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Wednesday, December 9, 2015




So why didn't Mayor Rahm Emanuel apologize when 17- yr old LAQUAN MCDONALD was first Murdered in 2014 after he was Shot by Chicago Police sixteen times?

If he had apologized back in 2014, Rahm Emanuel would Not have been re-elected.

If Rahm Emanuel RESIGNS as Mayor will his resignation improve the quality of life for Chicago's BLACK voters, or bring Laquan McDonald back from the dead?


~ Emanuel apologizes for Laquan McDonald police shooting, repeats call for change

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday apologized to aldermen for the police shooting of Laquan McDonald "that happened on my watch."

"If we're going to fix it, I want you to understand it's my responsibility with you," Emanuel said in a rare speech to the full Chicago City Council. "But if we're also going to begin the healing process, the first step in that journey is my step, and I'm sorry."

Emanuel — who has dismissed his police superintendent, parted ways with the head of the police shooting review agency and dropped opposition to the release of the McDonald shooting video during the last two weeks — framed up the situation as "a defining moment on the issues of crime and policing — and the even larger issues of truth, justice and race."

The address of about 40 minutes, coming during a crucial time of Emanuel's tenure, was more of a political speech designed to assuage Chicagoans than one filled with specific plans that several aldermen called for this week to deal with entrenched problems in the Chicago Police Department.

Those problems were highlighted nationally by the fatal shooting of 17-year-old McDonald, an African-American, by a white police officer, the 13 months it took for video of the incident to be made public by court order and for a murder charge to be brought only shortly before the video's release.

And so the mayor on Wednesday talked about many Chicagoans' lack of trust in police officers, and returned to his oft-discussed argument that there are too many guns on Chicago streets. He reiterated his frequent argument that elected officials and community leaders have a responsibility "to earn back that trust and to change that narrative," and said there's a need for police to build trust with young African-Americans.
Emanuel spoke of the larger challenges as ones shared by people throughout Chicago.

"This time must be different. It will be a bumpy road, make no mistake about it," Emanuel said. "It is a painful process, and it is a long journey because of the issues we need to confront. But we as a city will not hesitate in the pursuit of what is right. We cannot shrink from the challenge any more than we can ignore the wrenching video of a troubled young man, a ward of the state of Illinois, failed by the system, surrounded by the police and gunned down on the streets of Chicago."

Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th, said the mayor still has a lot of work to do to regain the city's trust.

"That's the challenge he has, quite honestly, and it's going to be judged by his actions, not his words," Sawyer said moments after the mayor's speech. "So, we hope the ensuing actions will be substantive and will show real meaning to make that connection back with the community so we can establish that trust."

The Rev. Jesse Jackson sat in the front row of the gallery in the City Council chamber to watch Emanuel deliver his speech, which he called "an impassioned address on the extreme duress" of the city.

"The word must become flesh, and we'll know the value of it then," Jackson said of Emanuel's speech. "It must become a practice, and it must happen immediately. We now know police saw the killing of Laquan McDonald and filed a false report. They should be addressed immediately."

Jackson called on the federal government not to limit its Justice Department probe to the Police Department, but also investigate Emanuel's office and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez's office.

 He said many questions remain about what Emanuel and Alvarez knew and when they knew it.

"Who saw the tape when and delayed the tape for 13 months?" Jackson asked. "When subpoenas are issued to testify under oath, then we'll know who knew what when."

The real test, Jackson said, will be how Emanuel deals with the stringent Fraternal Order of Police contract that limits police discipline.

Aldermen — many of whom have approved hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements for victims of police brutality while demanding little change in how the department operates — had mixed reactions to the mayor's talk.

Ald. Howard Brookins, 21st, a congressional candidate who has long spoken out about police abuse, said he thought Emanuel's speech was "genuine and heartfelt," but that many in the public will be skeptical and he'll have to follow up his words with actions.

"Everybody will be cynical that we're just doing this, or it was just said to get past this particular crisis at this time," Brookins said. "I'm saying that the public will hold us to the standard that 'talk is cheap, let's see what your actions will be.' "
Ald. Will Burns, 4th, a mayoral ally, said Emanuel will have to take real action. "I think that in order for our city to function, for our city not to tear itself apart, the reforms have to happen," Burns said.

Ald. Pat Dowell, 3rd, said "it's going to be a tall order" to make the type of real improvements in policing that Emanuel called for Wednesday. "It's going to take a lot of funding, and given the state of the city, we're going to have to find the resources to do this," she said.
Ald. Leslie Hairston, 5th, a frequent Emanuel critic, said the mayor surprised her by not delivering "just the regular speech" she expected.

"It seemed to be real. It hit me. It hit me. It went straight to the core, and that's what I appreciated about it," Hairston said. "This is something we haven't heard before. It was not window dressing. It talked about some of the core and key things that are problems here in the city of Chicago, and I think that's a very big step."

Emanuel has appointed his own five-person task force to recommend Police Department reforms in response to the McDonald shooting fallout, and the task force is set to announce its findings by the end of March.

In his speech, Emanuel said the panel has already recommended the hiring of a "senior officer for civil rights" at the Police Department to implement the panel's recommendations and those of federal investigators.
As he has in recent days, Emanuel focused much of his talk on the broader implications of McDonald's death after being shot 16 times by police Officer Jason Van Dyke in October 2014.

Nothing, nothing can excuse what happened to Laquan McDonald," Emanuel said. "Our city has been down this road before. We have seen fatal police shootings and other forms of abuse and corruption. We took corrective measures, but those measures never measured up to the challenge."

The mayor was at his most emotional when he discussed the need for respect between officers and young black men, and when he mentioned parents who have lost children to violence and people who get out of jail with few options.

He talked about a recent lunch with young men who had been in trouble with the law.

"So I asked them, tell me the one thing I need to know," Emanuel said. "And rather than tell me something, one young man asked me a simple question that gets to the core of what we're talking about. He said, 'Do you think the police would ever treat you the way they treat me?' And the answer is no, and that's wrong," Emanuel said, his voice rising before he began to pound the lectern. "And that has to change in this city. That has to come to an end and end now. No citizen is a second-class citizen in the city of Chicago. If my children are treated one way, every child is treated the same way."

Aldermen applauded the mayor when he noted that double standard.
As he often does when talking about the parents of gunshot victims, the mayor choked up as he recounted "their extraordinary grace."

And without giving specifics, he called for residents to have a forum to talk about their problems with the police. "We have to have better oversight of our police officers to make sure they are living up to the high standards we expect of them, and we also have to create a place for the community to vent their understandable feelings and fears about the police without it devolving into acrimony and finger-pointing," he said.

Emanuel said the next police superintendent who will replace the recently fired Garry McCarthy will need "to address the problems at the very heart of the policing profession."

"This problem is sometimes referred to as the Thin Blue Line," Emanuel said. "Other times it is referred to as the code of silence. It is the tendency to ignore, deny or in some cases cover up the bad actions of a colleague or colleagues.

No officer should be allowed to behave as if they are above the law just because they are responsible for upholding the law. Permitting and protecting even the smallest acts of abuse by a tiny fraction of our officers leads to a culture where extreme acts of abuse are more likely, just like what happened to Laquan McDonald."

Emanuel, who once tried to settle a police brutality lawsuit that found a code of silence existed in the Police Department, said Tuesday evening on "Chicago Tonight" that such a code exists. "The short answer is yes," Emanuel said.

Access to City Council chambers was limited Wednesday. The administration said there was a list of those who were to be allowed in but later said some members of the public were admitted.

Protesters chanted outside council chambers after the speech, and more protests were unfolding against Emanuel later Wednesday.

Sources: Chicago Tribune, YouTube

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