In honor of the death of a 13-year-old boy who was shot and killed by police last week, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is pushing for her city’s police department to implement a new strategy for foot pursuits.
Lightfoot made the call at a news conference on Monday, April 5, in tribute to Adam Toledo’s fatal shooting by a CPD officer in an alley in the Little Village neighborhood, located on the city’s West Side, a week ago.
On March 29, Chicago Police Department (CPD) reported Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old, was fatally shot in the chest by an unidentified police officer at roughly 2:30 a.m. local time.
Toledo was armed with a handgun. His death makes him the youngest to have been killed in a Chicago police shooting in years, said the Police Department.
At the news conference, Lightfoot while sharing her sympathy to Adam Toledo’s passing with his family, urged the person who gave the teen the handgun to be located and prosecuted accordingly. At the same time, the Mayor also expressed her awareness of the sensitivity of a quick judgment over how Toledo ended up possessing the dangerous weapon.
“This is a complicated story. It’s not my story to tell, particularly not as our understanding of the facts is evolving. What I do know and what I will say is Ms. Toledo and her family need our love and support at this moment, not our withering judgment,” she said.
It is reported that the boy was shot during an armed confrontation following a chase in an alley.
ChicagoTribute disclosed that after receiving notice of shots fired in the area, the city policers found Toledo and another 21-year-old suspect later identified as Ruben Roman in a nearby alley. The officer, as he chased, opened fire at one of the pair, who was running away with a handgun.
The Mayor pressed that Toledo’s case is an alarming siren for an immediate change of CPD’s foot pursuit policy. “Foot pursuits present a significant safety issue (for) officer safety, but also community safety, for the pursued and for bystanders,” she added.
Lightfoot’s call for police policy reforms comes four years after the U.S. Justice Department suggested that CPD enact a foot pursuit policy in studying the department’s practices. Despite the high-risk foot pursuits can be for officers and the public, the new policy has not been implemented.