White House calls Adam Toledo killing a ‘chilling’ reminder that police often use ‘unnecessary force’

White House press secretary says she is unaware if President Biden has seen the footage

Alex Woodward
New York
Friday 16 April 2021 19:22
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the recently released video footage of the police killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo serves as a “chilling” reminder that “too often in this country law enforcement uses unnecessary force.”

Ms Psaki said she does not know whether President Joe Biden has seen the video that was released on Thursday, in which a Chicago police officer fatally shoots the teenager while his hands are up.

“I will say for those of us who did watch that video, it is certainly chilling,” she told reporters on Friday. “And a reminder that across the country there are far too communities where there is violence that is impacting... that too often in this country law enforcement uses unnecessary force, too often resulting in the death of Black and brown Americans.”

In police body camera footage of the shooting on 29 March that was publicly released on Thursday, an officer can be heard telling the 7th grader, who is Latino, to “show me your hands” and “drop it” before the boy turns to the officer with his hands raised. The officer then opens fire, striking him once in the chest.

The footage follows the release of video from the police killing of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, amid the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, a now-former police officer in Minneapolis, for the killing of George Floyd, whose death last year galvanised an international demand for justice for the killings of Black Americans by police.

Video of Adam’s death was released hours before another mass shooting in Indiana on Thursday night, among nearly 150 mass shootings to have occurred in 2021, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Eight people were killed and several others were wounded at a shooting at a FedEx facility. Police on Friday morning did not announce a suspect, who police believe fatally shot himself at the scene.

“Yet again we have families in our country who are grieving because of the loss of their family members” over gun violence, Vice President Kamala Harris said on Friday. “There is no question that this violence must end and we are thinking of the families that lost their loved ones.”

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