Cortney wrote about the protests in Chicago yesterday, which called for Mayor Rahm Emanuel and State Attorney Anita Alvarez to resign in the wake of the police-involved shooting death of Laquan McDonald back in October of 2014. In November, the dash cam footage showed McDonald being shot 16 times, contradicting what was written in the police report on this incident; Officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder. Yet, city officials tried to suppress releasing the footage, saying it would jeopardize the investigation, but agreed to the Cook County judge’s demand to make the disturbing video evidence public.
The mayor fired his Police superintendent Garry McCarthy earlier this month, but there is still allegations of a cover-up and corruption within the Chicago Police Department that protesters say need to be resolved–and that should start with Emanuel resigning from his office for losing the public trust, among other things. La Shawn Ford, an Illinois Democratic state representative, introduced legislation that would allow the mayor of Chicago to be recalled:
The legislation would amend a 1941 law to create “a procedure for an election to recall the Mayor of Chicago,” and the bill proposes that change would be “effective immediately,” if passed by the legislature. Legal experts say there is no current mechanism under state law to recall a mayor. A 2010 referendum does allow Illinois voters to recall a governor – that process includes voters and a request from multiple members of the legislature.
"Let's think about this. If Anita Alvarez wanted to white wash a case, if Anita Alvarez was going to look the other way, if Anita Alvarez wasn't going to do her job and look at this case and do the review for excessive report... Who are my co-conspirators going to be? Let me see. I'm going to call on the head of the FBI to help me. He could be a co-conspirator with me. Let me call on the United States' Attorney of Northern Illinois [Zach T. Fardon] and say, 'Zach, come on. Be a co-conspirator with me because I plan on covering this up.'" Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said. "That is just absurd."
Nevertheless, such allegations haven’t been settled, especially since a former First Assistant Cook County State Attorney gave credence to the charge, stating that Alvarez and Emanuel should both be investigated.
Bob Milan, the former First Assistant Cook County State's Attorney, believes the federal prosecutors also ought to be investigating Anita Alvarez's office, as well as the Mayor's office for how the Laquan McDonald shooting was handled or mishandled.
“Well we now know there's a massive cover-up because the police reports don't jive with the dash cam video,” said former prosecutor Bob Milan.
Milan, who ran against Alvarez and lost in the 2008 primary, said both Chicago Police and the State's Attorney's office dropped the ball in this case and should have taken action against Van Dyke's fellow officers for obstruction of justice.
“What they should have done, within days, once they realized there was a bad shoot, that none of the police reports matched the video cam, they should have been arrested,” Milan said.
Alvarez plans to run for re-election, though this political fiasco might hamper her winning in the March Democratic primary. Additionally, politics has worked its way to the mayor’s office, with the heavy insinuation that Emanuel’s officer didn’t want the police shooting released because he was in re-election mode.
The mayor has since addressed the city council, apologized for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald, and promised to win back the public’s trust.
"I work for you…my first responsibility and our government’s responsibility is to keep you and your family safe and to make sure you feel safe in your neighborhood. And we have clearly fallen short, and that we need that to change,” he said.
The mayor's approval rating stands at 18 percent.