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Former top cop: Blame gangs, not police, for Adam Toledo's death

WBBM Radio Chicago logo WBBM Radio Chicago 4/15/2021 Wbbm Newsradio Staff Report
Garry McCarthy wearing a suit and tie walking down the street © Provided by WBBM Radio Chicago Garry McCarthy

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — A former top cop for Chicago said blame for 13-year-old Adam Toledo’s death should be laid squarely on street gangs — not police.

Garry McCarthy said gangs use “shorties,” or underage people who are paired with adult gang members, as accomplices. Minors can face less serious consequences in juvenile court.

“They have the ‘shorties’ who they give the gun to,” McCarthy told WBBM Newsradio on Thursday, as a watchdog agency prepared to release video and other materials in the March 29 police shooting that killed Toledo.

“This is very clearly that dynamic, and then something bad happens, and then we want to blame police.”

Authorities have said Toledo, a seventh-grader, was with a 21-year-old who fired shots around 2:30 a.m. near 24th and Sawyer in Little Village. By the time police arrived, they say, Toledo was holding the gun, and he was fatally shot by an officer after a foot chase.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which released the body cam video of Toledo’s death, is investigating the officer-involved shooting.

McCarthy served as police superintendent under former Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel fired McCarthy in 2015 after dash cam video of a white officer fatally shooting a black teen was publicly released. The officer was convicted of second-degree murder.

Emanuel did not seek a third term in office.

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