Crime Cop Who Shot Adam Toledo 'Heroic,' Says Chicago Police Union Chief
Family of 13-year-old killed by police wants to correct 'false mischaracterization'
The attorney for the family of a 13-year-old boy who was shot dead by Chicago police last week said they "want to correct the hurtful and false mischaracterization." "This is simply not true," the attorney said in a statement Monday. "Adam was a loved and supported 13-year-old boy. He lived with his mother, his 90-year-old grandfather, and two of his siblings. His father was in his life. They all loved him very much. The Toledo family is a close-knit family. They look after each other. Adam attended Gary Elementary School where he had the support of his teachers and his classmates. Adam was not alone.
The president of the Chicago police union has called the police officer who shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo "heroic" and defended the officer's actions in the wake of newly released bodycam footage.
John Catanzara, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, spoke to's Cuomo Prime Time on Thursday following the release of the when he was shot.
Video of fatal Chicago police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo to be released
Mayor Lori Lightfoot described the body camera video as "excruciating" and warned parents to shield their children from it.About two hours before the release of the video — showing the death of Adam Toledo in March — Lightfoot said she's seen it and warned Chicagoans to brace themselves for the "extremely difficult" images.
The police union president toldthat t and said "that officer's actions were actually heroic."
Catanzara highlighted the short time involved in the officer's decision to shoot Toledo.
"In reality, an average human being could not block someone from slapping him in the face in less time than that," Catanzara said.
"It's a good reason why the officer only shot once. He would have been justified to shoot multiple times."
"What do you think the officers who responded to that scene and were rendering aid and trying to save his life are now stuck with for the rest of their life?" Catanzara went on.
"And they got to bring that home to their families, and then their families are affected by this," he said.
Lawmakers demand justice for Adam Toledo: 'His hands were up. He was unarmed.'
Democratic lawmakers on Thursday demanded justice for 13-year-old Adam Toledo, whom Chicago police fatally shot. The calls came after the Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountably (COPA) released footage of the encounter.The video raises questions about the circumstances surrounding his death, as officials previously accused Toledo of having a gun. However, the video shows Toledo appearing to surrender and have nothing in his hands before police shot him in the chest.
"The poor young kid misguided made a horrible decision that cost him his life, but it was justified," Catanzara said. He claimed Toledo was a member of a gang called the Latin Kings. This has not been established but the area where Toledo was shot is a stronghold of the gang, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.
"I will say, he's 13 years old," Catanzara said. "We talk about the public school system in Chicago specifically. He should have been in school. But we're not in school learning, now are we?"
"I started my dissertation with saying it is 100 percent justified," Catanzara said in response to a comment from Cuomo.
"That officer's actions were actually heroic. There's a very good reason why he only shot once. Like I said, he could have been shot multiple times but the officer assessed in a split second. Unfortunately he committed to the first shot already. Justifiably so."
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Toledo's family called for calm ahead of the release of the bodycam footage on Thursday.
Adam Toledo Shooting Boosts Progressives' Calls for Systemic Change
Bodycam footage released on Thursday shows a police officer in Chicago shooting the 13-year-old boy.Chicago police released bodycam footage on Thursday showing an officer shooting the teenager on March 29. Toledo had his hands raised and they appeared to be empty at the time he was shot.
"Simply put, we failed Adam," Lightfoot said. "And we cannot afford to fail one more young person in our city."
"We live in a city that is traumatized by a long history of police violence and misconduct," she said. "So while we don't have enough information to be the judge and jury of this particular situation, it is certainly understandable why so many of our residents are feeling that all too familiar surge of outrage and pain."
The videoto policing in the U.S. and the passage of the Justice in Policing Act, which was approved by the House of Representatives but has not yet been passed by the .
Newsweek has asked Catanzara for comment on this article.
Latino groups calling for federal investigation of Adam Toledo killing: report .
A coalition of Latino lawyers and community organizations is reportedly calling on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate last month's fatal police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago. The Associated Press reported that the group, which includes the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois and the Pilsen Law Center, is expected to submit a formal request Tuesday. In addition to a DOJ probe, the coalition will also demand that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) push for faster implementation of court-supervised policing changes in the city, end foot pursuits by police officers and devote federal COVID-19 relief funds to young people in the Little V