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Attorney for the Chicago cop who killed Adam Toledo claims the officer made a 'split-second decision' that was 'consistent' with the law and use of force guidelines when he shot dead the 13-year-old boy

 The attorney for the Chicago police officer who killed Adam Toledo has claimed the cop made a 'split-second decision' that was 'consistent' with the law and use of force guidelines when he shot dead the 13-year-old boy. 

Chicago police Officer Eric Stillman, 34, had 'no cover, no concealment' when he apparently saw Toledo with a gun and fired a single shot at the teen but is now being vilified as a 'villain', attorney Tim Grace told Fox News' Laura Ingraham Friday night.   

Graphic body camera video was released Thursday, showing Toledo being fatally shot in the chest by the 34-year-old officer during a foot chase back on March 29. 


In the video, police say Toledo can be seen with a gun in his right hand. 

He then appears to drop the gun behind a fence and raise his hands up as he turns to face the officer.

Less than a second has passed between the time Toledo appears to drop the weapon behind the fence and Stillman shoots him. A gun was later recovered from the scene.   

The attorney for Toledo's family has branded the shooting an 'assassination' because the boy was unarmed and had his hands up in the air in the moment he was shot.  

White House press secretary Jen Psaki called the footage 'chilling' and said it served as a 'reminder' that 'too often in this country law enforcement uses unnecessary force, too often resulting in the death of black and brown Americans.'

Protests have erupted in Chicago this week demanding justice for the 13-year-old Latino boy, at a time when the nation is also reeling from the police killing of 20-year-old black man Daunte Wright and white cop Derek Chauvin is on trial for the murder of George Floyd. 

Adam Toledo, 13
Chicago police officer Eric Stillman

The attorney for Chicago police officer Eric Stillman (right) who killed Adam Toledo (left) has claimed the cop made a 'split-second decision' that was 'consistent' with the law and use of force guidelines when he shot dead the 13-year-old boy

Chicago police Officer Eric Stillman, 34, had 'no cover, no concealment' when he apparently saw Toledo with a gun and fired a single shot at the teen but is now being vilified as a 'villain', attorney Tim Grace told Fox News' Laura Ingraham Friday night

Chicago police Officer Eric Stillman, 34, had 'no cover, no concealment' when he apparently saw Toledo with a gun and fired a single shot at the teen but is now being vilified as a 'villain', attorney Tim Grace told Fox News' Laura Ingraham Friday night

Grace told Fox News Stillman had followed the Chicago Police Department's use-of-force guidelines and that the nation is 'vilifying a very good police officer.'  

'The officer gave him multiple verbal commands, the officer told him to drop the gun, the officer told him he was Chicago police,' said Grace. 

He said Toledo was holding a gun when he started to turn toward Stillman.

'At this point, this officer has no cover, no concealment. He sees this gun, he sees this individual turning towards him,' he said. 

Grace said Stillman was forced to make a 'split-second decision' in this moment. 

'At this point the officer needs to make a split-second decision and this is the hardest part that these officers need to make split-second decisions of life and death and he made a decision that was consistent with the Chicago Police general orders, use-of-force guidelines and with the law,' he said.   


Grace said Stillman does not take what happened 'lightly' and the 'last thing' he wanted was to use deadly force.  

'He doesn't take this lightly,' he said.

'He understands that what he did and what he had to do – and all law enforcement officers across the country, the last thing they want to do is to have to discharge their weapon and use deadly force.' 

He urged people not to view the incident through '2020 hindsight' but 'to look at it through the perspective of the police officer.'  

Grace said while Stillman is being treated as the 'villain', he said the blame for the boy's death should be leveled at the Latin Kings gang who he claimed 'recruited' Toledo and gave him the gun. 

'The Latin Kings are the ones who recruited him, branded him with a tattoo and then had him out there in the middle of the night shooting at passing-by cars,' he said. 

He called for charges to instead be brought against 21-year-old Ruben Roman Jr in connection to Toledo's death. 

Stillman followed the Chicago Police Department's use-of-force guidelines and the nation is now 'vilifying a very good police officer', his attorney told Fox

Stillman followed the Chicago Police Department's use-of-force guidelines and the nation is now 'vilifying a very good police officer', his attorney told Fox 

Roman Jr was with Toledo and fled on foot when they were confronted by the police. He was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest. 

The attorney's comments come after Toledo's family attorney Adeena Weiss-Ortiz said Thursday the boy had complied with the officer's commands and was unarmed with his hands in the air when he was shot dead. 

'Those videos speak for themselves. If you are shooting an unarmed child with his hands in the air it is an assassination,' she said in a briefing. 

'His hands were empty when he was shot in the chest at the hands of the officer.

'Adam during his last seconds of life did not have a gun in his hand. Adam complied. He did not have a gun in his hand. The officer saw his hands were up and pulled the trigger.' 

The attorney added: 'It is especially important to keep the peace. [The family] want justice.' 

She said it was not relevant whether or not Toledo had a gun prior to turning toward Stillman but what matters is that he did not have a gun in his hand when he was shot.  

'It could be a gun, I'm not going to deny that but it's not relevant, because if he had a gun, he tossed it,' she said. 

The White House also condemned the shooting in a press briefing Friday with Psaki saying it was unnecessary after the bodycam footage showed he had apparently dropped the firearm. 

Psaki said she hadn't spoken to Joe Biden before the morning briefing, so didn't know if he'd watched it, but reiterated the president's support for the House-passed police reform bill, George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which is currently stuck in the US Senate. 

Graphic body camera video was released Thursday showing Toledo, 13, being fatally shot in the chest by the officer, 34, during a foot chase back on March 29. Stillman is seen frantically performing CPR on Toledo after shooting him once in the chest

Graphic body camera video was released Thursday showing Toledo, 13, being fatally shot in the chest by the officer, 34, during a foot chase back on March 29. Stillman is seen frantically performing CPR on Toledo after shooting him once in the chest 

A visibly upset Stillman is seen sitting on the ground and being comforted by his colleagues following the fatal shooting on March 29

A visibly upset Stillman is seen sitting on the ground and being comforted by his colleagues following the fatal shooting on March 29 

Moment Chicago cop fatally shoots 13-year-old Adam Toledo
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'The president, again, has repeatedly said that he believes we need police reform,' she told reporters. 'That's what he says he's calling for Congress to send to his desk.'

Psaki also said the White House was also waiting to see how the independent investigation of Toledo's shooting would play out.

Stillman was identified this week as the officer who fired the fatal bullet in the incident on March 29.    

He is five-year veteran who had never used deadly force prior to the boy's shooting and had no history of disciplinary issues 

The Chicago Police Department typically doesn't release the names of officers involved in such shootings this early on in an investigation, but Stillman's badge number, name, age race were listed in the investigation reports released on Thursday.  

Stillman joined the police department in 2015 and served as a patrol officer assigned to the Ogden District on the city's West Side.

In the five years leading up to the incident on March 29, Stillman has never shot anyone in the line of duty. 

Records indicate that he also had nine 'use of force' reports, which officers themselves file if they have to resort to any kind of force in the line of duty. Only one of the reports involved a weapon, which was a baton. 

Stillman received a Military Service Award from the Police Department and the Superintendent's Award of Valor, according to the Citizens Police Data Project. 

Stillman was placed on administrative leave after the shooting.  

The president of the Chicago Police Union, John Catanzara, told Chris Cuomo's Prime Time on CNN that an 'officer does not have to wait to be shot at or shot to respond and be able to defend himself.'

Catanzara added that Stillman 'would have been justified to shoot multiple times.'

'The officer did everything he possibly could to the letter of the law and the guidelines of the Chicago Police Department,' he said. 

Toledo was carrying a gun in the moments before he was shot, and bodycam footage shows him throwing it behind a fence before turning to face Stillman

In the bodycam footage, Stillman is heard yelling: 'Stop right f***ing now!' Show me your f***ing hands! Drop it'. When Toledo turns around to face the officer, he appears to raise his hands.

In the bodycam footage, Stillman is heard yelling: 'Stop right f***ing now!' Show me your f***ing hands! Drop it'. When Toledo turns around to face the officer, he appears to raise his hands.

A moment later, a single shot rings out and the teen collapses to the ground. Stillman is then heard radioing 'shot fired' as he lays Toledo flat on his back and begins frantically looking for the wound. He is heard saying: 'Stay with me, stay with me'

A moment later, a single shot rings out and the teen collapses to the ground. Stillman is then heard radioing 'shot fired' as he lays Toledo flat on his back and begins frantically looking for the wound. He is heard saying: 'Stay with me, stay with me'

Despite efforts to revive Toledo, as seen in the body camera video the teen died from his injury

Despite efforts to revive Toledo, as seen in the body camera video the teen died from his injury

The Chicago Police Department released a photo of the gun that was recovered from the scene after one of its officers shot and killed Adam Toledo last Monday

The Chicago Police Department released a photo of the gun that was recovered from the scene after one of its officers shot and killed Adam Toledo last Monday


A still frame taken from Stillman's jumpy nighttime body camera footage shows that Toledo wasn't holding anything and had his hands up when Stillman shot him before 3am on March 29. 

Police, who were responding to reports of shots fired in the area, say the boy had a handgun on him before the shooting. And Stillman's footage shows him shining a light on a handgun on the ground near Toledo after he shot him.  

Earlier footage also appears to show the boy was carrying a gun in the moments before he was shot, throwing it behind a fence before turning to face the cop.   

The video's release has left Chicago on a knife edge with police on high alert that the Latin Kings gang could retaliate for the shooting which took place in their neighborhood of Little Village. 

Some businesses in downtown Chicago's 'Magnificent Mile' shopping district boarded up their windows in anticipation of protests turning violent. Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on the public to keep the peace.

The release of the footage comes at a sensitive time, with the ongoing trial in Minneapolis of former Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd and the recent police killing of another black man, Daunte Wright.   

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability, an independent board that investigates Chicago police shootings, released the graphic footage Thursday after allowing Toledo's family to view it privately on Tuesday.

Police had said they responded before dawn on the morning of the shooting after police technology detected gun shots there. 

The teen, who was Latino, and Roman Jr, fled on foot when confronted by police, and an officer shot the teen once in the chest following a foot chase during what the department described as an armed confrontation.  

Elizabeth Toledo (left) is pictured with her son, Adam (right), who she said was 'full for life' and wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement

Elizabeth Toledo (left) is pictured with her son, Adam (right), who she said was 'full for life' and wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement 

The attorney for Toledo's family has branded the shooting an 'assassination' because the boy was unarmed and had his hands up in the air in the moment he was shot

The attorney for Toledo's family has branded the shooting an 'assassination' because the boy was unarmed and had his hands up in the air in the moment he was shot

Toledo family lawyer says he was shot while complying with police
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Roman Jr was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest. 

The footage shows that it took 19 seconds from which Stillman exited his squad car to when he shot the teen. 

After getting out of the vehicle, the officer chases Toledo on foot down an alley for several seconds.

'Stop right f***ing now!' the officer yells at the fleeing teen. 'Show me your f***ing hands! Drop it'

When Toledo turns around to face the officer, he appears to raise his hands. A moment later, a single shot rings out and the teen collapses to the ground, with blood gushing from his mouth. 

The officer radios in 'shot fired,' lays Toledo flat on his back and begins frantically looking for the wound. 'Stay with me, stay with me,' he implores the mortally wounded Toledo. 

Another officer rushes over with a medical kit and the two begin administering CPR. 'I'm not feeling a heartbeat,' the officer says.   

Bodycam footage of the shooting was not made public until  Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago's police superintendent called for the video's release. 

The release of the footage had been widely anticipated in the city, where the release of some previous police shooting videos sparked major protests, including the 2015 release of footage of a white officer shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times, killing him. 

Lightfoot said the city has been preparing for months for a verdict in the Chauvin trial and that it had activated a 'neighborhood protection plan.' 

The Toledo family, meanwhile, issued a statement urging people to 'remain peaceful.'  

People protest the March 29th shooting and killing of 13 year-old Adam Toledo near Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's home

People protest the March 29th shooting and killing of 13 year-old Adam Toledo near Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's home

Chicago Police officers mask up and prepare near Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's home as people protest on Friday

Chicago Police officers mask up and prepare near Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's home as people protest on Friday

Demonstrators protest the shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo on Friday in Logan Park, Chicago

Demonstrators protest the shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo on Friday in Logan Park, Chicago

Hundreds rally in Chicago to protest police shooting of 13-year-old
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Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on people to keep calm and remain peaceful during a news conference at City Hall on Thursday ahead of the release of the video showing Toledo's shooting

Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on people to keep calm and remain peaceful during a news conference at City Hall on Thursday ahead of the release of the video showing Toledo's shooting

During a press conference on Thursday, Mayor Lightfoot  said too many young people in Chicago were left vulnerable to 'systemic failures that we simply must fix.'

'We live in a city that is traumatized by a long history of police violence and misconduct,' the mayor said. 'So while we don´t have enough information to be the judge and jury of this particular situation, it is certainly understandable why so many of our residents are feeling that all too familiar surge of outrage and pain. It is even clearer that trust between our community and law enforcement is far from healed and remains badly broken.'

Asked whether the video showed whether the teen fired on the officer, Lightfoot said she had seen no evidence that he had. She described watching the jumpy footage as 'excruciating.'

'As a mom, this is not something you want children to see,' said the mayor. She declined to say if the footage showed whether the teen was holding a gun when he was shot, but she called a prosecutor's assertion at a recent hearing that Toledo had a gun when he was shot 'correct.'

Elizabeth Toledo, Adam's mother, came forward over the weekend and issued a plea for calm following reports that members of the Latin Kings gang planned on seeking revenge for her son's death by shooting at unmarked police vehicles.

'No one has anything to gain by inciting violence,' she said via a statement Sunday. 'Adam was a sweet and loving boy. He would not want anyone else to be injured or die in his name.'

Elizabeth said her son had hopes of pursuing a career in law enforcement in the future. 'He was so full of life. They just took it away from him,' she said.

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