Chicago Police Union Calls Cop Who Shot 13-Year-Old Adam Toledo ‘Heroic’

Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountability/Video screenshot

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Thomas Catenacci Energy & Environment Reporter
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The Chicago police union defended the officer who shot and killed a 13-year-old boy late last month after the city released body cam footage of the incident.

Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara said Officer Eric Stillman, 34, was “100% right” when he fired a single shot at Adam Toledo, 13, on March 29, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

After a short on-foot pursuit down an alley, Toledo appeared to toss a firearm immediately before turning toward Stillman with both his hands in the air, according to body cam footage released by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) Thursday.

“The offender still turned with a gun in his hand,” Catanzara told the Sun-Times. “This occurred in eight-tenths of a second.” (RELATED: Graphic Footage Of Officer Fatally Shooting 13-Year-Old Released)

Catanzara later appeared on CNN Thursday evening, adamantly defending Stillman’s actions and arguing there was no other option other than shooting Toledo. The union chief added that Stillman was defending himself in a dangerous situation.

“He would’ve been justified to shoot multiple times,” Catanzara told CNN host Chris Cuomo. “We’re basically trained to shoot two and reassess.”

“We do not have to wait to be shot to respond, ” he continued. “The officer had every reason to believe that that offender was turning and pointing the gun at him.”

Catanzara added that Stillman’s actions were “heroic.”

He also noted that Toledo was alleged to be a member of the Latin Kings, a Chicago gang. Catanzara decried how gangs take advantage of “misguided” children.

Before the city released the footage and case report, Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged calm and peace, according to WBEZ Chicago. She urged the public to withhold judgment until COPA concludes its investigation into the incident.

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