The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Chicago Police Kill 13-Year-Old

Apr 12, 2021

At 2:38 in the morning of March 29, Chicago police shot and killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo.

Instead of immediately publicizing the details of the shooting—as they do in every killing when a cop isn’t involved—the police issued a statement saying simply that “foot pursuit … resulted in a confrontation,” and an officer “fired his weapon, striking the offender in the chest,” and tweeted a photo of a gun they say they recovered at the scene.

They reduced this child to the single word, “offender.” It took reporters digging through an autopsy ledger to discover Adam Toledo’s age.

It then took two days for the cops to notify Toledo’s mother, even though she had given police a photo when she reported him missing a few days earlier. They claimed they could not identify him because he didn’t have ID—of course not, he was only 13!

When the news finally broke, the cops had the nerve to say that they could not release the body cam video of the shooting—because the person they had killed was under-age! Despite growing pressure to release it, they still hadn’t done so as of this writing.

A local alderman, George Cardenas, tried to shift the blame, asking: “How is it possible that this 13-year-old is in an alley at 2:30 in the morning?” Despite the fact that Toledo’s mother has been in the news, demanding justice for her son, Cardenas said: “This young man had nobody.”

Mayor Lightfoot said we shouldn’t blame Toledo’s mother, but focused on the gangs: “An adult put a gun in a child’s hand.... Gangs are preying on our most vulnerable.... And when the wolves dare try take one of ours, we must hit them hard with the staff of a community united against the evils that threaten our youth.”

Adam Toledo wasn’t killed by a gang. The “wolves” that took his life were cops. And in response, Lightfoot’s answer amounts to a call for more police violence.