The city of Chicago has gone under great turmoil lately with the recent protests and legal decisions that have been going on in light of Laquan McDonald’s death in the hands of Officer Jason Van Dyke. And now, things are shifting when it comes to leadership as well. Tuesday morning (Dec. 1), The Chicago Sun Times reported that Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has been fired by Mayor Rahm Emmanuel.
According to different sources, the tensions that have spurred because of Laquan McDonald and Tyshawn Lee's (Lee's death was a cause of gang rivalry) deaths have become a lot to bear. Reportedly, at a morning news conference held to announce the appointment of a task force responsible for police accountability, Emmanuel stated that he and McCarthy had been meeting since Sunday to talk about the direction of the department. But by Tuesday McCarthy was asked to resign his position.
Emmanuel did say however, that while McCarthy’s record “is a strong one, and one he can be proud of,” Emanuel said, “now is a time for fresh eyes and new leadership." But he also went onto state that the trust in The Chicago Police Department has been “shaken and eroded,” which is something he hopes to change. “Our goal is to build the trust and confidence with the public. And at this point and at this juncture in the city, given what we are working on, he has become an issue rather than dealing with the issues,” Emmanuel continued.
Throughout the years, McCarthy has had a credibility problem stemming from the 2012 case of 22 year-old Rekia Boyd who was gunned down. Tons of speculation surfaced alluding that he felt pressures to fire Detective Dante Servin for the shooting. Though he still denies this: “Nonsense. Nonsense. . . . If you’ve been at the Police Board meetings, what I’ve been hearing is a demand to make the decision. Here’s a case where we’re doing what the community wants. I’m making the decision. And somebody is going to criticize it saying it’s political? Come on. It’s ridiculous,” McCarthy told reporters after a police graduation ceremony.
“Dante Servin made some incredibly poor decision making which ultimately resulted in a loss of life unnecessarily. He made a decision to get involved in something he shouldn’t have. He had a firearm he was not authorized to carry . . . When we make poor decisions, we have to be held accountable for it. That’s what this is all about. It’s about poor decision-making and the results obviously are tragic.” He continued.
Yet a week after Servin’s acquittal for involuntary man slaughter he said the detective should have never been indicted, because he “hit the individual who he was aiming at” and “also happened to hit” Boyd. Hopefully, with this new change justice will be on its way. Emmanuel said that the city’s handling of the case is being reviewed by the U.S. District Attorney’s office.