Chicago Police Superintendent Resigns over Handling of Fatal Officer Involved Shooting
Following criticism over how he handled the high-profile shooting of a teen shot 16 times by a Chicago officer, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has resigned.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday that he and McCarthy began discussing the future of the police department over the weekend.
Emanuel asked McCarthy to resign Tuesday morning, saying public trust in leadership of the Chicago Police Department has been “shaken and eroded.”
Protesters have been calling for McCarthy’s dismissal for days in response to the handling of the Laquan McDonald shooting. McDonald was shot 16 times by Officer Jason Van Dyke.
Van Dyke has since been charged with first-degree murder.
McCarthy came under fire following the release of police dash-cam video showing the shooting of McDonald. The city only released the video after a judge ordered it to be made public.
“Now is the time for fresh eyes and new leadership to confront challenges the department, the community and the city are facing,” said Emanuel.
Emanuel says he supports McCarthy’s work as Chief, citing a 34 percent reduction in crime over the last 4 and a half years, but the goal is to build trust and confidence with the public.
“At this point in this juncture with the city and what we’re working on- he has become an issue rather than dealing with the issue,” said Emanuel.
Chief of Detectives John Escalante will serve as interim Chicago Police Superintendent.
McCarthy has served as Superintendent since 2011.
Meanwhile, Mayor Emanuel announced the creation of a new task force on Police Accountability.
Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick will be a senior adviser on the panel. The former director of the Illinois State Police, Hiram Grau, and Chicago Police Board President Lori Lightfoot will be members.
Emanuel says the task force is necessary following the shooting of Laquan McDonald by Officer Jason Van Dyke.
The board’s responsibilities include improving oversight of police misconduct, finding the best ways to identify and evaluate officers with repeated complaints and recommend how to release videos of police-involved incidents.