOs and make people laugh. They said that he “brightened up the room when he would walk in.”
He was just a kid. He wasn’t holding a gun. He put his hands up. And yet, even if Adam Toledo was an adult with a gun and kept running, Stillman still shouldn’t have shot him. A situation like this should never occur, yet it happens all too often in America.
Sign this petition to demand justice for Adam Toledo. Some of CPD’s funding needs to be reallocated into actual community services and officer Stillman needs to be fired from his job as a police officer!
To continue speaking up, sign these other petitions as well:
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