Chicago to create police task force after officer charged with murder

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 01, 2015 6:08 AM

(Reuters) - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will announce a new police accountability task force on Tuesday, his office said, a week after a white Chicago police officer was charged with murdering a black teenager.

Emanuel, along with Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and State Attorney for Cook County Anita Alvarez, have faced stiff criticism for a 13-month delay in releasing a video of the 2014 shooting and charging the officer.

There have been a number of protests in Chicago in recent days. The National Association for the Advancement of Color People said its president, Cornell William Brooks, was one of several protesters arrested on Monday.

Emanuel will announce the new task force at a Tuesday morning news conference. The task force will review accountability, oversight and training within the Chicago Police Department, the Chicago Tribune reported on Monday, citing the mayor's office.

Last Tuesday, the authorities released a video showing Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke gunning down 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in the middle of the street on Oct. 20, 2014, as McDonald was walking away from police who had confronted him.

On the same day of the video's release, Van Dyke, 37, was charged with first-degree murder. He was released from jail on Monday after he posted bond on a $1.5 million bail.

High-profile killings of black men at the hands of mainly white law enforcement officials in U.S. cities over the past two years have prompted demonstrations across the country, and have stoked a national debate on race relations and police tactics.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee)