CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel ousted Chicago’s police superintendent on Tuesday, after the city’s police department came under fire over an officer shooting a teenager 16 times, and for resisting, for more than a year, to release of a video of the fatal shooting.
“He has become an issue, rather than dealing with the issue, and a distraction,” Mr. Emanuel said of the police chief, Garry F. McCarthy.
The mayor hired Mr. McCarthy, 56, in 2011 to take over law enforcement in a city plagued by persistent violent crime, and homicides declined during his tenure. But Chicago still has a serious problem with gang violence, in particular, including the Nov. 2 killing of Tyshawn Lee, 9, who police say was targeted by gang members.
But the biggest blow to the department came with the release last week of dashboard camera video of the Oct. 20, 2014, shooting of Laquan McDonald, 17, by Officer Jason Van Dyke, which had led to protests against police use of force and calls for Mr. McCarthy to be dismissed.
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The video shows that Mr. McDonald, who was walking down a street holding a small knife, was several feet away from the officer and not moving toward him when the officer opened fire. The officer appeared to continue shooting after the teenager was lying on the pavement. Officer Van Dyke has been charged with murder. The video was released last Tuesday after a judge ordered the city to do so.
Mr. Emanuel said at a news conference Tuesday that he admired the work Mr. McCarthy had done but that public trust was essential to reforming the police department and fighting crime.
“I’m grateful for his service to the city,” he said, adding that the superintendent had modernized the department and delivered results. He said, however, that “now it is time for fresh eyes and new leadership.”
Mr. Emanuel said he had begun talks with the superintendent on Sunday about “the direction of the department” and about how “trust in the department” had been shaken by the handling of the shooting.
“In order to bring the level of safety to our streets that every Chicagoan deserves, people must have confidence in the police,& …Read More
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