Chicago Mayor Fires Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy

Garry McCarthy

Rahm Emmanuel, the mayor of Chicago, has dismissed Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who was under pressure after release of a video showing killing of black teenager Laquan McDonald by a white police officer.

Officer Jason Van Dyke, a white Chicago police officer, shot Laquan 17-year-old McDonald 16 times in October 2014. He was was charged with first-degree murder.

On a judge’s order, the city released police dash cam video of the shooting. Its release made people angry, and they have started peaceful protests, criticizing McCarthy’s role in handling of the McDonald case.

“The shooting of Laquan McDonald requires more than just words,” Mayor Emanuel said in a statement. “It requires that we act; that we take more concrete steps to prevent such abuses in the future, secure the safety and the rights of all Chicagoans, and build stronger bonds of trust between our police and the communities they’re sworn to serve.”

On Tuesday, Mayor Emanuel announced the formation of a task force to review Chicago’s police officers system of accountability, oversight and training.

The Task Force on Police Accountability will recommend reforms to the current system to improve independent oversight of police misconduct, ensure officers with repeated complaints are identified and evaluated appropriately, and establish best practice for release of videos of police-involved incidents.

The task force is charged with improving independent oversight of police misconduct, as well as examine the best ways to ensure officers with repeated complaints are identified and evaluated appropriately.

The task force will recommends best practices for release of videos of police-involved incidents. The city has a policy not to publicly release videos and other evidence relating to alleged police misconduct that is the subject of pending criminal and/or disciplinary investigations until such investigations are concluded. The task force will consider if the city should change this policy, and if so, when and under what circumstances should such evidence to be made public.

The task force will present its recommendations to the Mayor and City Council by March 31, 2016.

In other related news, Police Board announced that it started the process of searching for a new Superintendent.

Under the city ordinance, the Police Board is required to nominate three candidates for consideration by the Mayor. The board, however, did not disclose when the appointment process will be completed.

Image Credit: Brooke Collins/City of Chicago