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Laquan McDonald Cover-Up Brings Down Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy

In a press conference today, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the firing of Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy. The move comes after evidence of a police cover-up in the killing of Laquan McDonald by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke led to renewed civil rights protests in the city, including disruption of the profitable Black Friday shopping weekend.

Even Rahm realizes that the move won’t bring about real justice to the city’s racist police force, as The Guardian reported earlier today:

The mayor said that McCarthy’s resignation would be “not the end of the problem, but … the beginning of the solution to the problem.”

Cook County commissioner Richard Boykin, who has long been a thorn in the side of the Emanuel administration, called for a federal enquiry into Emanuel’s role in the McDonald saga. Boykin said the firing “still does not give the public a sense of trust or that it won’t be business as usual.”

“This is just another task force that’s really window-dressing, if you will. This is nothing,” he added. “What the mayor has to do is welcome a federal investigation into his role: what did he know and when did he know it?”

Shadowproof has been covering the case closely, and our founder Kevin Gosztola contributed reporting to The Guardian on McCarthy’s firing.

Prior to the firing, Kevin criticized Rahm Emanuel for trying to separate Jason Van Dyke’s crimes from the overall issue of police corruption and violence in Chicago:

To further demonstrate how representative Van Dyke is of the police department, according to the city of Chicago’s own “police disciplinary information” obtained by the Invisible Institute’s Citizen Police Data Project, there were 28,567 allegations of misconduct filed against Chicago police officers between March 2011 and September 2015. Around 98 percent of complaints resulted in zero discipline.

Around ten percent of the force is made up of officers who have received ten or more complaints. These officers receive around 30 percent of all complaints and average more than three times as many complaints as other officers in the police department.

Chicago Police Department Chief Garry McCarthy hyped a supposed change in culture at the department through “policy, training, and supervision,” but the fact is the data provided to the Invisible Institute showed in 2015 that 99 percent of the thousands of complaints received resulted in no discipline.

Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and