Category Archives: Laquan McDonald

Chicago police superintendent fired by mayor amid outcry over video of shooting – The Washington Post

CHICAGO — The head of the Chicago Police Department has been fired amid widespread criticism over how authorities responded to the fatal shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer last year.

Hat tips to Roderick2012 and Gronda. Published by Press This

Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) said he formally asked Garry F. McCarthy, the Chicago police superintendent, for his resignation on Tuesday morning, a week after video footage of the shooting was released and the officer was charged with murder.

“He has become an issue, rather than dealing with the issue, and a distraction,” Emanuel said. He added that while he is loyal to McCarthy, whom he praised for his leadership of the department, the needs of the city are more important.

Anger has erupted in Chicago since authorities released footage of Jason Van Dyke, a city police officer, shooting Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old, last year.[Officer Van Dyke posted bond and was released Monday]  Emanuel said he began talking to McCarthy on Sunday, after several days of heated protests, about “the undeniable fact that the public trust in the leadership of the department has been shaken and eroded.”

The end of McCarthy’s time atop the Chicago force marks a abrupt shift for a law enforcement officer who became nationally known as he worked in three of the country’s biggest police departments.  When Emanuel announced McCarthy’s appointment in May 2011, he praised him as someone who proved “reducing crime and working closely with the community are not conflicting goals. ” Read the rest of this entry

The Killing of Laquan McDonald

It’s not what Laquan did or did not do. Rather, it is what the Chicago Police Department did after officer Jason Van Dyke killed Laquan.

Brandon Smith’s introduction on The Guardian, says that he  is a Chicago-based independent journalist who, with the help of whistleblowers and the Freedom of Information Act, has reported on civil rights abuses, privatization of public assets, digital privacy concerns and pollution of land and water.”

Journalist Brandon Smith, left, and activist William Calloway talk to reporters Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, after a Cook County judge ordered the Chicago Police Department to release a video of an officer fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Nov. 25, in Chicago. The video is said to show the officer shooting McDonald 16 times in October 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Journalist Brandon Smith, left, and activist William Calloway (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

“Independent journalist.” I like that title because it reflects a form of journalism that has almost gone the way of the dinosaur. It would be correct to replace “independent” with “investigative” in this matter, because what Brandon Smith did goes beyond reporting. Without the backing of a publication to finance his endeavors, Brandon Smith did not have to proceed at his own costs. Brandon worked along with another independent journalist, Jamie Kalven, and University of Chicago law professor Craig Futterman. Because they are independent journalists, they aren’t often issued press credentials to attend press conferences and such.  In fact, he was not allowed to attend the press conference that discussed the release of video that came about due to his persistence and good work.

Had they not been independent and determined, we would not have the video of the killing of Laquan McDonald. Without the release of the video, Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke would still be on paid desk duty; and his fictionalized report of what happened would be business as usual in cover-ups.

Kalven filed the Freedom of Information request for the video. The City declined his request. Brandon’s battle for release of the video began in May, 2015. In an article published in The Chicago Reader on August 7, 2015, Brandon wrote:

“But I’m not taking no for an answer—particularly in light of Kalven v. Chicago, an Illinois Appellate Court decision last March that established information about police misconduct is public, except in limited circumstances that don’t apply in the case of the McDonald shooting video.”

Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: