Police Abuse

Anti-Police Brutality Protests in Chicago Demand Resignation of Rahm Emanuel

Emanuel apologized this week for last year's police killing of Laquan McDonald.


Fox 32

Thousands of protesters in Chicago are demanding the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel over the police killing of Laquan McDonald last year, video of which was released last month. McDonald was shot 16 times by an officer while appearing to move away from him.

Last week, Emanuel fired the police chief, Garry McCarthy, who had served in that position since the beginning of Emanuel's first term. Yesterday, Emanuel apologized for police misconduct in front of the City Council.

CBS news reports:

Emanuel addressed three main themes in his passionate speech: justice, culture and community. He also criticized the police department, which is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice, for being quick to shoot, saying the department's "supervision and leadership," as well as the oversight agencies, failed.

"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 it's my responsibility with you," Emanuel said. "But if we're also going to begin the healing process, the first step in that journey is my step.

The first step, of course, would be for Emanuel to resign. He didn't. For him, the first step was a personal apology. The problems with the Chicago Police Department didn't start with Emanuel (the city pays out an average of $1 million a week settling claims against the police), but they festered under him. Emanuel did not run for his first term advocating for police reforms and it was not a major issue in his re-election campaign.

His electoral success suggests either, a) Chicago voters at large are not as concerned by police misconduct as activists make it appear, or b) Chicago's political system and institutions are broken and no longer responsive or particularly democratic.

If the former were true, Emanuel would probably not have felt the need to first fire McCarthy and then offer an apology. On the other hand, there's quite a bit of evidence that Chicago's political system is broken. The city government is rife with corruption, the "Chicago machine" is world famous. In the last sixty years, Chicago has only had two mayors that served two or more terms, Richard J. Daley, who was in office from 1955 until his death in 1976, and Richard M. Daley, who served from 1989 to 2011. In the eight years between Daleys, six people served as mayor, mostly in acting or interim capacities.

Chicago, like many major American cities facing an epidemic of police brutality and an utter lack of accountability for police misconduct, is a one-party city. That set up has a similar effect as it does in one-party countries—it stifles dissent, limits political debate, and erodes democratic institutions.

Last year, Emanuel won re-election over Chuy Garcia, who mainly ran a campaign against Emanuel's modest efforts at returning Chicago to fiscal stability. Garcia did not make a major issue of police misconduct, and his politics suggest that he, like Emanuel, would not have done much to renegotiate police contracts in order to remove some of the systemic features that contribute to police brutality and the lack of accountability for police officers.

A resignation from Emanuel would not solve all of Chicago's problems. But at least it would represent an acknowledgement of how severe those problems are.

NEXT: Carter Opens Door to Boots on the Ground in Iraq, Chicago Protesters Demand Emanuel Resign, Cast of Mad TV Reuniting: P.M. Links

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  1. (the city pays out an average of $1 million a week settling claims against the police)

    That’ll teach those cops!

  2. Obama’s butt boy is in trouble. Ha ha huh ha ha ha. Sad thing is the same idiots will vote in another corrupt douche bag ‘cuz TEAM FOREVER.

    1. It’s cute that you think it matters who anyone in Chicago votes for.

      1. I’m from Illinois and I wish for Chicago to leave this state.

        1. I’m from the suburbs. I like the city, I just hate the people who run it.

  3. His electoral success suggests either, a) Chicago voters at large are not as concerned by police misconduct as activists make it appear, or b) Chicago’s political system and institutions are broken and no longer responsive or particularly democratic.

    Well, let’s start with your assumption that “electoral success” and “Chicago’s political system” are in any way connected. Since when has Chicago had elections?

  4. ‘It’s the Chicago way’

  5. So will Rahm go all 1968 now? These anti-cop protestors are actually threatening urban Democratic machines!

    1. Well, someone needs to preserve disorder.

      1. Da Boss

  6. Anti-Police Brutality Protests in Chicago Demand Resignation of Rahm Emanuel

    It is completely racially motivated. Note how there is no such call for any aldermen in the affected communities to resign – and these aldermen were the ones calling for increased police presence. I would even argue that it is some chicken-shit aldermen that are behind the activists’ campaign – too chickenshit to vote against Emmanuel in city council because deep down they don’t really care about anything other than their positions of power. It’s been that way for 60+ years, with a hiccup during Washington’s administration where there was actually a some light pushback on the mayor.

    1. THIS

  7. Of the 50 people on the Chicago City Council, only one of them is a Republican.


    And that one Republican? He got on the city council with the help of the following benefactors:

    Chicago Fire Fighters Union Local 2: $25,000.00

    SEIU Illinois Council PAC Fund: $10,000.00

    The International Association of Fire Fighters AFL-CIO-CLC: $5,000.00

    Chicago Police Sergeants’ Association Policemen’s Benevolent & Protect: $3,000.00


    I’d like to see Mayor Rahm “You Never Want to Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste” Emmanuel fall on his political ass as much as the next libertarian, but instead of protesting the mayor, these protesters should go after the Democrat machine that protects cops from being held accountable.

    They could start with that list of donors above.

    1. Getting all of city council and the heads of the departments to resign as well would be a start.

  8. I’m sure Chicago will be taken over by libertarians very soon this is the Libertarian Moment and all.

    1. Maybe they’ll try Baltimore’s experiment with libertarian policing.

      1. It’s nothing short of amazing that both of you have mastered English grammar and syntax without any knowledge whatsoever of vocabulary.

        1. Says the guy who thinks that it doesn’t count as “foreign intervention” if the attack is on a “local force” that is a “real threat”.

  9. Rahm doesn’t strike me as the type to resign without a literal gun to his head.

    1. He’s not smart like his brothers. He needs this.

    2. Bingo. The guys on Hate Radio have been crowing that, “He’s toast, he’ll have to resign.” No-one ever asked the simple question of, “Why would he?”

      The other question which they admitted not knowing the answer to was, “OK, if he resigns, who takes his place and what difference will it make?”

  10. I think the “epidemic of police brutality” is similar to the “epidemic of gun violence”. Not really any worse than it has been before but, it is more visible because of changes in how news is delivered and thus, it seems worse.

    1. True, in fact probably better than it used to be. Gotta love camera phones. At some point their going to gave to take action to deal with these cops.

  11. I just hope that whatever happens in Chicago results in a Piper Lace comeback.

    1. I had that 45. Probably still at my parents house

  12. It’s all the fault of Muslims and Mexicans.

  13. Not to belabor the obvious, but firing some politician, VIP or not, isn’t going to reform law enforcement.

  14. If there’s anything more useless than a politician saying “I take responsibility” I can’t think of what it is.

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