A Statement from April Janney, President & CEO of Illinois Action for Children, on the Killing of Adam Toledo

April 16, 2021

Like all of you, I was horrified by what I saw in the video released by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) yesterday of the police-involved shooting of Adam Toledo. We all need to prioritize the safety and protection of our city’s youth as our most sacred responsibility—and that includes protecting our children from dying at the hands of law enforcement.

Gun violence is an epidemic in this country and sadly, Chicago is leading the nation in this regard. Year after year, we continue to see it invade all parts of our children’s lives, ravaging our communities, upending families, and inflicting extreme trauma that has lasting damaging effects. This violence needs to be combated through true, meaningful, lasting systemic change—and  police reform. Our children, especially children of color, need viable opportunities and pathways to lead lives where they can grow, learn, and envision a future for themselves.

Our communities need to be better resourced to protect and uplift our children. That includes the creation of significantly more positive opportunities for our children to live their lives—their childhoods—free of the fear of violence.

Our hearts break for Adam Toledo’s family, friends, and community. This fight is my responsibility. It is your responsibility. It is our collective duty to make sure that what happened to him never happens to another child again.