Former congressman Luis Gutierrez slammed Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx on Sunday for failing to review video footage showing the police killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo before a top deputy offered an erroneous account of the shooting during a court hearing earlier this month.
“That’s not acceptable,” Gutierrez said, calling out Foxx during a news conference at Daley Plaza. “Shame on you. How could you not have seen that video?”
Gutierrez went on to say he was “disappointed” in Foxx’s “explanation of the misleading description propagated by one of your top lieutenants” — an apparent reference to statements Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy made during an April 10 bail hearing for 21-year-old Ruben Roman, who was with Adam before the fatal shooting and arrested at the scene.
During the hearing, Murphy said Adam was holding a gun a moment before he was shot in the chest by a Chicago police officer early March 29. But bodycam video released days after the hearing showed that Adam apparently dropped a handgun and raised his hands right before a single bullet struck him.
Gutierrez said Foxx’s office’s initial description of the video footage effectively “muzzled” him and other community members.
“I would’ve spoken out earlier. I would’ve reached out,” Gutierrez said. “But you know what I thought? I said, the kid had a gun. He pointed it at the police officer.”
“And then I saw the video,” he added. “I didn’t see a gun. What I saw was a frightened 13-year-old kid getting shot by a police officer.”
A spokeswoman for Foxx didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Foxx ultimately placed Murphy on administrative leave because he “failed to fully present the facts” about the case, according to a statement from her office. But now, the state’s attorney has admitted that she didn’t personally review the videos or read the problematic proffer ahead of the hearing.
Gutierrez likened Foxx’s actions to those of her predecessor, Anita Alvarez, who came under heavy fire for her handling of the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014.
Alvarez waited a year — until the day that shooting video was released by a judge’s order — to file murder charges against former Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke, who shot McDonald 16 times. Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder and aggravated battery.
“You rightfully accused your predecessor of hiding the Laquan McDonald video,” Gutierrez said to Foxx. “But you chose to not even bother to see the Adam Toledo videos.”
Gutierrez noted that he even dropped his support for Alvarez and endorsed Foxx “believing that you would show greater sensitivity to all disenfranchised communities.”
He now plans to reach out to Foxx’s office Monday to request a meeting to voice concerns about her handling of Adam’s case and what he sees as a glaring lack of Latino leadership in her office.
“I want her to say I’m sorry to all of us that continue to fight for social justice or equality because she silenced our voices.”