CHICAGO (CBS) — The second-ranking official in Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office has resigned, after an internal investigation found “a breakdown of communication” led to a prosecutor mistakenly saying 13-year-old Adam Toledo was holding a gun when he was shot and killed by a police officer.
Foxx’s office confirmed Wednesday morning that her second-in-command, First Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Coleman, has resigned.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Trial: Defense Attorney Calls For Mistrial And Accuses Judge Of Lunging At Her; Judge Denies Claims And Motion
News of Coleman’s departure comes as Foxx’s office announced the results of an internal investigation into a prosecutor’s misleading statements in court in connection to the shooting of Adam Toledo. A news release on the internal review of the Toledo case made no specific mention of Coleman, and Foxx’s office declined to comment on her departure.
At a bond hearing last month for Ruben Roman, 21 – the man who was with Adam at the time of the shooting – a prosecutor said Adam had a gun in his hand when an officer shot and killed him.
But on the day the city released video of the shooting, which showed Adan had dropped the gun just before Officer Eric Stillman shot him, Foxx’s office acknowledged that prosecutor “failed to fully present the facts” surrounding Adam’s death, and the prosecutor was placed on leave pending an internal investigation.
Wednesday morning, Foxx’s office announced that review determined the prosecutor’s work was not reviewed by a supervisor before he went into court, and the information he had provided to Foxx regarding the case “did not align with what was presented in court.”
“The attorney in bond court did not intend to give the impression that Adam Toledo was holding a gun when shot,” Foxx’s office said in a news release.
According to Foxx’s office, the prosecutor was only trying to establish the elements of the child endangerment charge filed against Roman, by telling the judge that Roman knowingly put Adam’s safety at risk by putting a gun in his hand, and that his actions were the “proximate cause” of Adam’s death.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Disturbance Brings Chance Of Rain-Snow Mix To Our North Overnight
“As such, the attorney included a limited description of the events that led to the minor’s death,” Foxx’s office said. “Proper steps were not taken to ensure appropriate language was used.”
Roman is charged with felony reckless discharge of a firearm, felony unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and felony endangerment of a child.
The prosecutor who was placed on leave has returned to work now that the internal review has been completed. Prosecutors in Foxx’s office will undergo additional training about “presenting facts in court to support the charges at issue.”
“Additional office policies and procedures have been and will be implemented to ensure ‘checks and balances’ operate as intended,” Foxx’s office said.
Foxx has acknowledged she did not review the video of the shooting until the day after Roman appeared in court, and has faced intense criticism for her office’s handling of the case. Former U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez has said Foxx’s handling of the Toledo case has eroded the trust in the Latinx community.
In a statement on Wednesday, Foxx apologized for the turmoil caused by the prosecutor’s description of events.MORE NEWS: View Live Radar
“The tragedy of the death of 13-year old boy has been clouded by the confusion and frustration my office has caused and for this I apologize. It’s not lost on me that our community is grieving and I want to assure Adam’s family and the public that my office is working diligently to investigate his death,” Foxx said in a statement.