| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

Hundreds protest Chicago police killing of 13-year-old boy

Hundreds took to the streets of Chicago on Friday to protest the police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, a day after the city released a graphic video of a police officer shooting and killing the Latino boy in an alley two weeks ago.

Protesters chanted “No justice, no peace!” and “Hands up, don’t shoot!” while lifting signs with messages such as “Justice for Adam Toledo” and “Stop Racist Police Terror!” in a march that remained peaceful as night fell.

The protesters observed a moment of silence and voiced solidarity with the boy’s relatives, who had urged demonstrators to remain peaceful. The rally started in Logan Square Park, about five miles (8 km) north of where the shooting took place.

The 9-minute video, recorded by Eric Stillman’s body camera, depicted the 34-year-old officer chasing and shooting Toledo on March 29 at 2:30 a.m. in Little Village, a working-class neighborhood on the city’s West Side with a large population of Mexican Americans.

Toledo appeared to be holding a handgun when he complied with Stillman’s order for him to stop. The video showed that Toledo then dropped the weapon and raised his hands immediately before Stillman opened fire.

The release of the video came as tensions are running high in Chicago and across the country over the issues of policing and racial justice.

In the latest police-involved shootings of black people, an officer in a Minneapolis suburb shot dead a Black man during a traffic stop, and now faces a second-degree manslaughter charge.

The defense rested its case on Thursday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer charged with murder in the death of George Floyd, whose death last year led to a nationwide wave of demonstrations.

In a statement, the Chicago Police Department said it was closely monitoring events across the country and deployed additional resources throughout the city. The department said it has also canceled days off for police officers in multiple teams and units.

Businesses throughout the city boarded up windows over the past week in anticipation of potential riots and looting after the release of the video. The city saw widespread rioting and looting in the days and weeks following Floyd’s death last May.

  • Reuters