Stillman is the officer who allegedly fired the shot that killed Adam Toledo, 13, during a foot pursuit late last month. Video footage of the incident was released this week.
“We’re vilifying a very good police officer,” attorney Tim Grace told Laura Ingraham on Friday evening on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”
Grace said the boy was holding a gun when he started to turn toward Stillman after Stillman had ordered him to stop.
“At this point, this officer has no cover, no concealment,” Grace said. “He sees this gun, he sees this individual turning towards him.”
Grace said Stillman was forced to make a “split-second decision” that was “consistent with the Chicago Police general orders, use-of-force guidelines and with the law.”
Grace said police shootings can’t be judged through “2020 hindsight. We need to look at it through the perspective of the police officer.”
He lamented that Stillman — rather than a gang — had become the “villain” in Toledo’s death. Grace claimed the Latin Kings gave Toledo the gun he allegedly had in his hand before he was shot.
“The Latin Kings are the ones who recruited him, branded him with a tattoo and then had him out there in the middle of the night shooting at passing-by cars,” he said.
He added that he thinks Ruben Roman, 21, who was allegedly with Toledo when he was killed, should be charged in connection with the death and said people should be concerned about violence in Chicago that doesn’t involve the police.
“Do you realize we have … a murder every 11 hours in this city? We have a shooting every two hours in this city?” he said. “And they tell our police officers in roll call, ‘Go out there, get the guns, stop the violence, we need you to be the sheepdogs.’ And what do the police officers do? They go out there and they do that.”
He said progressives are trying to “tie their hands” so police can’t do their jobs but are still expecting officers to stop gang violence.
“You can’t have it both ways,” he told Ingraham.
Grace praised Stillman as a decorated U.S. Marine Corps veteran and an officer who has served Chicago “honorably.”
“He doesn’t take this lightly,” he said. “He understands that what he did and what he had to do – and all law enforcement officers across the country, the last thing they want to do is to have to discharge their weapon and use deadly force.”
He added that in his opinion “Defund the Police” groups will “make our cities unlivable” by taking away officers’ abilities to do their jobs.
Meanwhile, Toledo family attorney Adeena Weiss-Ortiz has claimed the boy complied with the officer’s commands and his hands were empty when he was shot.
“If you’re shooting an unarmed child with his hands in the air it is an assassination,” she said.
Weiss-Ortiz added that the police body camera footage released this week and other videos “speak for themselves.” She said it was irrelevant whether Toledo was holding a gun before he turned toward the officer.
“If he had a gun, he tossed it,” she said. “The officer said, ‘Show me your hands.’ [Toledo] complied. He turned around.”
Toledo was killed on March 29 following a pursuit after Stillman responded to a report of shots fired.
The body camera footage shows Stillman pulling up to the location and immediately encountering two people, who appear to be Toledo and Roman.
Stillman forces Roman to the ground in the footage before continuing behind Toledo, who is seen running away. It was Roman who fired the shots that prompted police to respond to the area, according to prosecutors, FOX 32 of Chicago reported.
The officer can be heard telling the boy to “stop” and “stop right f—— now.” Toledo then stops for a moment before he turns toward the officer, at which point the cop tells him to, “Show me your f—— hand.”
Footage from a surveillance camera provides a different perspective of the police chase, with Toledo appearing to reach behind the fence. The footage later shows a gun on the ground alongside the fence, feet from where Toledo was shot.
There have been conflicting reports as to whether Toledo had a gun in his hand at the moment he was shot.
Stillman has not been charged with a crime at this point.
Author : Brie Stimson