Statement on Adam Toledo’s Death

Statement by the Democrats Abroad Global Hispanic Caucus Steering Committee 

On March 29, 2021 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot and killed by an officer from the Chicago Police Department. Body-worn camera footage was released on Thursday, April 16 showing the shooting. 

This tragedy has shown that when it comes to children of color, the presumption of guilt is often prematurely conceived, and often wrong. We as a community mourn the loss of a young boy whose dreams and hopes for the future parallel those of other Latino boys in our families. This atrocity exposes the need for greater assistance for kids of color, the need for social workers in these communities, and above all greater investment in training that would prevent these situations from happening in the first place. 

Democrats Abroad extends our heartfelt condolences to the Toledo family during this time of unimaginable pain. We wish them great strength and healing. This is not the first tragedy to arise from police incompetence, incompetence that negatively affects in particular the black members of the Hispanic and Latino community. 

This year has been one of grief and fury for underrepresented communities in the United States. We have seen not only a continuation of fatalities, but an escalation in hate crimes and police brutality. The AAPI and African American communities have experienced similar tragedies – a bitter reminder that this struggle is not exclusive to one group. 

Across communities in the United States, policies to prevent death by the police are uneven, inadequate, and unacceptable. Improved standards need to be established for use of force and training on these standards must be implemented across the country. The implementation of racial and ethnic respect should be a key component of law enforcement training. 

We call for every police officer to be held accountable and for increased meaningful communications between underrepresented communities and law enforcement. We demand an end to the vilification of victims of police violence. We demand protection. 

We demand justice for Adam Toledo, and all youth of color.