Eric Stillman is named in police reports as the Chicago police officer who shot and killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo.
The Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountability on April 15, 2021, released graphic police body cam videos that show Stillman shooting Toledo. You can watch the videos later in this story, but be aware that they are very graphic.
Stillman’s name is contained in voluminous reports also released by the office in the interest of transparency. The release of the videos is already causing furious controversy online. A gun was recovered at the scene, near a fence, and it appears from the videos that Toledo dropped the gun before raising his hands as he was shot. It all happened in a split second. However, one video shows the gun lying a short ways down past the opening in the fence, not at the opening.
The shooting remains under investigation, and the mayor and family have pleaded for calm. All of the videos and documents released in the shooting death so far can be found here.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Stillman, Who Served in the Military & Received a Commendation, Joined the Chicago Police Department in 2015
According to Chicago Police Department records, Eric Stillman is a white male with the rank of police officer who has a base salary of $72,510. He is 35 years old. He has been on the force since August 2015.
He has no complaints on his record. He has received one major award and eight honorable mentions, the records show.
The records show that he received a “military service award” and “superintendent’s award of valor.”
Read the incident report naming Stillman PO-Stillman-TRR_REDACTED
2. The Original Case Reports Lists Stillman, Who Was Born in American Samoa
The original case incident report lists Eric E. Stillman as a victim in the Toledo shooting.
The report gives some biographical information about Stillman, indicating that he was born in American Samoa (Islands), United States Of America.
Stillman appears distraught in the body cam videos after resuscitation fails. He stands silently and then sits down along a fence.
3. The Videos Are causing a Firestorm Online
The videos appear to show Toledo dropping a gun and raising his hands when he was shot. Police said previously that they recovered a 9MM Ruger along a fence near the shooting, and they released a photo of it. The officer is identified in the reports as Eric Stillman.
Stillman yells, “Hey show me your f***ing hands, drop it.”
This surveillance video shows the shooting from a farther distance.
The videos are somewhat at a distance and it all happens quickly, but others also believe that Toledo had just dropped the weapon when shot. The Chicago Tribune’s Jason Meisner also wrote of a second video in the release batch: “Surveillance video released today appears to show Adam Toledo toss a gun (later recovered) beside a fence and turn toward the officer as he gets shot. It all happens in a second.”
Surveillance video released today appears to show Adam Toledo toss a gun (later recovered) beside a fence and turn toward the officer as he gets show. It all happens in a second. https://t.co/sH3At1ABq3 pic.twitter.com/SDt3HPQNSn
— Jason Meisner (@jmetr22b) April 15, 2021
“A 13-year-old boy appears to have dropped a gun and raised his hands just before a Chicago Police officer fatally shot him,” Fox40 reported.
The shooting occurred in March, 2021, in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago.
4. The Mayor Pleaded for Calm But Called the Videos ‘Incredibly Difficult to Watch’
Yes he did. In his right hand. He tossed it behind the fence as he turned to face the officer.
Not judging the officer’s actions. But the boy certainly had a gun in his hands. pic.twitter.com/luKCHpnT69
— Christian Delante (@DelanteMedia) April 15, 2021
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot held a news conference in advance of the video release to plead for calm. “Look, I don’t want to get into the real substance of this because the independent investigation is going on, but I’ve seen no evidence whatsoever that Adam Toledo shot at the police,” Lightfoot said in the news conference. She called the videos “incredibly difficult to watch.”
You can watch all of the videos here and obtain investigative case reports at the website as well. The caption with the released videos and documents says, “This post includes all relevant video, audio and Chicago Police Department records in COPA’s possession that are required to be released related to use of force in this fatal officer-involved shooting and the events immediately following it.” Be forewarned that the videos are extremely graphic.
BREAKING: Videos show Adam Toledo, 13, may have dropped gun as he raised his hands when CPD officer fatally shot him https://t.co/EOXEA5anRv pic.twitter.com/viH2nl84v6
— Sam Charles (@samjcharles) April 15, 2021
Outrage spread quickly on Twitter in some corners, but others pointed out the split-second between Toledo appearing to have the gun and then his hands being empty.
Kid had his hands up. No gun. pic.twitter.com/Why7ZyFsf6
— Little Caesars Has Fallen (@lib_crusher) April 15, 2021
He stopped running
He had his hands up
He complied with the officer’s orders
He was shot
Justice for Adam Toledo
— Bebop The Socialist Cop (@BebopOtt) April 15, 2021
Others also believed you could see Toledo dropping the gun before raising his hand as the officer fires with it all happening in a split second.
Then dropped and hands went up. pic.twitter.com/e8pRzydAbl
— 1 lot hero (@1_lot_hero) April 15, 2021
Toledo’s family issued a joint statement with the mayor asking people to respond peacefully to the videos’ release. “Yesterday, the City of Chicago’s Corporation Counsel, Celia Meza, met with Adeena Weiss Ortiz and Joel Hirschhorn, legal representatives for the Toledo family,” the statement read. “Based on the Civilian Office of Police Accountability’s announcement that it will be releasing the videos, both parties agree that all material should be released, including a slowed-down compilation of the events of March 29 that resulted in the tragic death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo.”
5. A Prosecutor Initially Said Toledo Had a Gun in His Hand But the Office Now Says That’s Inaccurate
According to WGN-TV, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy made the comment about the gun in a proffer presented during a bond hearing for a 21-year-old man who was with Toledo the night he was shot.“The officer tells [Toledo] to drop it as [Toledo] turns towards the officer. [Toledo] has a gun in his right hand,” he wrote.
WGN sought more information and is now reporting that the state’s attorney’s office “says the detail about Adam having a gun in his hand the moment he was shot was inaccurate.”
COPA wrote in a news release that the videos were the same as those reviewed by Toledo’s family.
According to Block Club Chicago, another video shows Toledo with Ruben Roman, 21, who is accused of firing shots “at a target that is out of view.” Shortly thereafter, the officer starts chasing Toledo.
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