Reports of Adam Toledo, the teen shot dead by Chicago police officer in March, being part of a gang started trending after tributes terming him 'Lil' Homicide' and 'Bvby Diablo' surfaced on social media. The body cam footage released by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) caught Toledo throwing away a gun just seconds before he was fatally shot in the chest by the cop.
Toledo and another 21-year-old, Ruben Roman, were spotted by the police officers responding to a call of shots being fired around 2:30 am on March 29. While Roman, who managed to flee the spot, was captured and arrested by the cops, Toledo was also chased by another cop on foot into the alley.
Was Adam Toledo called "Lil Homicide"?
The chatter around the possibility of Toledo being member of a gang started after Andy Ngo, editor-at-large of The Post Millennial, posted a tweet claiming Toledo was known as "Lil' Homicide" and "Bvby Diablo" in his gang circles. "Chicago Police have released the body camera footage of the police shooting death of armed teen, Adam Toledo, who was known in gang circles as "Lil' Homicide" and "Bvby Diablo," Andy wrote in the tweet which also carried pictures of the teen holding a gun seconds before he was shot dead by the cop.
In yet another tweet, he shared the screen shots of tributes paid to the 13-year-old by his friends who addressed him as "Bvby Diablo" and "Lil Homicide."
"Rest In Peace. Lil Homicide, 5.26.07 - 3.29.2021," says a messaged painted on a t-shirt. Another image showing Toledo clicking a mirror selfie, is captioned, "Dam wtf my (N-word) B.I.P bvby Diablo f**k that pigs", "Long live bvby Diablo Fto 50k" and "F**k 12 b**** a** ***** gunned down a kid, Long live bvby Diablo".
Another user by the name of Jose Arriaga wrote, "Rest In Peace bvby diablo," while sharing an image of Toledo standing and posing in a street. Another post with a collage of images read, "buhh it's like dis 5eva. until we meet again my boy....LIL HOMICIDE GANG TILL MY HEART STOPS...IMissYouu nn ILoveYouu...long live da real.. #justiceforadamtoledo, Sincerely, Jesse."
Latin Kings Instructed Members to Shoot at Police Vehicles
According to Chicago Sun Times, days after Toledo's death, the Chicago police issued an "officer safety alert" in the wake of the threat given by Latin Kings. The outlet reported that the department's narcotics unit has learned that factions of the Latin Kings in the Ogden patrol district on the Southwest Side "were instructed by ranking members to shoot at unmarked Chicago police vehicles." The alert was issued soon after the gang's plan to retaliate after Toledo's shooting.
This also prompted the talk of Toledo being a member of Little Kings gang. "Where Adam Toledo was shot is a stronghold of the Latin Kings street gang," suggested a Twitter user.
"Adam Toledo was a member of the Chicago Street Gang Latin Kings. Adam Toledo's nickname was ironical, "Lil Homicide." He wanted to be a tough gangster. He got his wish," wrote another.
Social Media Divided Over Toledo's Involvement With a Gang
Soon after Andy Ngo's post went viral several netizens lashed out at him terming him as racist and insensitive.
"Adam Toledo was armed and known in gang circles as "Lil' Homicide" and "Bvby Diablo." Also a member of the Latin Kings gang. Nasty stuff. Tragic result," wrote another user.
"Adam Toledo was missing from his house for days. Where were his parents? His street name was a Lil Homicide. Where were his parents. 2:37 AM with a gun in his hand. Where were his parents? I don't care about his age. He would've killed you if he had the chance," tweeted Conservative writer Carmine Sabia.