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Remembering Adam Toledo through art

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_


Adam Toledo was fatally shot by Chicago police a year ago today. His death caused national outrage, spurred calls for policy change, and inspired art. 

Today, we’re remembering the 13-year-old through some of the art made in his memory.

A mural in Little Village

A mural features a portrait of a young boy, the Virgin Mary, three doves, and the names of gun violence victims.
Mural at Lawndale and Ogden. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Artist Milton Coronado added drawings from Adam’s sketchbook to the 17-by-14-feet mural on Lawndale and Ogden Avenues, property the Toledo family owns.

A portrait of Adam is surrounded by the Virgin Mary, doves, and names of gun violence victims, ABC7 reported.

“The Garden of Adam” film

Thinking of his own nephew, Houston actor Gerardo Velasquez made a fictional film inspired by Adam’s story. 

The Garden of Adam” follows two parents grieving the loss of their son, who was killed by police in Texas.

The film is in post-production now.

National Museum of Mexican Art ofrenda

The Pilsen museum honored Adam last fall with an altar decorated by his mom and art teacher, Block Club Chicago reported. 

They decorated the ofrenda with Cubs memorabilia, Legos, sneakers, Cheetos, candles, and marigolds for Day of the Dead.

In the year since Toledo’s death

▪️ The officer who killed the 13-year-old will not face criminal charges, South Side Weekly reported. (Neither will the officer who killed 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez in a separate foot chase last year.) 

▪️ Chicago police’s new foot chase policy was revised after being criticized for ambiguity and giving officers too much discretion, according to WTTW.

▪️ The city kept its contract with ShotSpotter after calls to get rid of the controversial gunshot detection technology used predominantly in Black and Latinx neighborhoods. A ShotSpotter report brought police to the scene where Toledo was killed.

👉 What you can do: Create posters at 3:30 p.m., and head to a memorial at 6:30 p.m. at the PO Box Collective in Rogers Park. Go to a vigil in Little Village from 6–8 p.m.


Recreational weed has been available in Illinois since 2020. Meanwhile, in Texas, a Democratic gubernatorial challenger is pushing to legalize weed while the Republican incumbent resists the idea. 

That may sound familiar to Illinois voters: Gov. JB Pritzker ran on legalizing marijuana four years ago, and while the rollout has been rocky, he’s counting it as a big win heading into this year’s election. 

City Cast Houston’s Lisa Gray and City Cast Chicago’s Jacoby Cochran talk about the status of legal weed in both states, and Jacoby offers his tips on what Texas should watch out for as they inch toward legalization. It’s a crossover episode!


Chicago, are you worried about our democracy in America? If you read the City Cast newsletter, then you’re most likely a very engaged citizen. Democracy is in danger and needs your help now more than ever. 

That’s why The Democracy Group has created a community and network of 16 podcasts united around the goal of helping listeners understand what’s broken in our democracy, and how people are working together to fix it.

Subscribe to their newsletter for podcast recommendations, deep dives, and information about how to become an engaged citizen in saving our democracy.


▪️ It’s official: Ald. Nicole Lee of the 11th Ward is the city’s first Asian American woman alder. The University of Chicago and Whitney Young alum is also the daughter of a former Daley aide convicted of stealing $90,000 from a Chinatown charity. [WTTW]

▪️ Mayor Lori Lightfoot has 91 police officers to protect her. A police unit was created in 2020 after protests outside the mayor’s Logan Square home. [Chicago Sun-Times]

▪️ Predominantly Black CPS schools have lower vaccination rates than other schools in the district. [Chalkbeat Chicago]

▪️ Could psychedelics be decriminalized for medicinal use? [Chicago Tribune]

▪️ Before Law Roach was styling stars like Zendaya and Halsey, the South Shore native was working at his store Deliciously Vintage in Pilsen. [Wall Street Journal]

▪️ Take our survey to make this newsletter better! You could win a $100 Visa gift card.


A basketball player celebrates with her teammates after a win.
Candace Parker after winning the WNBA Finals at Wintrust Arena in South Loop on Oct. 17, 2021. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

We can’t talk about Women’s History Month without talking about the Chicago Sky’s WNBA championship this fall. 

Led by two-time league MVP Candace Parker, the Sky’s victory was the first championship in franchise history and capped off the WNBA’s 25th anniversary.

🎟️ See the reigning champs when their season kicks off later this spring!

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