Emotional Chicago mayor apologizes for 2014 shooting, vows police reforms

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel apologized for the 2014 shooting of a black teenager Wednesday during a special City Council meeting and promised a "complete and total" reform to restore trust in the police.

See Full Article

But the former White House chief of staff, known for keeping a vise-like control over the nation's third largest city and his own image, has said repeatedly that he will not step down as he finds himself in the weakest position of his long political career.

His emotional speech didn't stop hundreds of people from taking part in a midday protest downtown, chanting "16 shots and a coverup" in reference to the release of a video showing white Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who appeared in the footage to be walking away. Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder.

The McDonald footage set off protests in Chicago and captured the attention of a country already grappling with several other police killings of African-American men that have given rise to the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

Emanuel criticized the police department for being quick to shoot, saying the department's "supervision and leadership" had failed. The problems have led to intervention by the U.S. Department of Justice, which announced a far-reaching civil rights investigation of the department this week.

"I take responsibility for what happened because it happened on my watch. And if we're going to fix it I want you to understand it's my responsibility with you," Emanuel said. "But if we're also going to begin the healing process, the first step in that journey is my step.

"And I'm sorry."

Critics have repeatedly accused Emanuel of keeping the McDonald footage under wraps until after he won a tougher-than-expected spring election for a second term. The mayor has denied the claim and acknowledged Wednesday that he should have pressed for prosecutors to wrap up their investigation sooner so the video could be made public.

Most of the cries for Emanuel to resign have come from grassroots activists and residents, not from the city's political powerbrokers. The next election -- should he seek another term -- isn't until 2019. And Chicago has no process for a mayor to be recalled.

A few days after the video was released, Emanuel announced that he had demanded and received the resignation of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, created a new task force for police accountability and expanded the use of body cameras.

But the anger did not subside, and every day there seemed to be another issue, including the release of hundreds of pages of documents that show police had described in their reports a far more threatening McDonald than the teen shown to the city and the world on video.

The situation became so volatile that Emanuel was forced to do something he rarely does: backtrack. After initially saying that a federal probe of the department would be "misguided" because the U.S. Attorney's office was already examining the McDonald shooting, Emanuel later said he welcomed such an investigation.

On Monday, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced a Justice Department civil rights investigation to determine if there are patterns of racial disparity in the police department's use of force.

Emanuel then said the city would stop fighting the release of a second video that showed a police officer shooting a man in the back. That video was released Monday during a presentation in which Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said she would not charge the officer.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Florida couple charged in death of man's 6-year-old daughter

    World News CTV News
    LAKELAND, Fla. - Authorities say a Florida man and his girlfriend have been charged in the death of the man's 6-year-old daughter. A Lakeland police news release says 26-year-old Larry Golden Jr. and 21-year-old Breonna Wren were charged last week with first-degree murder and other counts. Source
  • Chicago teen to be sentenced in 2014 Facebook feud slaying

    World News CTV News
    CHICAGO - A Chicago teenager will be sentenced Wednesday for using a gun given to her by an uncle to kill another girl in what started as a Facebook feud over a boy, ending a chapter in a case that came to symbolize how the gun violence that plagues parts of the city passes from one generation to the next. Source
  • Indonesia raises ferry death toll to 166

    World News CTV News
    TIGARAS PORT, Indonesia - Indonesian officials said that 166 people are missing from a ferry sinking early this week at a popular lake on Sumatra, a much higher number than previously believed, as distraught and angry relatives pleaded Wednesday for a bigger search effort. Source
  • North Korea thanks China for support with Trump summit

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping for his support in last week's groundbreaking summit with President Donald Trump, the North's official media reported Wednesday. Kim is in Beijing on his third visit to China this year, underscoring the major improvement in relations between the communist neighbours. Source
  • Federal, Indigenous officials begin finalizing proposed languages act

    Canada News CBC News
    The federal government is one step closer to creating a national Indigenous Languages Revitalization Act after government and Indigenous officials met in Yellowknife on Tuesday. The legislation is currently being co-developed between the federal, provincial and territorial ministers of culture and heritage and the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Métis Nation. Source
  • Toddler migrants held in at least 3 shelters in Texas

    World News CBC News
    Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border to at least three "tender age" shelters in south Texas, The Associated Press has learned. Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the Rio Grande Valley shelters described playrooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis. Source
  • Sunken boat found, three fishermen still missing near Tofino, B.C.

    Canada News CTV News
    TOFINO, B.C. -- A boat that went down off Vancouver Island has been found, but police say the search continues for three missing fishermen. RCMP say in a news release that an underwater dive team has recovered the vessel from waters near Tofino, B.C. Source
  • Youngest child migrants held in 'tender age' shelters in Texas

    World News CTV News
    In this Sunday, June 17, 2018, file photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, rest in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas. Source
  • Lawyer claims young Toronto black man beaten into coma by officers, but police say it never happened

    Canada News CBC News
    An alleged case of police brutality making waves on social media — involving a 23-year-old black man whose lawyer says he was "beaten into a coma"— isn't what it's made out to be, say Toronto police. Toronto lawyer and mayoral candidate Saron Ghebresellassi took to Twitter on Monday night claiming Musie Ghebremichael, was "beaten almost to death by 14 Division" along with a photo of her client in critical care unit at Toronto Western Hospital breathing through a tube. Source
  • B.C. judge approves Victoria's plastic bag bylaw going into effect in July

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- The mayor of Victoria is hailing a court victory allowing the city to enact a bylaw that will prohibit grocery stores from offering or selling plastic bags to shoppers. Lisa Helps says in a news release that the B.C. Source