The distraught family of 13-year-old Adam Toledo — the kid shot as he tried to surrender to a Chicago cop — is remembering him as “loving and caring.”Body camera footage shows the seventh grader was shot with his hands up and empty in a Little Village neighborhood on March 29.
But police say that a freeze frame of the footage shows Toledo had been holding a weapon he tossed away a moment before he was shot dead in an alley by Officer Eric Stillman.
The death has reverberated throughout the Windy City and beyond, as protestors from coast to coast continue to march against police brutality.
Toledo’s cousin Lupita Perez, 29, said the grieving family is hoping Stillman will be prosecuted in connection with the shooting, ABC News reported.
“She just wants justice,” Perez reportedly said. “She just wants his name to be cleared because he did have his hands up when the cop shot at him.”
Stillman is on administrative leave, and his lawyer told the news network that he followed procedure.
The officer “was faced with a life-threatening and deadly force situation,” when responding to calls of shots fired at 3 a.m. that day, attorney Tim Grace reportedly said.
“All prior attempts to deescalate and gain compliance with all of the officers’ lawful orders had failed.”
Perez called Toledo a “kind” and “funny” kid who loved to laugh and play with his young cousins and brothers, the report said.
Perez’s 11-year-old son Jael Cholico wrote a letter that was read at the teen’s funeral and buried with him, according to the station.
“Adam’s life was cut down short. Adam would have done great things. I wish Adam would [have grown] old with me and Anthony. … Our kids would have been best friends. Yes, you may be gone, but you will be forever in our hearts,” Cholico reportedly wrote.
Older brother Marco Toledo Jr. told ABC Adam was the “most loving and caring little kid” he knew. Adam enjoyed washing his brother’s car and watching movies like “I Am Legend,” the report said.
“Us being little kids, we all made mistakes. Why? Because no teenager and no human is perfect,” Marco told the station via email.
“No matter what, we all have our flaws and mistakes we have made as kids and still do till this day. No matter what people say, kids will be kids and will make mistakes, but will learn from them — something my little brother didn’t get the chance to do.”