A CHICAGO prosecutor has been placed on paid leave for suggesting a 13-year-old boy was armed when he was shot dead by police.
During a bond hearing on April 10, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy told Judge Susana Ortiz that Adam Toledo had a gun in his right hand a moment before he was shot.
Murphy was placed on paid leave from the Cook County prosecutor’s office one day after bodycam footage of the fatal incident showed Toledo dropped a gun and was raising his hands when he was shot by Police Officer Eric Stillman.
State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office said Murphy was placed on administrative leave as he "failed to fully present the facts".
Murphy said: "The officer tells [Adam] to drop it as [Adam] turns towards the officer. [Adam] has a gun in his right hand.
"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."
His statement did not specify that the 13-year-old actually dropped the gun and had his hands in the air before the officer fatally shot him.
Foxx spokeswoman Sarah Sinovic said in a statement: "In court last week, an attorney in our office failed to fully present the facts surrounding the death of a 13-year-old boy.
"We have put that individual on leave and are conducting an internal investigation into the matter."
The lawyer for Officer Eric Stillman – who fatally shot the 13-year-old in the chest – claims the teenager was recruited by the Latin Kings gang, who gave him the gun he allegedly had in his hand the night he died.
This, however, has not been confirmed.
Lawyer Timothy Grace said: "How come no one is talking to the Latin Kings?
"We’re vilifying a good police officer when we have a shooting every two hours in this city.
"We tell officers to be the sheepdogs. They go out there and do that. But then they tie their hands and say you can’t pursue anyone.
"If that's the new progressive rules of policing, let us know, so we know how we can act out there."
Toledo’s death sparked protests across America, with some turning violent as demonstrators clashed with police.
Demonstrators gathered in Logan Square Park, Chicago, to demand justice for Adam Toledo.
The protest began at around 6pm yesterday, with people marching and shutting down the six-corner intersection of Milwaukee, Diversey and Kimball around 7.30pm.
Many said they were protesting to demand police reform and Mayor Lori Lightfoot's resignation, claiming the current system does not work.
As the event came to an end at around 10pm, a small group of protesters began clashing with police officers.
Protests began across Chicago after bodycam footage of Toledo's death was released on Thursday.
Toledo was fatally shot in an alley after running from police around 2.30am on March 29.
Video footage clearly shows the teen putting his hands up before he was shot.
The arrest reports published by Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) indicated that the teen posed an "imminent threat of battery with a weapon" as pressure mounted for the footage to be shown.
The police report said Officer Eric Stillman shot Adam for allegedly not following directions, running, using significant force likely to "cause death or great bodily harm," and being armed with a semi-automatic pistol.
Rabbi Michael Ben Yosef, Chicago Activist Coalition for Justice, said: "He put his hands up and was still murdered. So I have a question: what more could he have done?"
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