Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Laquan McDonald Murdered, Police Chief Fired

Facing growing anger over his administration's handling of the release of a video showing a white Chicago police officer shooting a black teenager 16 times, Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy on Tuesday.

McCarthy's firing comes one week after Emanuel's administration was forced by court order to release a year-old video that showed officer Jason Van Dyke pump 16 shots into Laquan McDonald, 17, on a Chicago street. Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder last Tuesday, the same day the police dashcam video was released.

Hours after the mayor announced McCarthy's ouster, the office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that she has requested the U.S. Justice Department's civil rights division investigate the Chicago Police Department's practices.

"Trust in the Chicago Police Department is broken," Madigan wrote in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. "Chicago cannot move ahead and rebuild trust between the police and the community without an outside, independent investigation into its police department to improve policing practices."

The firing marks an about-face by Emanuel, who said in recent days he was standing by McCarthy.

Emanuel announced McCarthy's ouster at a late-morning news conference, saying he formally asked for his resignation Tuesday morning.

"I have a lot of support and confidence in the work that he has done," Emanuel said. "But our goal is to build the trust and confidence with the public. At this point and this juncture for the city, given what we're working on, he has become an issue rather than someone dealing with the issue."

Calls for McCarthy's ouster grew over the last week, following the release of the Laquan McDonald video. Protesters hit the streets chanting "16 shots and a cover up" and demanded McCarthy's ouster.

Van Dyke, who was suspended without pay after charges were filed against him, was released from jail Monday evening after posting the necessary 10% of $1.5 million bail.

In the video, McDonald can been seen walking down the middle of a thoroughfare. He appears to be walking away from police when he's first struck. Van Dyke fired the 16 shots over a 15-second period, according to prosecutors. Five other officers who were at the scene held their fire.

Police said they were pursuing McDonald, who was later found to have PCP in his system and was holding a knife with a 3-inch blade, after receiving a 911 call that the young man was breaking into cars. Shortly before he was shot, McDonald had punctured the tire of a squad car with his knife, according to prosecutors.

The truth is, Chicago cannot really move ahead with Rham Emanual as mayor. He should resign or be forced to resign. Officer Van Dyke had been on desk duty for over a year after the shooting and would not have been fired had it not been for a court order to release the dashcam video of Laquan McDonald being shot. In addition, Emanual failed to take action until he was re-elected.

Perhaps one of the most disturbing things about Emanual is the fact that he was once Chief of Staff in the Obama administration. Does this call president Obamas judgement and or integrity into question?



  1. Okay-- Van Dyke, McCarthy and Emanuel should get the boot. However, I think that questioning President Obama's integrity because Rahm Emanuel was once his Chief of Staff has no bearing here. Let's say that I go out and do something foul. Should you blame my mother for having delivered me; or my co-workers for having worked with me? Shouldn't I, alone, be blamed for my actions? Now, I submit that Rahm Emanuel is good at "damage control", just not as good as he thought that he was. He is also a politician, and I am amazed that he didn't throw McCarthy under the bus (or train) before it came down to this. Yes, I think that Rahm Emanuel should go, even though I don't live in Chicago, or even Illinois. I would say to Rahm Emanuel, Garry McCarthy and Jason Van Dyke---be careful the devil can trip you up--he's not loyal. However, I would also say that Shakespeare and the Bible tell us that "the truth will out."

  2. I agree with you. And even though I believe that Barack Obama is the greatest POTUS ever. He was a staunch advocate for Rham Emanuel becoming his Chief of Staff. Then he "resigned" under suspicious circumstances, becomes mayor of Chicago and this happens. It's not just this one incident, there have been a few things. Does the president know something about Emanuel that we don't? I notice that he's be uncharacteristicly quiet and is not defending his one time chief of staff. If we are known by the company we keep perhaps the presidents disassociated himself because he figured out that he was keeping bad company. If so maybe he should have shared with the people of Chicago before they elected him.

  3. Well, I doubt whether we will know if you are correct in your suspicions about Rahm Emmanuel's relationship/non-relationship with the President. I'm not certain as to whether he should have said anything in regard to Emmanuel becoming the Mayor of Chicago. I was pretty disgusted with our President when he interfered with the Massachusetts Police Department after his friend and colleague was arrested. He even invited the author/ Professor to the White House along with the arresting policeman for a beer. I was truly disgusted. Yet, neither he nor the AG (Holder) had anything to say about the man who was on Georgia's Death Row--the witnesses who had lied against him, recanted their stories and claimed that the police had coerced them in order to get a conviction. The man was executed, even though thousands of petitions had been signed from all over the world. So, perhaps the President has learned his lesson about butting into the affairs of States and Cities, since they have some degree of autonomy.

  4. I agree the whole Skip Gates and the president having a beer with the racist cop things was definitely disappointing. But at various times during his presidency has tried a bit too hard to seem impartial and fair. This has been detrimental too many in the black community who view him as a black man instead of a black man who is a politician. With that being said I think he has finally learned his lesson.

  5. I don't mean to belabor this, but I don't have any indication that the cop was "racist" as you say. I do know that Gates was extremely arrogant and was even arrested--I think that he refused to show his identification. I was very embarrassed for him and for me.

  6. Gates is definitely arrogant and prentitious. But from what I understand the cop asked for ID because he thought Gates was breaking and entering. Some how the inference was made that he was question because he was a black man in a "white neighborhood". From my experience that will get you questioned every time. The difference is most of us don't have the connections to get a beer with the president out of it.