By John Dempsey, WLS News
(CHICAGO) Mayor Emanuel delivered an emotional, 30 minute speech today before the Chicago City Council, apologizing for the police shooting of 17 year old LaQuan McDonald, who was shot to death by a Chicago Police officer over a year ago, and vowing to reform a police department he says too often has escaped accountability for police misconduct.
Emanuel told the aldermen “I am the Mayor. I own it. 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. But if we’re also going to begin the healing process, the first step in that journey is my step, and I’m sorry”
The Mayor also said he was wrong to wait over a year to release the dash cam video of the shooting, saying that “holding on to the video, undermined public trust”.
Emanuel says there has been what he called a “thin blue line” in the police department and a “code of silence, a tendency to ignore, deny, and cover up the bad actions of a colleague or colleagues”.
Emanuel has been engulfed in a media firestorm since he released the video two weeks ago that showed white officer Jason Van Dyke firing 16 shots into the black teenager’s body. Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder.
Emanuel also said that the reforms must go beyond the police department and that Chicago needs to “reset our values.”
You can read Mayor Emanuel’s entire speech here.
This past week the U.S. Justice Department announced it was conducting a wide-ranging civil rights investigation of the Chicago Police Department, something Emanuel says he welcomes.
@ 2015 WLS News