chicago police superintendent garry mccarthy was fired tuesday by chicago mayor rahm emanuel amid disturbing racial issues within the department. after the video of 17 year-old laquan mcdonald being executed by a police officer last year surfaced just last month, community outrage and national protests led to his dismissal.
in the shocking dashboard camera video, mcdonald is seen walking away from a line of police cruisers. just six seconds after getting out of his car, officer jason van dyke shoots mcdonald. he spins around, writhing on the ground, and van dyke continues to shoot: 16 times. mcdonald had a three-inch blade knife, but didn't threaten the officer.
several patrol cars responded, yet only van dyke fired his weapon. the cook county medical examiner conducted an autopsy on mcdonald. the examiner lists the 16 wounds one by one: arms, back, chest, elbow, hand, left scalp, legs and neck. nine of the gunshots entered from the back.
van dyke is white. mcdonald is black.
jay darshane, district manager for a burger king where mcdonald was seen running in the video, said shortly after the teenager was fatally shot, four chicago police officers demanded to see the security film. darshane also said 86 minutes of the film was deleted by the police department.
a spokesperson for the independent police review authority said, "we have no credible evidence at this time that would cause to believe cpd purged or erased any surveillance video." but darshane says the cameras were up and running all night. he said, "we had no idea they were going to sit there and delete files. i mean, we were just trying to help the police officers."
jeff neslund, an attorney for the mcdonald family said, "our first time down at the burger king restaurant when we started talking to employees, watching the burger king video, when we realized video had been deleted, or is missing, absolutely we knew something was up." van dyke was charged with first-degree murder - a first in chicago for a cop.
chicago's black caucus and the chicago sun-times called for mccarthy's immediate ouster. under his tenure, the city has suffered with recurring street violence and controversial police-related shootings. last month, nine year-old tyshawn lee was shot and killed in an alley on the south side of the city. his tragic death was reportedly gang-related.
in 2012, rekia boyd was shot by detective dante servin. a week after servin was acquitted in boyd's death, mccarthy defended the detective. he said dervin shouldn't have been indicted on involuntary manslaughter charges because he "hit the individual who he was aiming at," and only "happened to hit" boyd.
servin is white. boyd is black.
emanuel said (of mccarthy), "he has become an issue, rather than dealing with the issue, and a distraction." the mayor also said mccarthy was fired because of "the undeniable fact that the public trust in the leadership of the department has been shaken and eroded."
last year, chicago surpassed new york as the nation's murder capital. additionally, the city has spent millions of dollars trying to defend racist police misconduct. undaunted, the black and brown people disproportionately impacted by their oppressive dehumanization continue to demand justice.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.