Disclaimer: This article contains footage that some may find upsetting.
Last month, a thirteen-year-old boy was fatally shot by a Chicago police officer in what was reported as an "armed confrontation"...
However, newly released bodycam footage from the incident contradicts that narrative completely.
It makes for some truly shocking viewing.
Police brutality has long been an issue here in the states.
For too long now, our law enforcement has been riddled with unnecessary force and violence, particularly among minority communities.
Our police officers are supposed to be protecting us...
But, sadly, there are a select few who choose to abuse their power and privilege, rather than use it for the better.
The Black Lives Matter protests that happened across the country last year provided perfect evidence of this.
There were some officers who, instead of looking out for and supervising the protestor's safety, responded with needless violence.
It doesn't help that countless lives have been lost at the hands of police brutality, too.
George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are just 2 of the lives needlessly lost at the hands of violent police officers.
So, when a teenage boy was fatally shot by a police officer in Chicago last month...
Sadly, many people weren't too shocked.
Since the news of Adam Toledo's tragic death broke, people have been demanding justice.
I didn’t even want to see the video but it’s been posted without graphic warning. He looked terrified, frozen with fear and he clearly had his hands up. The cop shot him so quickly I couldn’t believe my eyes. No amount of training can change what cops are. #AdamToledo— Tatiana #FreeThemALL (@theactivistTati) April 16, 2021
please educate and read about what happened to 13 year old Adam Toledo. the gofundme has been disabled but if you have any other trusted links, please link them. #AdamToledo— steph (@stephstubbo) April 16, 2021
He was a boy. He was scared. He put his hands up. The cop shot him anyway.— Dr. Abdul El-Sayed (@AbdulElSayed) April 16, 2021
These aren’t “accidents.” These murders are the logical consequence of a system intended to insulate the powerful from the powerless.
Don’t be surprised when it kills our *most* powerless. #AdamToledo
Please don’t let #AdamToledo name be just another trend people only take lightly. He’s not a trend, he’s a thirteen year old boy who was murdered for following directions. I really don’t want to see you all retweeting/tweeting just a few things and going back to normal ways. +— ً NSFR (@cncbells) April 16, 2021
He was 13 years old. A child. Murdered in cold blood.— Mondaire Jones (@MondaireJones) April 16, 2021
I am heartbroken and outraged for Adam Toledo.
With what happened with #AdamToledo , the Hispanic community is in pain. One of our own, a kid was murdered. Space will begin in 10 minutes. Please come and listen to the pain we feel.— drea💜HISPANIC SPACE RN (@dreawastaken2) April 16, 2021
Adam, who lived in a predominantly Latino neighborhood on Chicago's West Side, is one of the youngest people killed by the police in Illinois in years.
In the shooting, which took place in the early hours of March 29th, officials said that 2 officers were responding to reports of gunfire when they saw 2 people in an alley and started to chase them.
Prosecutors claimed that thirteen-year-old Adam was holding a gun when he ran down the alley as an officer called for him to stop and drop the weapon...
And when he refused, the officer was left with no choice but to shoot.
Police initially said the person "was pronounced deceased on the scene," but didn't specify the age of the person the officer had shot.
The police department later tweeted a photo of a gun allegedly recovered at the scene.
However, newly released bodycam footage from the incident contradicts everything the police department had initially claimed.
In the moments before the shooting, Adam could be seen holding what appears to be a gun behind his back, which he dropped behind a wooden fence just before raising his hands.
The police officer makes a split-second decision that ended a child's life.
Toledo instantly obeyed the officer's shouted orders of "stop right now!", "hands, show me your hands. Drop it. Drop it," and "show me your f***ing hands."
However, despite putting his hands in the air with no weapon in sight, Adam was shot.
The footage shows him collapsing to the ground as the officer ran over, called for an ambulance, and began CPR with the help of another officer. "Stay with me," he could be heard saying to Adam more than once.
Sadly, Adam could not be saved and died at the scene.
Adeena Weiss Ortiz, a lawyer representing the Toledo family, said at a news conference on Thursday that the video shows that Adam was attempting to comply with the officer's orders.
"He tossed the gun," she said. "If he had a gun, he tossed it. The officer said, 'Show me your hands.' He complied. He turned around."
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability, an independent agency that investigates police shootings in Chicago, released the footage on yesterday after initial resistance to making them public.
However, the Chicago Police Department had no comment on the video aside from redistributing its news release about the shooting from April 1st, which called the loss of life "tragic" and said the department would cooperate with COPA, which is investigating the use of force.
You can watch the bodycam footage for yourself below.
Rest in peace, Adam Toledo.