Several groups of demonstrators took to the streets in Chicago on Thursday evening to protest the fatal police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, hours after police-worn body camera footage of the shooting was released publicly.
According to WLS-TV, WGN-TV and the Chicago Tribune, one group of protests gathered in the city’s Millennium Park before processing up Michigan Avenue. Another group made their way through the West Loop portion of downtown, and another group protested in front of Chicago Police Headquarters.
The protests throughout the city remained peaceful.
Rabbi Michael Ben Yosef was among those who organized the protests in Millenium Park and Michigan avenue, according to the Tribune and WLS.
“I cried when I saw it,” he said, according to the Tribune. “It was clear the police officer didn’t see a human being standing in front of him.”
Activist Ja’Mal Green was among those who addressed demonstrators near police headquarters.
“Today, we stand in solidarity to say we have to protect our children all over this city, ” Green said. “They want to talk about all of these circumstances but the actually circumstance we need to talk about — this was a victim of police brutality.”
Mourners also stopped by the scene of the shooting in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago to leave flowers and candles in Toledo’s memory.
“He was a great kid. A good friend, too,” one friend told WMAQ-TV. “I just want everyone to know he was a good kid.”
13-year-old Adam Toledo was fatally shot by police on March 29. Police were initially called to the area after receiving multiple reports of gun shots.
In the body camera footage released Thursday, police officials said Toledo was carrying a gun when police arrived on the scene. After a chase, police ordered him to drop his gun.
Officers then fired a single shot that hit Toledo in the chest.
At the time the shot was fired, the teen had his hands in the air. Footage shows the officer shining a light on a handgun on the ground near Toledo after he shot him.
Shortly before the video was released, Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on the public to remain peaceful.
Choking up at times, Lightfoot decried the city's long history of police violence and misconduct, especially in Black and brown communities, and said too many young people are left vulnerable to "systemic failures that we simply must fix."
Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) released the following statement upon the release of the video:
"COPA is committed to completing a full, thorough and objective investigation of the entire incident which includes not only the officer’s use of deadly force but also the actions of other involved officers leading up to and following the deadly shooting to determine whether each officers’ actions complied with Department policy directives and training."
COPA said Toledo's family was able to view the footage Tuesday. Officials said they did not immediately release the video at the request of the family.