A boy of color, a police officer, and the use of deadly force. It is a story that repeats itself all too often in America. It is a story that must end now.
We, as members of Two-Thirds United, a coalition of organizations and individuals from the African American and Latino communities of Chicago, come together to say that we do not want to bury another member of our communities who has died at the hands of law enforcement.
In the case of Adam Toledo, we must not be allowed to get lost in blaming a mother or deferring to a police officer’s split-second decision. We must focus on truly addressing the societal determinants and the institutional racism that have created a system where a 13 year old boy found himself being chased by a police officer in a dark alley at 2 AM; a country where guns are easily available to those who should not have them; and where a Brown or Black child, with his empty hands raised in surrender in compliance to an order from a police officer is nonetheless shot dead.
Justice for Adam Toledo is not merely about addressing the conduct of the police officer who killed him, rather it is also about doing the hard and essential work of reforming, rebuilding and re-imagining our economy, our educational system, our housing system, and yes, reinventing and reconstructing our policing. Until those steps are taken there will tragically be many more Adam Toledos.
Chicago Urban League
Instituto del Progreso Latino
Metropolitan Family Services
One Hope United
The Chicago Community Trust