Mayor Emanuel: Chicago Police Chief Is Out

Superintendent Garry McCarthy is fired in wake of Laquan McDonald video
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2015 11:44 AM CST
Mayor Emanuel: Chicago Police Chief Is Out
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, left, and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy appear at a news conference on Nov. 24, 2015, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday the firing of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, the AP reports, just a week after the release of dashcam video that showed the 2014 killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald at the hands of Officer Jason Van Dyke. "This morning, I formally asked for [McCarthy's] resignation," Emanuel said at the City Hall presser, at which he also announced the formation of a task force to look into police accountability, the Chicago Tribune reports. The mayor went on to say it's an "undeniable fact" that the public is wary of the Chicago PD. "To build the trust and confidence of the public … at this point … [McCarthy] had become an issue rather than dealing with the issue," Emanuel said, per ABC News.

Emanuel has stood by McCarthy, the city's top cop since 2011, for years over what the Tribune calls "various rocky patches" marred by gun violence, including against children. Sources describe McCarthy as "shell-shocked," the Chicago Sun-Times notes: Earlier Tuesday he had told local radio station WLS that he wouldn't resign and that "I'm doing the best job I can do," per ABC. And just over a month ago, at a police chiefs meeting, he said, "Welcome to Chicago, to my adopted home that I'm never leaving," per the Sun-Times. But Michael Sneed and Fran Spielman aren't surprised. "Chicago Police superintendents are like baseball managers and football coaches," they write in the Sun-Times. "They're hired to be fired. Failure and crises are literally built into the job. When it comes, a head needs to roll." Emanuel said that First Deputy Superintendent John Escalante will step in for now, per ABC. (Emanuel has been fighting a bloody battle against gun violence.)

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