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Death of Thirteen-Year-Old Adam Toledo

Malavika Sajan

29/04/2021


https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/04/15/adam-toledo-shooting-video-chicago-body-cam-video-released/7217787002/


On March 29th, 2021, 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot and killed by police officer Eric Stillman of the Chicago Police Department. Toledo, a seventh-grader, is reported to be one of the youngest people killed by the police in Illinois in years. At the time of the incident, the altercation was considered an ‘armed confrontation’.


The initial understanding of the incident was as follows: Ruben Roman, a 21-year old who had accompanied Toledo had shot at a vehicle multiple times. Once the police officers deployed in the area, Toledo fled from the scene into a nearby alleyway. He had turned his back, facing away from the officers, with a gun in hand and was subsequently shot and killed by Eric Stillman.


However, on April 15th, bodycam footage reported otherwise. The video retrieved depicts the following: Toledo letting the gun in his hands fall to the floor, turning around to face the officer unarmed, raising his arms as instructed before promptly getting shot and killed. Eyewitnesses say that Toledo had been unarmed and complied with the orders of the police officer.


The reveal of the bodycam footage led to outrage across America. Protests filled many streets of Chicago, most notably: Michigan Avenue, Union Park, and Logan Square. The United States once again faces the issues of police brutality within its borders, specifically, towards Latinos, other people of colour, and visible minorities.


Having occurred just last year, the murder of George Floyd has still not left the minds of the American people. The excessive use of violence amongst police constitutes severe misconduct and is a violation of civil rights. Furthermore, police brutality disproportionately affects visible minorities and has been a long-standing issue within the nation. High-profile incidents such as Toledo’s, constantly circulating via social media, draw further attention to these blatant injustices.


In the aftermath of the incident, the police department will be looking into reformation surrounding the issues concerning on-foot pursuit and qualified immunity. Eric Stillman has been placed on administrative leave for the next 30 days. Roman was apprehended and arrested at the scene of the crime. On April 20th, many Latino law associations such as the Hispanic National Bar of Illinois, the Puerto Rican Bar of Illinois, the Pilsen Law Centre, and the American Bar Association’s Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities had the Justice Department launch the investigation of Adam Toledo’s death.



FRANÇAIS


La mort d'Adam Toledo, 13 ans


Traduit par Julia Dan


Le 29 mars 2021, Adam Toledo, 13 ans, a été tué par balle par le policier Eric Stillman du département de police de Chicago. Toledo, un élève de septième, serait l'une des plus jeunes personnes tuées par la police dans l'Illinois depuis des années. Au moment de l’incident, l’altercation était considérée comme une « confrontation armée ».


La compréhension initiale de l'incident était la suivante: Ruben Roman, un jeune de 21 ans qui avait accompagné Toledo avait tiré sur un véhicule à plusieurs reprises. Une fois les policiers déployés dans la zone, Toledo s'est enfui des lieux dans une ruelle voisine. Il avait tourné le dos, tourné le dos aux officiers, une arme à la main et a ensuite été abattu par Eric Stillman.


Cependant, le 15 avril, les images de la caméra corporelle ont indiqué le contraire. La vidéo récupérée montre ce qui suit : Toledo laisse l'arme qu'il tient dans ses mains tomber sur le sol, se retourne pour faire face à l'officier sans être armé, lève les bras, selon les instructions avant d'être rapidement abattu. Des témoins oculaires affirment que Toledo n'était pas armé et qu'il a obéi aux ordres du policier.

La révélation des images de la caméra corporelle a suscité l'indignation dans toute l'Amérique. Les protestations ont rempli de nombreuses rues de Chicago, plus particulièrement : Michigan Avenue, Union Park, et Logan Square. Les États-Unis sont une fois de plus confrontés au problème de la brutalité policière à l'intérieur de leurs frontières, en particulier à l'égard des Latinos, des autres personnes de couleur et des minorités visibles.


Survenu l'année dernière, le meurtre de George Floyd n'a toujours pas quitté l'esprit du peuple américain. L'usage excessif de la violence par la police constitue une faute grave et une violation des droits civils. En outre, la brutalité policière touche de manière disproportionnée les minorités visibles et constitue un problème de longue date dans le pays. Des incidents très médiatisés comme celui de Toledo, qui circulent constamment dans les médias sociaux, attirent davantage l'attention sur ces injustices flagrantes.


À la suite de l'incident, le service de police examinera la possibilité de réformer les questions relatives à la poursuite à pied et à l'immunité qualifiée. Eric Stillman a été placé en congé administratif pour les 30 prochains jours. Roman a été appréhendé et arrêté sur les lieux du crime. Le 20 avril, de nombreuses associations juridiques latinos telles que le Hispanic National Bar of Illinois, le Puerto Rican Bar of Illinois, le Pilsen Law Centre et la Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities de l'American Bar Association ont demandé au ministère de la Justice d'ouvrir une enquête sur la mort d'Adam Toledo.



SOURCES:


Barrett, J., & Ailworth, E. (2021, April 16). Adam Toledo video SHOWS fatal shooting of 13-year-old boy by Chicago Police. Retrieved April 20, 2021, from https://www.wsj.com/articles/adam-toledo-video-shows-13-year-old-boy-fatally-shot-by-chicago-police-11618520225?st=1cn5fyjpvgdyytg

Hauck, G. (2021, April 17). Evolution of a CITY'S account of a killing: How CHICAGO'S narrative changed in the fatal police shooting of ADAM TOLEDO. Retrieved April 20, 2021, from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/04/16/adam-toledo-police-shooting-how-chicagos-narrative-changed/7260911002/

MacFarquhar, N. (2021, April 15). Mayor calls for calm as chicago awaits video of police fatally shooting 13-year-old. Retrieved April 20, 2021, from https://web.archive.org/web/20210415181739/https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/15/us/adam-toledo-chicago-shooting-video.html

Pratt, G., & Gorner, J. (2021, April 15). Mayor Lightfoot and family of ADAM Toledo issue statement asking for calm ahead of the release of video of the TEEN'S fatal shooting by police. Retrieved April 20, 2021, from https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-chicago-adam-toledo-shooting-video-lightfoot-20210414-juav4nvnqvd6tmogsubkj2qhha-story.html

Rojas, R. (2021, April 05). Chicago to release video of deadly police shooting of a 13-year-old. Retrieved April 20, 2021, from https://web.archive.org/web/20210408025319/https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/04/us/chicago-police-shooting.html

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