Cover-up of a Police Murder Requires Resignation of Chicago Mayor Emanuel
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a bold yet belated move when he fired his embattled police superintendent in the wake of a national uproar surrounding the release of a chilling video that captured the police killing of a teen--a ward of the city of Chicago.
Included in that uproar is anger over mounting evidence of a cover-up connected to the brutal and unjustified shooting graphically displayed on that video. Political and civic leaders in Chicago had demanded the removal of Chicago top cop Garry McCarthy months before Emanuel's uproar-triggered ouster of his police superintendent.
If Mayor Emanuel is really serious about his stated desire to rebuild “public trust” he needs to do two other things and do those two things quickly.
The first thing Emanuel needs to do is issue a strong public rebuke of Chicago’s top prosecutor, Anita Alvarez.
This prosecutor dragged her feet for over a year on indicting the policeman shown in that video firing 16-shots in the space of 15 seconds into Laquan McDonald. That police video clearly shows the 17-year-old McDonald walking away from police, not lurching towards officers. Chicago’s Police Department, then headed by McCarthy, along with its police union had maintained since McDonald’s fatal shooting in October 2014 that the teen was approaching the officers.
Alvarez did not charge Officer Jason Van Dyke with murder until after the release of the police video that captured McDonald’s wrongful death. Mayor Emanuel had fought against release of that video for over a year, claiming it would undermine ongoing investigations into McDonald’s death –- a stance Alvarez embraced as her explanation for not filing charges against Van Dyke earlier. Of course Alvarez had full access to the video of McDonald's death thus she had evidence that McDonald's death was a crime not a justified police action.
Hispanic leaders in Chicago –- political and civic –- are among those calling for the resignation of Alvarez, the first Hispanic to hold that post in Chicago.
The second thing Emanuel needs to do is resign. The mounting evidence of a multi-layer cover-up surrounding the killing of McDonald includes actions by Emanuel himself.