Kevin Bae

Non-Social in a Socially Networked World

1/5th of a second

That’s the length of time between an empty hand rising and an officer shooting. What decision would you make?

The video of the Chicago Police officer shooting Adam Toledo was released. What everyone is showing is the still frame from the video of Toledo’s hand empty just before he was shot. This is being reported as if the officer knew Toledo’s hands were empty at the time of the shooting.

In Stillman’s body camera video, the officer pulls up in the alley, gets out of his vehicle and runs. Stillman can be heard shouting, “show me your (expletive) hands!” followed by “drop it!” with a flickering flashlight on Toledo as the teen starts to turn around.

Toledo can be seen stopped near an opening in a fence as he turns, and he appears to start lifting his hands. On a frame-by-frame viewing, a pistol-shaped object appears to be visible in Toledo’s right hand behind his back as he pauses near the opening in the fence and turns his head toward the officer.

On the grainy and shaky video, his hands are raised and appear to be empty at the moment the officer shoots him. Later in the video, an officer can be seen shining a flashlight onto a pistol behind the fence where Toledo had been standing.

Chicago Tribune

What they’re not showing you and what they’re not telling you is it was 2/3rds of a second between what looks like a gun last being visible on the video and Toledo’s hand rising. Here’s that video.

It was also only 3/5ths of a second between the last time what looks like a gun is visible and Toledo’s hand rising. Here’s that video.

In that short span of time Toledo seemingly tossed the what may have been a gun behind the fence but also at that time the hand with what may have been a gun was not visible to the officer. Here’s that video at 1/10th the speed to emphasize the officer may not have seen Toledo toss what may have been a gun.

Here’s the complete roughly 18 seconds from the moment the officer exits his car to the time he shoots Toledo. If you don’t want to watch Toledo getting shot do not press play.

Here is the complete body cam video released by the Chicago Police Department. It is graphic. Do not press play if you do not wish to see this young man die.

Here is the freeze frame you’re seeing of Toledo’s with empty hands raised.

Here are two frames showing what looks like a gun in his right hand.

This is not an open and shut case. We need to leave this in the hands of the legal system. This cannot be tried in the court of public opinion.

What kind of pressure are we putting on police when we can freeze frame a fraction of a second and claim the officer should have known not to shoot? As I showed above it was a mere 1/5th of a second between seeing an empty hand and the officer shooting Toledo. The police in the act of doing their jobs also want to go home to their families. They don’t want to end up dead and leave their wives and children without a husband and father.

Perhaps we need to be addressing the circumstances that placed Adam Toledo on the streets of Chicago at 2:30 am running around with what looks like a gun. What was he doing out there? Where were his parents?

Ald. George Cardenas (12th) said of Toledo: “This young man had nobody. It’s sad to say. Nobody that could help him, except a gang. So, shame on us. I own that.”

Through a separate statement released Monday through an attorney, the Toledo family, in an apparent refutation of Cardenas’ comments, said they wanted to “correct the hurtful and false mischaracterization of Adam as a lonely child of the street who had no one to turn to.”

The statement continued: “This is simply not true. Adam was a loved and supported 13-year-old boy. He lived with his mother, his 90-year-old grandfather and two siblings. His father was in his life. They all loved him very much. The Toledo family is a close-knit family. They look after each other. Adam attended Gary Elementary School where he had the support of his teachers and his classmates. Adam was not alone.”

Chicago Sun-Times

Something was not right. As a former teenager who used to run around Chicago at 2:30 am back in the late 1970’s early 1980’s I know from personal experience nothing good happens at those hours. That night no one knew where that kid was. His parents and family have to bear some of the responsibility for allowing him to be in that circumstance.