Yesterday (12/07/15) Mayor Rahm Emanuel and interim Police Superintendence John J. Escalante held a press conference billed to the public as an accountability and responsibility briefing, in the wake of the video of LaQuan McDonald, Ronald Johnson and the recent Department of Justice investigation on the Chicago police department. During the news conference Mayor Rahm Emanuel laid out his plan to increase accountability and responsibility of the Chicago police department. As a part of his “comprehensive plan” Rahm named Sharon Fairly as the head of the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA). The former head of IPRA was Scott Ando, who resigned almost immediately after the Department of Justice announced its investigation. To be clear, the DOJ will be investigating many of the same things, such as police misconduct, that Scott Ando was also responsible for overseeing and investigating.
Meanwhile, the voices calling for Rahm Emanuel to step down as Mayor become increasingly louder. Immediately following Rahm’s reiteration of the (failed) policies, he believes, will bring accountability and responsibility back to the Chicago Police department the media pressed him and the superintendent on the inconsistencies of the LaQuan McDonald police reports and video. Instead of standing and answering the media’s questions Rahm and company literally walked out in the middle of the news briefing. Because, you know, nothing says accountability and responsibility like refusing to answer the public’s questions.
It is absolutely unconscionable to me that the citizens of Chicago have had to endure this level of blatant corruption and failed leadership. It is clear to everyone, but Rahm, that every subsequent step he has taken, since the release of the video showing officer Jason Van Dyke shooting LaQuan McDonald 16 unjustified times, is aimed at saving face. The lack of sympathy, contrition and acknowledgement of the utter disgrace of a department whose mission is to protect and serve the community cannot be ignored or understated. To be clear, this is not an indictment against every single person who works for the Chicago police department. Rather, it is an indictment against anyone who knowingly fabricates reports in an effort to save their fellow officers, along with those in leadership attempting to sweep the failures under the rug, or even worse, unblushingly looking the other direction as if nothing is happening. This is an indictment against Rahm Emmanuel whose whole platform and purpose for being Mayor was to rid the city of the type of corruption that over the last decade has cost taxpayers over $521 million dollars in police brutality lawsuit settlements plus legal fees. This is an indictment against the Independent Police Review Authority whose very existence is to investigate police shootings and other allegations of police misconduct. Yet, since its inception in 2007 has tracked 409 police shootings but only found 2 of them to be unjustified. How in the hell is that even possible. We have heard, and Rahm has admitted, about two incidents in the last 14 days. This is an indictment against the men and woman, like true cowards, who are only resigning from their positions in an effort to circumvent or absolve themselves of their responsibility in this mess. Should the investigation into the department find you have any level of culpability into facilitating or fostering a culture of corruption and discrimination, we can only hope that the shackles of justice are heavy enough to deter others from even the thought of following in your footsteps.