The Chicago Police Union president said the officer who shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo was “vindicated,” though the boy appeared to drop a handgun and raise his hand before to be killed.
John Catanzara told Chris Cuomo on CNN that an “officer doesn’t have to wait to be shot or shot to respond and be able to defend himself.”
A still image taken from the 3 a.m. footage shows that Adam Toledo, 13, was holding nothing and had his hands up when Officer Eric Stillman, 34, shot him in the chest in following a foot chase on March 29.
Police say the teenager had a handgun on him that morning and less than a second has passed since Toledo was seen with a gun in his hand and when Stillman opened fire .
John Catanzara, right, appears on Cuomo Prime Time Thursday night to discuss the Adam Toledo shoot
Catanzara called the officer “100% justified” in the shooting
Bodycam footage shows the officer turning on a light on a handgun on the ground near the teen after shooting him down.
Earlier footage also appears to show the boy carrying a gun moments before he was shot, throwing it behind a fence before turning to face the cop.
“Time lapse photos show the officer had 8/10 of a second to determine whether this weapon was still in his hands or not. Period. There’s no way for a rational person to say they can handle this and their muscle reaction would be less than a second, ”Catanzara told Cuomo Prime Time.
He also defended Stillman, saying, “In reality, the average human being couldn’t stop someone from slapping him in the face in any shorter time than that… That’s a good reason the officer didn’t. shot only one. It would have been justified to shoot several times.
“The officer did everything he could to comply with the letter of the law and the guidelines of the Chicago Police Department. “
The Civilian Police Accountability Office, an independent board investigating the Chicago police shootings, released the graphic images Thursday after allowing the Toledo family to view them in private on Tuesday.
Police said they responded before dawn on the morning of the shooting after police technology detected gunfire there.
Footage appears to show the boy was carrying a gun moments before he was shot, throwing it behind a fence
Police say the teenager had a handgun on him that morning, and body camera footage shows the officer turning on a light on a handgun on the ground near Toledo after he was shot and killed in the early hours of March 29. the fence above
The Chicago Police Department released a photo of the gun which was recovered from the scene after one of its officers shot dead Adam Toledo last Monday.
Video shows the prosecuting officer ordering Toledo to stop and show his hands, which the teen does in the screenshot above
The teenager, who was Latino, and a 21-year-old named Ruben Roman Jr, fled on foot when confronted by the police, and a policeman shot the teenager once in the chest in following a foot chase during what the department described as an armed confrontation.
Roman Jr was arrested on a charge of resisting arrest.
Pictures show it took 19 seconds from when Stillman, 34, got out of his squad car and shooting the teenager.
After exiting the vehicle, the officer pursues Toledo on foot in an alley for several seconds.
“Stop well now!” the officer yells at the fleeing teenager. “Show me your fucking hands!” Drop it’
When Toledo turns to face the officer, he appears to be raising his hands. A moment later, a single shot rang out and the teen collapsed to the floor, with blood gushing out of his mouth.
The radio officer in “shot”, lays Toledo flat on his back and begins to frantically search for the wound. “Stay with me, stay with me,” he implores the mortally wounded Toledo.
Elizabeth Toledo (left) is pictured with her son, Adam (right), who she said was ‘full for life’ and wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement
Toledo died after sustaining a single gunshot wound to the upper chest
Another officer rushes in with a medical kit and the two begin administering CPR. “I don’t feel a heartbeat,” the officer said.
Adam’s family lawyer Adeena Weiss-Ortiz said Thursday: “These videos speak for themselves. If you shoot an unarmed child with his hands up, it is assassination.
“His hands were empty when he was shot in the chest by the officer’s hands.
“Adam, during his last seconds of life, had no weapon in his hand. Adam did so. He had no weapon in his hand. The officer saw that his hands were up and pulled the trigger.
Catanzara also cited Toledo’s alleged ties to the Latin Kings and said: “The poor young child made a horrible decision that cost him his life, but it was justified.
“I will say he is 13 years old. We are talking specifically about the Chicago public school system. He should have been at school. But we’re not learning in school, are we?
Cuomo questioned why Toledo had gang connections is relevant and accused Catanzara of trying to “smear” him.
“I’m just stating facts, I’m not dirtying anyone,” Catanzara said.
Cuomo asked the union leader why the officer was right to shoot Toledo “if you think it was obvious the kid threw the gun behind the fence.”
Catanzara said: “because there is no way for the officer to see where his arm went when he went behind that fence panel”.
“The officer’s actions were in fact heroic.
He also said Stillman and the other officers who respond will live with guilt and will have to “bring this home to their families, then their families will be affected.”