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Man not guilty in gun case related to Adam Toledo’s murder

The man who prosecutors say fired a gun while with Adam Toledo before the 13-year-old was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer was found not guilty of gun charges by a Cook County judge Friday after a two-day trial.

Ruben Roman, 23, went on trial this week before Judge Charles Burns on three felony counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and one felony count of reckless discharge of a firearm. The charges were not directly related to the death of Toledo, whose killing by Officer Eric Stillman sparked outrage in the city and prompted calls for reform of the Chicago Police Department’s harassment policy.

Instead, the charges related to Roman’s alleged actions while in Toledo immediately before the shooting.

“I do not believe that Mr. Roman is innocent. “There’s a difference between calling someone innocent and saying they’re not guilty,” Burns said in exonerating Romano. “The State has failed to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Prosecutors said Roman was caught on video firing a weapon at a passing car as he stood in the 2400 block of South Sawyer Avenue in Little Village from Toledo in the early morning hours of March 29, 2021. They also said the gloves, which he released gave a positive result. gunshot residue.

However, Roman’s defense attorneys countered that no witnesses or forensic evidence conclusively linked Roman to the gun. They argued that Toledo could have been the person who fired the gun, which they said was beyond reasonable doubt.

“Even in light of all of this evidence, it’s not enough to show that Ruben Roman actually possessed or fired a weapon,” Karin Talwar, Roman’s attorney, said during closing arguments Thursday. “There is evidence for another possible theory.”

The shooting at 24th and Sawyer prompted a ShotSpotter detection that led Stillman and his partner, Corina Gallegos, to the area. The officers did not see anyone at the corner when they arrived, Gallegos testified during the trial, but saw Roman and Toledo later when they pulled into the alley.

Officers began chasing Roman and Toledo, Gallegos said. Stillman pushed Roman to the ground and reached for Toledo. Gallegos stayed behind and handcuffed Roman when she heard the gunshot.

Gallegos testified that she went to her partner and saw officers performing chest compressions on Toledo.

The aftermath of the shooting, released by the Office of Civilian Police Accountability, which investigates police shootings, shows Toledo throwing the gun over a fence before he was fatally shot by Stillman. Gallegos said she later found the gun on the other side of the fence.

Mourners gather at the scene on April 21, 2021, for a blessing ceremony for 13-year-old Adam Toledo, who was fatally shot by police in March 2021 during a foot chase.
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After dropping the gun, Toledo turned to the officer with his hands up, according to the video. When announcing it to would not charge StillmanCook County State’s Attorney Kim Fox said the actions happened “almost simultaneously.”

Romano’s attorneys argued that the surveillance video that captured the shooting that prompted the officers did not clearly show facial features. They said all other evidence related to the gun was circumstantial and did not point conclusively against their client.

However, prosecutors contested that Toledo and Romano could be distinguished in the video by their clothing.

“The defense wants to say that circumstantial evidence is not evidence, but it is,” Assistant State’s Attorney John Henning said Wednesday. “The defendant is the person you see in the church and school video.”

The police department’s policy on foot pursuits has come under scrutiny in the wake of the Toledo shooting and others, including by independent observers. CPD progress in compliance with a broad consent decree ordering reform.

The department released its final, revised version the foot of the persecution of politics earlier this year.



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