Chicago Police Union Head Says Shooting of 13-Year-Old ‘100 Percent Justified’
The head of the Chicago Police Union supported the officer involved in the death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo in an interview on CNN's Cuomo Prime Time on Thursday.
Police released security and body camera footage of the incident in Chicago's Little Village, which sparked calls for protests. During the incident, officers responded to a gunshot call and officer Eric Stillman chased Toledo into a neighborhood alley. The footage appears to show Toledo laying a gun behind a fence, then turning to Stillman and putting his hands in the air.
John Catanzara, president of the Chicago Police Union, told host Chris Cuomo that Stillman's actions were "justified" given the circumstances of the shooting.
"The time-lapse photo shows that this officer had eight tenths of a second to determine whether or not that weapon was still in [Toledo's] hand. There is no way a sane person can say they can handle this, and their muscle response would be less than be a second, ”said Catanzara.
“I started my dissertation so that it was 100 percent justified. This officer's actions were indeed heroic, ”he said later. "There is a very good reason why he only shot once. As I said, he could have been shot several times, but the officer judged in a split second. Unfortunately, he was right to commit to the first shot."
After Stillman fired the first shot, he ceased fire and provided first aid to Toledo along with other officers. However, Toledo was later pronounced dead at the scene. Catanzara said he could not immediately confirm whether the gun that Toledo allegedly placed behind the fence was involved in the shooting that sparked a police response.
Adeena Weiss Ortiz, a lawyer for Toledo’s family, insisted that Toledo was not holding a gun when Stillman shot him.
"If he had a gun, he threw it away ... The officer said," Show me your hands "[and Toledo] followed," she said. The officer is trained not to shoot anyone unarmed. He's trained to look, he's trained not to panic. "
Toledo's family and city officials issued a joint statement calling for "peaceful" responses to the shooting.
"We acknowledge that posting this video is the first step in healing the family, the community and our city," the statement said. "We understand that posting this video will be incredibly painful and will provoke an emotional response to everyone who sees it, and we ask people to express themselves peacefully."
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