19 April 2021

Vigils and peace walks held to remember 13-year-old shot by police officer

19 April 2021

Several gatherings have been held in Chicago to remember a 13-year-old boy fatally shot by a police officer and to call for changes in policing and an end to gun violence.

They followed the release of body-camera footage showing Chicago police Officer Eric Stillman shooting Adam Toledo less than a second after the boy dropped a gun, turned toward the officer and began raising his hands.

Mr Stillman chased the boy down a dark alley on March 29 after responding to a call of gunshots.

A “peace walk” was held on Sunday in Little Village, the predominantly Latino southwest Chicago neighbourhood where Adam lived and was killed.

Chicago Police Shooting (AP)

A gathering on the city’s north side addressed racism, and other vigils were held around the city to remember Adam and others killed by police.

Karen Trout, of North Lawndale, who attended the peace walk on Sunday, said: “The main motivation to be here is to show solidarity with the pain and grief of the family.

“We failed our children through the system we have in place. Adam was lost on so many levels.”

Chicago Police Shooting (AP)

Andre Gordillo, of Little Village, said the peace walk was an important way to show support and “bring justice” to the death of a 13-year-old.

He said: “As the member of the community, let my voice be heard. It’s happening, sadly. more often, more frequent, but it’s changing. It’s turning and it will continue to turn.”

Chicago Police Shooting (AP)

Largely peaceful demonstrations have been held each day since the video was released on Thursday.

Attendees have criticised the Chicago Police Department for a long history of misconduct, particularly in Black and Latino neighbourhoods, and called for justice for Adam, who was Latino.

The events also have called attention to other recent killings by police, including the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the recent fatal shooting of another black man, Daunte Wright, in a Minneapolis suburb.

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