CHICAGO (CBS) — Latinx lawyers and community leaders want the Justice Department to look into the death of Adam Toledo, the 13-year-old boy shot and killed by a Chicago Police officer last month.
The groups want the Latino community to know they are not alone in their fight for justice.READ MORE: Elmhurst University Student Charged With Making Up Story About Man With Gun That Sent Campus Into Lockdown For Hours
“Adam’s case, as tragic as it is, is only a symptom of a larger systemic issue that has plagued the Latino Community for far too long. Latinos, like their African American neighbors, have always been on the receiving end of poorly conceived police law enforcement policies and practices. Far too often, interactions between Latinos and the police result in disproportionate stops, harassment, misguided arrests, and prosecutions for minor offenses. And, as the case of Adam shows, those interactions often bring fatal consequences to community residents,” the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois and the Pilsen Law Center said in a statement.READ MORE: City Panel Backs $97 Million Sale Of Vacant Michael Reese Hospital Site For Massive 'Bronzeville Lakefront' Development
In addition to a Justice Department probe of Adam’s death, the groups want Mayor Lori Lightfoot to speed up the Chicago Police Department’s consent decree reforms. A part of that would overhaul the CPD’s policy on foot-chases, like the one into an alley on March 29, which resulted in Adam’s death.
“A little respect and dignity for our community is going to go a long way to save millions of dollars that the city pays in jury awards, settlements, legal fees, the cost that it has in the loss of human lives, and at the end of the day we’ll win. The police officers will be safer working in the community,” said Arturo Jauregui, an attorney with the Pilsen Law Center.MORE NEWS: Stimulus Check Update: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
The group is also calling on city officials to provide more support for Latino students in Chicago Public Schools, through additional social workers and counselors.