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Top Chicago cop forced out by movement against police crimes

By staff |
December 3, 2015
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Veronica Morris Moore of Fearless Leading by the Youth
Veronica Morris Moore of Fearless Leading by the Youth, celebrating the firing of Superintendent McCarthy. (Sarah-Ji Fotógrafa)

Chicago, IL - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired the Superintendent of Police, Garry McCarthy, Dec. 1. The action came one week after a judge forced the city to release a video of the execution-style murder of a Black youth, Laquan McDonald, by a Chicago cop.

Youth organizations, including Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY), celebrated outside Chicago Police Department headquarters at 7:30 p.m. Aislin Pulley of BLM said, “This is a victory, but there’s a struggle that still continues.”

Frank Chapman of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression commended all those in the community who marched in the past week to demand justice for Laquan McDonald. McDonald was shot 16 times by police officer Jason Van Dyke. According to Chapman, “The video clearly showed that the killer cop was in no danger.” Speaking to the crowd at CPD headquarters, Chapman said, “What this cover-up shows is that we can’t have the mayor over the police. We need community control!”

Which way next?

Chapman continued, “The problem doesn’t end with McCarthy. The mayor, the Independent Police Review Authority, they’re all guilty.”

Mayor Emanuel announced the creation of a Task Force on Police Accountability. However, the people appointed include three former prosecutors, a former head of the Illinois State Police and one former public defender. Numerous organizations in Chicago are supporting instead the Alliance proposal for an elected civilian police accountability council to bring an end to the long history of police crimes.

The Black Lives Matter movement and a growing chorus of voices are also calling for the resignation of the mayor. Even the Chicago Tribune said that Emanuel should resign.

Calls for federal investigation

For several years, the Alliance has campaigned to bring in the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the crimes of the Chicago Police. On Dec. 10, dozens of torture victims, their families and the families of murder victims will file formal complaints with the Civil Rights Division, which handles complaints against police departments. A support rally will be held at 5:00 p.m., according to the call from the Alliance, to “hold the federal government accountable for its complicity in police crimes and torture.”

An open letter will also be presented to Attorney General Roberta Lynch demanding the firing of other killer cops, such as Dante Servin, killer of Rekia Boyd; and Gerardo Sierra, killer of Flint Farmer. The protest is adding a demand for a federal investigation of the police torture site known as Homan Square.

In the wake of the crisis from the video of Laquan McDonald’s murder, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is also calling for an investigation by the Department of Justice.