Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 12 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/16/21

13 Years Old, Hands Up, Dead Forever

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   No comments
Author 42414
Message Marc Ash
Become a Fan
  (4 fans)

From Reader Supported News

CAPTION: This video is from officer Eric Stillman's body cam as he approaches, shoots and attempts to resuscitate unsuccessfully 13 year old Adam Toledo. (video: Stillman body cam.)

Adam Toledo, 13 years old, and Ruben Roman, 21 years old, were up to no good early on the morning of March 29th in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago. Ruben was in possession of a gun from which he fired 8 shots. Why Roman fired is not yet clear. As police approached, Ruben and Adam fled and separated, Adam now in possession of the handgun.

A white Chicago police officer now identified as 34-year-old Eric Stillman pursued Adam. Stillman, an armed forces veteran, believed he was chasing an armed suspect. Alone he ran without hesitation or caution directly at what he now says he viewed as a threat. The stage was set for tragedy.

Adam wasn't a hardened criminal, he was a child. He did a kid thing -- he tossed the gun handed to him by Ruben Roman behind a fence as Stillman closed in, shouting, "Show me your f*cking hands, drop it," simultaneously firing a bullet into Adam's chest, his hands now raised and empty.

Stillman began CPR and immediately summoned medical assistance. It's the American way of bullets and bandaids. It didn't work. The image of Adam with his empty hands raised as the bullet that would end his life approaches is the portrait of non-white youth in America.

Police departments are like armed forces veterans, especially those with combat experience. Hiring veterans is a priority for many American businesses. It's seen as supporting the men and women who have served the country. But for police departments, there's a special connection, a sense of being on the same team with the same mission.

The War Here

Before becoming known for leaking the Pentagon Papers to the press, Daniel Ellsberg had been a Marine Corps rifleman serving in Vietnam. Years later, he would recall the moment when he came to understand who the enemy was. He was on patrol with his unit when a 10-year-old barefoot boy in cutoff shorts jumped up from a rice paddy with an AK-47 and began firing on them.

It wasn't the enemy they had trained for, but in bringing the war to a civilian population, it was the enemy they should have expected. It was the inevitable enemy.

The psychology of war and the mindset that they are fighting a war is becoming increasingly common among American police departments. It's the war on drugs, on gang violence, on the war against the American way of life, and the war that cannot be defined, because that's the nature of forever war, no longer over there but now, here.

Eric Stillman has a pretty good record as a cop. It isn't spotless, but by the notoriously confrontational and violent standards of the Chicago Police Department, his record is comparatively tame. Within the rules of engagement in the war on crime in Chicago, he pursued Adam like an enemy combatant and killed him like one.

Only after doing so, only after it was too late did Eric realize Adam was a child victim of war, a child he was sworn to protect and serve.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Marc Ash Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, now the founder, editor and publisher of Reader Supported News: http://www.readersupportednews.org

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Political Assassination of Bernie Sanders

The Betrayal of Cecily McMillan

Are the Oak Ridge Defendants Obama's p*ssy Riot?

What Leeann Tweeden Did Not Say

Tortured Folks

Plutocrats Win Control of Congress

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

No comments