Chicago's Top Prosecutor Apologizes for Court Statement Saying 13-Year-Old Adam Toledo Was Holding Gun

Chicago's top prosecutor Kim Foxx arrives for a 2019 hearing.
Chicago prosecutor Kim Foxx seen here arriving for a 2019 court hearing.Getty

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said her subordinate erroneously told a court hearing that 13-year-old Adam Toledo was holding a gun when police fatally shot him.

Top Chicago prosecutor Kim Foxx issued an apology after an internal review found a subordinate incorrectly said in a court hearting that 13-year-old Adam Toledo was holding a gun when he was fatally shot by police.

“The tragedy of the death of 13-year old boy has been clouded by the confusion and frustration my office has caused and for this I apologize,” said Foxx, state's attorney for Cook County, in a statement announcing the findings of an internal review of her underling's inaccurate statement in court.

At an April 10 court hearing, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said the boy had a gun in his right hand when he was shot in the chest. The statement was made while the 13-year-old's grieving family and angry residents were demanding more information about what happened.

“(Toledo) has a gun in his right hand,” Murphy told the judge. “The officer fired one shot … striking him in the chest. The gun that the victim was holding landed against the fence a few feet away.”

A week later, officials released bodycam footage showing a foot chase, and Adam turning to face Chicago Police Officer Eric Stillman with his empty hands in the air. Stillman fired one second after the boy tossed the gun, authorities said.

In the video, the foot chase lasts only seconds before Adam stops at a fence, turns around, and is shot. The gun was discovered nearby, police said.

Body cam footage of Adam Toledo turning to face police after a foot chase. - Cooke County Law Enforcement Accountability Division

Murphy initially was placed on leave while Foxx’s office launched an internal review. In her statement, Foxx said Murphy had been reinstated and he “did not intend to give the impression that Adam Toledo was holding a gun when shot.”

Before Foxx's statement, her second in command, Jennifer Coleman, resigned. Foxx said the inaccurate court statement was the result of a “breakdown in communication” at the top levels of her office, but she did not elaborate on that description or on Coleman stepping down.

Foxx said the office's Law Enforcement Accountability Division is still reviewing the shooting. There have been no charges filed against Stillman, who is on administrative leave. The officer's attorney has said his client was devastated by the shooting, but reacted in a split-second according to his training.

“No person in their right mind would not say that they would have been in fear of their life in that same situation, and less than one second to react on whether that gun was still there or not," Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara said on CNN in April.

The fatal shooting happened on March 29 after officers responded to a call about shots being fired at a car. 

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