Emanuel Fires McCarthy as Chicago Police Superintendent

CBS Chicago, December 1, 2015

Saying public confidence in the Police Department “has been shaken and eroded” in the wake of the Laquan McDonald controversy, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday that Police Supt. Garry McCarthy is out as the city’s top cop.

The mayor said he and McCarthy began discussing the future of the department on Sunday, and on Tuesday morning, he asked for the superintendent’s resignation. {snip}

McCarthy’s ouster comes a week after Police Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder in the October 2014 shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Hours after Van Dyke was charged, Emanuel and McCarthy released police dashboard camera video of Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times.

The high-profile shooting death of a black teenager by a white police officer sparked several days of protests across the city, including a Black Friday march that shut down several stores on the Magnificent Mile.

“The public trust in the leadership of the department has been shaken and eroded,” Emanuel said Tuesday at City Hall, as he announced the formation of a task force to review police accountability, oversight, and training.

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The mayor said McCarthy has been an “excellent leader of our police department over the past 4 ½ years,” but said “now is the time for fresh eyes and new leadership to confront the challenges the department and our community and our city are facing as we go forward.”

“Our goal, as I would say to you, is to build the trust and confidence with the public, and at this point and this juncture for the city–given what we’re working on–he has become an issue, rather than dealing with the issue, and a distraction,” he added.

The mayor said he also shares responsibility for the lack of public confidence in the police.

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Emanuel and McCarthy have been under fire for the past week, with activists, protesters, religious leaders, and multiple elected officials–including the City Council Black Caucus, several Latino aldermen, and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle–demanding McCarthy resign or be fired for his handling of the McDonald case.

Preckwinkle was especially harsh in her criticism of McCarthy on Monday, noting that the morning after McDonald’s death, the Police Department issued a statement that he had lunged at police with a knife. However, the video of the shooting showed McDonald was walking away from officers when he was shot, and was not lunging or making any sudden moves.

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