Chicago prosecutor Kim Foxx apologizes for misleading gun claim in Adam Toledo case
A Chicago prosecutor apologized Wednesday over a staff member’s comments that implied 13-year-old Adam Toledo had a gun when he was shot dead by police.
Kim Foxx, the Cook County state’s attorney, launched an internal investigation after bodycam footage showed Toledo dropped a gun and was raising his hands when he was killed on March 29.
“The tragedy of the death of a 13-year old boy has been clouded by the confusion and frustration my office has caused and for this I apologize,” Foxx said in a statement.
“It’s not lost on me that our community is grieving and I want to assure Adam’s family and the public that my office is working diligently to investigate his death.”
A report was issued Wednesday on the internal investigation’s findings, blaming a “breakdown of communication” for why assistant prosecutor James Murphy described the circumstances the way he did in bond court on April 10.
The report said Murphy, who isn’t named in the announcement, didn’t intend to give the impression Toledo wasn’t armed.
It also concluded the information wasn’t “elevated” to Foxx herself and offers recommendations that include training about presenting facts in court. Murphy, who was put on leave during the internal investigation, is back at work, according to the announcement.
First Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Coleman resigned the same day as the report concluded, Chicago station WGN9 reported,but there was no indication that her departure was tied to the investigation.
Toledo was shot once in the chest after officers responded to the city’s Little Village area when gunfire was detected using ShotSpotter technology. Toledo fled on foot with 21-year-old Ruben Roman when cops arrived.
Officer Eric Stillman shot Toledo once in the chest and he died at the scene.
Murphy’s comments that indicated Toledo was armed when he was shot were made at a bond hearing for Roman, who was arrested on charges including child endangerment.
“The officer tells [Adam] to drop it as [Adam] turns towards the officer. [Adam] has a gun in his right hand,” Murphy was quoted as saying in the Chicago Sun-Times.
“The gun that [Adam] was holding landed against the fence a few feet away.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot pleaded for calm ahead of the release of the video in mid-April.
“I have seen those videos and let me just say, they are incredibly difficult to watch, particularly at the end,” Lightfoot said, describing the teen’s death as a tragedy.
The release of the video sparked protests in the Windy City and elsewhere. Still, the head of the Chicago police union said the cop who shot Toledo was “100 percent justified” even after the release of the video.
“Time-lapse video shows that that officer had eight-tenths of a second to determine if that weapon was still in his hand or not. Period,” Fraternal Order of Police president John Catanzara said in an appearance on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time.”