A Chicago prosecutor was suspended on Friday after he allegedly “failed to fully present the facts” regarding the death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo.
What is the background?
In the early morning hours on March 29, Chicago police officers responded to the Little Village neighborhood after reports of shots fired. Officers encountered Toledo and then-21-year-old Ruben Roman, both of whom allegedly attempted to flee, CBS News reported.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability, a police watchdog, released bodycam footage last week showing what led up to Toledo’s death.
The footage shows police tackled Roman, while another officer pursued Toledo. The teenager then stopped, turned toward the officer, who yelled, “Show me your f***ing hands,” and then “Drop it!” before firing at Toledo.
According to WGN-TV, Toledo “appears to have dropped a gun and raised his hands just before a Chicago police officer fatally shot him.”
The Chicago Sun-Times similarly reported that one angle of bodycam footage doesn’t show Toledo “throwing away the gun, and the boy doesn’t appear to be holding a weapon in his raised hands…but another video shows him apparently throwing something through a gap in the fence to the other side — and a video shows an officer discovering a handgun there.”
What happened with the prosecutor?
Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy was placed on paid administrative leave Friday after telling Judge Susana Ortiz that Toledo was holding a gun when police shot him, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“In court last week, an attorney in our office failed to fully present the facts surrounding the death of a 13-year-old boy,” a spokeswoman for State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said. “We have put that individual on leave and are conducting an internal investigation into the matter.”
Murphy’s comments were made during a bond hearing for Roman.
“The officer tells [Adam] to drop it as [Adam] turns towards the officer. [Adam] has a gun in his right hand,” Murphy told Judge Ortiz. “The officer fires one shot at [Adam], striking him in the chest. The gun that [Adam] was holding landed against the fence a few feet away.”
More from the Sun-Times:
On Friday, [Foxx spokeswoman Sarah] Sinovic told the Sun-Times that not all of the footage released the day before was available to Murphy when he read the statement during Ruben’s bond hearing, but declined to say what footage was available to the office at that time and who in the state’s attorney’s office had seen it.
“It’s still under investigation what videos were available to [Murphy],” Sinovic said. “We’re still trying to figure out what he had access to when he made the statements in court.”
Foxx reportedly said in a letter, “For many of you it may have been jarring to see our statement regarding this matter. It is indeed a rarity to see the Office make such a public statement related to the actions of an [assistant state’s attorney]. It was not done lightly.”
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