Great Britain

Adam Toledo ‘gang affiliation with Latin Kings’ to blame for death as they ‘gave him gun he was holding when shot’

ADAM Toledo's alleged ties to a Chicago gang are to blame for his death - not the police officer who shot him, it has been claimed.

The lawyer for Officer Eric Stillman - who fatally shot the 13-year-old in the chest - claims the teenager was recruited by the Latin Kings gang, who gave him the gun he allegedly had in his hand the night he died.

Lawyer Tim Grace argued on Fox News' Ingraham Angle Friday night that Officer Stillman had been pursuing gang members the night he shot Toledo and his actions were self-defense.

Allegedly, members of the Latin Kings had been shooting at cars all night, and Officer Stillman was responding to the call.

The gang members also allegedly branded Toledo with a tattoo and gave him a gun he is believed to have had when Stillman shot him in the chest on March 21st, 2021.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot strongly implied that Toledo had become involved with the gang.

“Gangs are preying on our most vulnerable, corrupting these young minds with promises of familia and lucre."

"None of us should accept that we have adults here and across Chicago preying upon vulnerable teenage boys."

Timothy Grace, who graduated from John Marshall Law School, echoed her statement.

“How come no one is talking to the Latin Kings?” he asked.

“We’re vilifying a good police officer when we have a shooting every two hours in this city.

"We tell officers to be the sheepdogs. They go out there and do that. But then they tie their hands and say you can’t pursue anyone. If that's the new progressive rules of policing, let us know, so we know how we can act out there."

The police report released by COPA said the incident involving Adam was not drug or gang-related, however.

Defending Stillman, Grace said the officer's actions were warranted when he opened fire after the 13-year-old fled.

“Toledo fled. The Officer followed. He gave him commands to drop the gun. Toledo got to the fence as he turns he has a gun in his right hand. Officer shot him."

“His actions were consistent with the Chicago Police Department’s use-of-force guidelines and with the law.”

Stillman, 34, is currently on administrative duty while an internal investigation into the March 29 shooting that left Toledo dead is carried out by the department.

Bodycam footage of the shooting was released this week, spurring protests across the windy city.

The footage shows the moment Stillman opened fire at Toledo, eight-tenths of a second after ordering him to put his hands up – a command the boy followed.

Toledo appears to drop a hand gun and place his hands in the air when Stillman discharges his firearm, fatally striking the boy once in the chest.

Toledo’s lawyer called it an “assassination” of a young child, and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that she was “outraged” and “in pain” over another police killing.

A Chicago Times op-ed described Toledo as an isolated teen who was classified as a special education student early on, which separated him from everyone else at school and made him vulnerable.

It reported that teachers at Mariano Azuela Elementary School flagged a change in his behavior over the past couple of years, when he wore an earring to school, shaved his eyebrow, and cut a gun out of a piece of paper.

"The easy way out was hanging out with people that he thought cared about him."

Prior to his deadly encounter with Toledo, Stillman had never fired his weapon at someone in the line of duty, records show.

Records released by the Invisible Institute also showed that Stillman had three complaints made against him, and four use of force reports between 2017 and mid-2020.

One of the complaints, dated November 19, claims that Stillman was one of three officers who allegedly ” illegally stopped and searched” a suspect during a traffic stop.

A second, filed in October 2020, also alleges an illegal traffic stop, however this time Stillman was the only officer accused.

“The accused officer allegedly unlawfully searched the R/P’s vehicle during a traffic stop. The accused allegedly removed a small razor that the R/P had inside his vehicle,” the report reads.

The incident was closed with no findings, the records show.

“Stillman has worked in some of the toughest neighborhoods in the city and served his country honorably overseas,” Grace continued.

“I do not think he will be prosecuted for a crime.”

“I do believe that if COPA and the Police Department are fair and look at the undisputed evidence, he will be exonerated of any type of a charge.”

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