Chicago Mayor Says He Takes Responsibility for Shooting of Teenager Laquan McDonald
By: Annie Yager, Xiro Xone News December 09, 2015
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday that his city needs “a painful and honest reckoning into what went wrong” surrounding the death of Laquan McDonald, as well as other instances in which police officers used excessive force.
During a special City Council meeting he’d convened, Emanuel said that he was sorry about the circumstances surrounding the teenager’s killing including the fact it took 13 months before police dashboard camera video of his shooting became public and the officer who killed him was charged.
“I own it,” the mayor said. “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 that it’s my responsibility.”
His speech was not just about what happened the night Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke killed McDonald. The city resisted releasing dashcam video showing the shooting until late last month, then did so the same day Van Dyke was charged with murder.
Emanuel also addressed the “lack of mutual respect” between some Chicagoans and police. Some believe officers treat them differently and make unfounded assumptions because of how they look or where they live, according to the mayor, a perception that feeds their anger and despair.
So, too, does an impression that police put protecting their own ahead of protecting all citizens a sentiment borne out by what Emanuel called a “code of silence,” and illustrated by how other police officers’ accounts of McDonald’s death were at odds with what dashcam video showed.
Putting it succinctly, the mayor said, “We have a trust problem.”