Chicago Police Shooting (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
The attorney for Eric Stillman, the Chicago police officer who shot and killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo after chasing him down an alley while investigating a gunshot, said he was “discouraged” that no one asked about his well-being from a client .
Tim Grace, Mr Stillman’s attorney, made a statement Thursday after looking at the body camera footage of Mr Toledo’s death, in which he punished the media and the public for not being more sympathetic to the police officer’s condition.
“What is amazing and daunting is that very few have asked about the officer’s welfare. In particular, there is very little interest in the officer’s welfare and impact of the officer who has been subjected to lethal force while on duty, “Grace said.” The officer concerned has served his country and city with honor and deserves our support. “
In the video footage of the shooting, Mr. Stillman chases 21-year-old Reuben Roman and Toledo down an alley after receiving a shot that was fired earlier that night.
Mr Stillman knocks Mr Roman to the ground and follows Mr Toledo, yelling to stop. Mr. Toledo does and turns around with his hands up. Just as he turned to Mr. Stillman, the officer shot him in the chest.
The officer attempted to resuscitate Mr Toledo and appears to have been shocked by the shooting in the video.
However, as a police officer, Mr. Stillman has support structures in his department, his union, which are provided by the city and the state to assist him in dealing with the shooting.
“There is a persistent disregard for the well-being of officials who never want to use lethal force. There was no intellectual curiosity whatsoever about what this officer is going through,” Grace said. “When someone drives past their house at 3am, a light comes on, the kitchen light, where he is sitting alone at the table, shakes his head and says, ‘Why didn’t he just listen? me? Why did he send me messages using my training and using lethal force? ‘And he’ll live with that for the rest of his life. “
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Mr. Grace claims that Mr. Toledo had a gun in his possession at the time of his shooting, although evidence from body camera footage does not appear to support this claim.
“He has a gun in his right hand,” said Mr. Grace. “There is no doubt in the world that he has a gun in his right hand.”
In the video, Mr Toledo’s hands appear empty, despite evidence that the 13-year-old threw a gun behind a fence the moment before he was shot.
The attorney does not believe that Mr. Stillman will be charged with a crime.
“I don’t think he’s going to be prosecuted for any crime, and I believe that if COPA and the police force are fair and examine the undisputed evidence, they will be cleared of any kind of charge,” he said.
John Catanzara, the president of the Chicago Police Union, shared the attorney’s views.
He told CNN that “an officer doesn’t have to wait to be shot or to be shot to react and defend himself”.
Mr Catanzara said Mr Stillman had less than a second to decide how he would react and said the shooting was justified.
“Time-lapse photos show that the officer had 8/10 seconds to determine whether or not that weapon was still in his hands. Period. There is no way a sane person can say they can handle this, and their muscle response would be less than a second, “he said.
He later called Mr. Stillman, who shot and killed Mr. Toledo, “heroic”.
Mr. Stillman has been assigned to the Administrative Service pending investigation, but no charges have been brought against him at the time.
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