A look at challenges Chicago mayor faces beyond police abuse

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Black Lives Matter Protesters Shut Down Chicago, Call For Rahm Emanuel Resignation.

As Mayor Rahm Emanuel was apologizing Wednesday for the broken system of police accountability exposed by the Laquan McDonald case, city attorneys argued before a federal judge that footage of an officer fatally shooting a 17-year-old carjacking suspect nearly three years ago should be kept from public view. Black Lives Matter protesters are filling the streets of Chicago Wednesday, blocking traffic and disrupting the city to protest police actions relating to the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.CHICAGO (AP) — The latest developments in the city of Chicago’s efforts to deal with fatal police shootings and police accountability (all times local): Emanuel spoke Wednesday before the City Council on the crisis facing police following the release of a video of Laquan McDonald’s 2014 shooting at the hands of police.The mayor of Chicago, whose voice cracked as he spoke about families who have lost children to the city’s violence, criticized the police department for being quick to shoot, saying the department’s “supervision and leadership” had failed.

Lawyers for Cedrick Chatman’s family allege the videos of his January 2013 killing contradict statements from police that Chatman had turned and pointed a dark object at police as he ran, prompting Officer Kevin Fry to fire in fear of his life. Several hundred protesters marched through the city’s downtown loop at midday, chanting “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Rahm Emanuel has got to go,” and “Justice for Laquan.” They were flanked by police on foot and on bicycles.

City attorneys argue releasing the footage — which they described as low-quality and incomplete — could inflame the public and jeopardize a fair trial. But the judge said he would likely lift the protective order next month if he was going to be asked to consider the videos in any pretrial rulings, a move that would automatically make them part of the public record. “If it’s likely going to come out through pretrial motions, then there really is no reason to wait,” said Gettleman, who set a hearing on the issue for Jan. 14. On Wednesday, the mayor used a special meeting of the Chicago City Council to try to calm the firestorm, apologizing for the fatal shooting of a black teen by a white officer and promising “complete and total” reform. They should be addressed immediately.” “I welcome the engagement of the Justice Department,” Emanuel told reporters Thursday. “We have a long road ahead of us as a city, and I welcome people from many views to help us do what exactly we need to do.” We are heading 2 the North Michigan & Magnificent Mile #StopTheCops #FundBlackFutures #ResignRahm pic.twitter.com/3wlGxHaVhz — BalladOfADeadSouljah (@BaburRealer) December 9, 2015 Officer Jason Van Dyke is charged with first degree murder which occurred in October of last year.

The problems have led to intervention by the US Department of Justice, which announced a far-reaching civil rights investigation of the department this week. “I take responsibility for what happened because it happened on my watch. And if we’re going to fix it, I want you to understand it’s my responsibility with you,” Emanuel said during a sometimes-emotional speech that lasted nearly 45 minutes. “But if we’re also going to begin the healing process, the first step in that journey is my step.

The Independent Police Review Authority’s chief, Sharon Fairley, said Wednesday in an emailed statement that there are “serious questions” about 38-year-old Philip Coleman’s treatment. Earlier this year, Lorenzo Davis, the IPRA supervisor who headed up the Chatman probe, filed a federal lawsuit alleging he was fired by Ando for concluding that officers in several shootings — including Chatman’s — were not justified in using lethal force. Authorities said McDonald took PCP and was carrying a pocket knife. (WATCH THE VIDEO: Justice Department Opens Investigation Into Chicago PD) The video quickly drew national outrage, leading to the firing of the police superintendent and calls for Emanuel’s resignation since the shooting happened over a year ago but charges are only now being brought against an officer.

The city released a video this week of officers, several of whom are black, using the stun gun, then dragging an apparently unconscious Coleman, who was black, away. In terms of reform, Emanuel cited a newly created task force, which will look at the CPD’s internal affairs department and the city’s quasi-independent police oversight agency. I did not see where deadly force was called for at that time.” An investigator on Davis’ team alleged that Fry violated the department’s deadly force policy, but that claim was ruled “unfounded” in the final IPRA report. Davis’ attorney, Torreya Hamilton, who attended Wednesday’s hearing, told reporters she thinks the Chatman case “will expose what was happening in IPRA and the corruption of its leaders.” After the hearing, Brian Coffman, who represents Chatman’s mother, Linda, called on Emanuel to make good on his promises to be more transparent when it comes to officers accused of excessive force. “If Mr.

The mayor has denied the claim and acknowledged Wednesday that he should have pressed for prosecutors to wrap up their investigation sooner so the video could be made public. Cook County’s chief prosecutor, Anita Alvarez, admits the timing of the charges against the officer involved are to make the shooting less of a scandal. They want to at least be able to say the officer is being charged so as to stymie outrage after people saw the video. “With release of this video it’s really important for public safety that the citizens of Chicago know that this officer is being held responsible for his actions,” she told Reuters in November. She said she was “denied access” to the council’s chamber Wednesday until she produced ID — “even though my picture was on the wall.” Her white colleagues walked in without having to show ID, said Hairston, whose ward encompasses parts of the South Side, including the University of Chicago. A Guardian investigation exposed in February that Chicago police have the equivalent of a domestic black site where they allegedly torture detainees who they often hold illegally and keep from legal counsel.

He also reversed course on whether the Justice Department should launch a civil-rights investigation, saying he would welcome it only after presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and other top Democrats endorsed the idea. In news conferences, he has appeared worn down, fumbling answers to reporters’ questions or avoiding them entirely by walking away, with cameras rolling. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him grapple with anything quite like this,” said longtime ally and adviser David Axelrod, who also served with Emanuel in the Obama White House. The most likely effect of the crisis will come in the form of pushback from aldermen, who have long been considered a rubber stamp for the mayor’s initiatives, said political consultant Delmarie Cobb. The McDonald footage — ordered to be released by a judge last month and made public hours after Van Dyke was charged — set off a chain of events that captured the attention of the country. Days of protests and marches followed, including one on the busiest shopping day of the year that partially shut down the city’s most famous shopping district, Michigan Avenue.

The mayor won re-election in April by a healthy margin, but only after suffering the embarrassment of not getting a majority in a five-candidate February election, forcing the first mayoral runoff in decades. There was a small bit of pushing and shoving with officers on Wednesday afternoon as the protesters tried to get to one of downtown’s main streets, but eventually police let them through.

A few days later, Emanuel announced that he had demanded and received the resignation of McCarthy, created a new task force and expanded the use of body cameras. In the months that followed, his public schools CEO, who oversaw closings of about 50 schools that angered many residents, was indicted on corruption charges. The dark object police recovered at the scene was a black iPhone box that authorities believe he obtained from the carjacking, according to IPRA, which ruled the officers’ actions justified. “The video shows Mr.

His administration has warned of massive mid-year layoffs in the public schools and is in the midst of rocky contract negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union. Chatman running as fast as he possibly can away from these police officers,” Coffman said. “It’s a sunny day, not dark, he’s not carrying any kind of weapon and he makes no movements toward these police officers. … (Officer Fry) got out of his car and he was ready to shoot. He called more broadly on changes in criminal justice systems, while decrying what he called the second-class treatment of Chicagoans by police because of race. Each time when we confronted it in the past, Chicago only went far enough to clear our consciences so we could move on,” he said. “This time will and must be different.” Emanuel said that in addition to better community policing, Chicago must confront “underlying challenges of family, of poverty, of joblessness, or hopelessness.” The mayor was near tears when he recalled a question from a young man who had had run-ins with the law.

He said gun violence has become “normalized” as the city grapples with gang violence and how to reform a police force with a decades-old reputation for brutality. At least four different groups are planning protests throughout the day in and around Chicago’s City Hall to draw attention to cases of alleged abuse by police officers.

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