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Justice for Adam Toledo! Power to Communities to Stop Police Murder!

Statement by Chicago Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression (CAARPR) |
April 17, 2021
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Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression demands justice for Adam Toledo, who was just 13 years old when he was gunned down by a Chicago police officer on March 29, 2021. Adam was a child and he did not deserve to die. As the newly released COPA video shows, Adam had his hands up and was complying when he was executed in cold blood. We must identify the officer who killed Adam and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. We must end the madness of a police department that kills Black and brown children without consequence or intention of stopping.

We have been here far too many times before. Tatouin Williams, Jerry Moore, Rickey Childs, Dakota Bright, Cedrick Chatman, Tywon Jones, Michael Westley, Christian Green, Pedro Rios, Warren Robinson, Desean Pittman, Pierre Loury, Corsean Lewis, and Michael Elam. All of them were children, all of them murdered by CPD under Rahm Emanuel’s watch – not to mention, of course, the attempted cover-up of the murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Under Lightfoot, this deplorable pattern continues with the cover-up of the Anjanette Young raid and now the murder of Adam Toledo.

In Chicago, we are treated like an occupied population with whom CPD is at war. Many of our elected leaders have thankfully joined us in demanding an end to this human rights disaster. The Mayor had a chance to do so, too, but has refused. While our people are violated and degraded day in and day out by the police, while Chicago mourns the death of another of its children killed at CPD’s hands, and while the country cries out for justice for Daunte Wright and George Floyd, Mayor Lightfoot refuses to allow hearings on the most important police reform legislation in decades. She has instructed her handpicked Chairman for Public Safety, Alderman Taliaferro, to cancel two Public Safety Committee meetings and avoid the topic of civilian oversight until further notice.

As the communities who give meaning to the very term “public safety”, we have no democratic say over what CPD does, who is in charge of it, and how officers who violate are rights are held accountable. We have the inalienable right to determine our own safety – but instead, our safety is decided almost entirely for us by a paramilitary organization and its union and a Mayor who plays them both to protect her own political power.

We need to give communities the power to do what the Mayor will not do: defend our rights to true safety and true accountability. Last month, Lori Lightfoot made the decision to abandon altogether the overwhelming community demand for democratic power over the police department. In response, the campaign for an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) joined forces with the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability (GAPA) to create a unity ordinance. The new Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) takes elements of CPAC and GAPA to create the strongest, most democratic police accountability legislation in the entire country, including allowing voters to decide how much democratic control they want over the CPD. ECPS is the People’s Ordinance and is ready to be introduced now and made into law -- but the Public Safety Committee and Lightfoot won’t allow it.

It is time for communities to take charge of our own safety – the police and Mayor clearly have no intention to. Today’s video shows once again that it does not matter if you’re a child or if you comply. If you are Black or brown in this city, you are not safe from the police – they will hunt you down alleyways and slaughter you. We need ECPS now to stop this slaughter. We need ECPS to stop our mayors and the CPD from justifying these murders as the price to pay to keep us safe. Murdering Adam Toledo and other children will not keep us safe. Incarcerating, criminalizing and shooting our way out of decades of disinvestment does not keep us safe. A police department that swallows over 40% of our budget to the exclusion of non-policing and community strengthening alternatives does not keep us safe. Communities need to be able to determine if, when and how the police play a part in achieving what we say safety is. And we need the power to discipline those officers who refuse to uphold our demands. ECPS will give us that power.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Toledo family, who has had to bear more than any family should. We are heartbroken at Adam’s loss and grieve with his family and this entire city. We call on City Council to pass the People’s Ordinance now so that communities finally have a say and real power over our own safety. Until communities lead the way in defining our safety and until officers are held accountable when they violate our leadership, this madness will continue. We have the power and the right to stop it. Now we have the legislation and the political will in City Council to do it. We must pass ECPS now.

Justice for Adam Toledo!

Indict and convict Adam’s killer!

Power to communities to end police terror and impunity!

Pass the People’s Ordinance!