Chicago cop indicted on 6 murder counts in Laquan McDonald slaying

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AP News Guide: Feds begin work on Chicago police probe.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Members of the U.S. CHICAGO — A federal civil rights investigation looking at one of the nation’s largest police departments began in earnest Wednesday, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel will talk with federal investigators Thursday.

Interim Superintendent John Escalante told a City Council hearing Tuesday about a planned sit-down between investigators and police brass Wednesday, adding, “We have not been through anything like this before.” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the investigation on Dec. 7 amid protests over the release of a video of the 2014 fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald by a white officer, Jason Van Dyke, who is charged with murder.

Near the end of the event, when students were told to stand up to recite the Urban Prep creed, several students began chanting “16 shots,” a common slogan among protesters who want the mayor to resign over the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. There’s no rush: Investigations of far smaller departments have taken a year to finish and the one into Chicago’s 12,000-officer force could take longer. As part of that process he will continue to engage with residents, police, and community leaders to address their specific concerns.” Early Wednesday afternoon as the mayor signed a pact with major universities pledging to invest in Chicago, CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine asked him about what happened at Urban Prep and what it said about his future. “I can understand and appreciate people’s frustration has come to a point and I believe that we will deal with it,” Emanuel said. “I think it’s core to what he have to do, and I am committed to make sure that I use all my energy to not allow this issue to kind of be packaged with some set of reforms so we as a city can move on.

The head of the Chicago police union, Dean Angelo, told WTTW-TV he already met with Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, who leads the investigation. Angelo described it as an off-the-record talk, saying he conveyed that the union wanted to “help facilitate the moving parts of the investigation.” Emanuel, who’s faced some calls for his resignation over the McDonald case, said two members of his administration flew to Washington, D.C., last week for talks on the investigation, but he didn’t offer details. Chicago’s top cop and the heads of agencies who police the police were all grilled by aldermen who themselves were feeling the heat over the use of deadly force. Aldermen introduced an ordinance requiring an annual four hour refresher course on the appropriate use of force, while also digging into the alleged code of silence.

A key component is also community outreach — talking with families of Chicago residents shot by officers, likely setting up a hotline and email for tips, and holding town hall meetings to get direct feedback from the public. The Justice Department will scrutinize Chicago police from top to bottom as agents try to determine whether there’s something systemic in how the department works that leads to violations of citizens’ constitutional rights. President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff said Wednesday that the federal investigation, to which he was initially cool, will bring a “fresh set of eyes” on persistent allegations of police misconduct.

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