Emails Suggest Mayor’s Staff Knew About Laquan McDonald Vide

The progress from Western colonial global expansion, and the construction of American wealth and industry on the backs of enslaved Blacks and Native peoples, followed by the abrupt "emancipation" of the slaves and their exodus from the South to the Northern cities, has led us to our current divided society. Divided by economic inequities and unequal access to social resources, the nation lives in a media dream of social harmony, or did until YouTube set its bed on fire. Now, it is common knowledge that our current system of brutal racist policing and punitive over-incarceration serves the dual purpose of maintaining racial prejudice and the inequities it justifies. Brief yourself on this late-breaking development in American history here.

Emails Suggest Mayor’s Staff Knew About Laquan McDonald Vide

Postby admin » Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:23 pm

Emails Suggest Mayor’s Staff Knew About Laquan McDonald Video During His Re-Election Campaign
By Alan Pyke
December 12, 2015

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What did Rahm know, and when did he know it?

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) likely knew that there was unreleased video evidence of Officer Jason Van Dyke killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald within 50 days of the shooting, internal emails obtained by NBC Chicago indicate.

The emails show Emanuel staffers discussing the existence of dashcam video of the killing in early December of last year, as Emanuel’s re-election effort was entering the home stretch. The city sought to suppress the video for over a year before a judge forced Chicago to release it to the public last month. In the early weeks after the killing, police insisted McDonald had lunged at Van Dyke with a knife — something the video proves to be untrue.

Of course, knowing that a video existed and knowing exactly what the video showed are two different things. The news station has not released the full text of the emails it obtained, making it impossible to independently assess their exact contents.

The station is careful in how it characterizes the emails, never quite saying that their FOIA uncovered clear evidence that the administration knew of contradictions between police claims and reality. Instead, the messages “show the City Hall press office was made aware of the possibility of video of the Laquan McDonald shooting on December 8, 2014,” the station reports. The station gives no indication the emails discussed reports that police took the additional step of deleting surveillance video from a nearby Burger King that likely showed the killing from another angle.

However, if NBC Chicago’s reporting has indeed uncovered the first evidence that Emanuel’s office was aware that the story his police department was pushing was dishonest, the news will bolster calls for the mayor’s resignation.

The emails are dated December 8, 2014 — less than two months after Van Dyke killed McDonald, nearly two months before Election Day in 2015, and almost a full year before charges were finally filed against Van Dyke. So far, Emanuel has convened a panel to review police practices and fired Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, but the moves have not quelled anger toward the mayor himself.

Much of the most pointed criticism of Emanuel has centered on the idea that he may have suppressed the truth about McDonald’s death during the closing weeks of his contentious re-election campaign. Emanuel was eventually re-elected in an April run-off following February’s initial contest. A week later, the city took the unusual step of approving a $5 million payment to McDonald’s family even though his survivors had not then filed a lawsuit. The timing of that payment so shortly after Emanuel’s job was secure again has raised suspicions that City Hall knew more about the gap between police officials’ story and the video evidence during the campaign.

Emanuel maintains that he did not see the video at all prior to its public release. He intentionally avoided watching it, he says, because the public pressure to act that would have followed would have affected States Attorney Anita Alvarez’s investigation of the killing.

Alvarez, whose resume shows a pattern of siding with cops even when their actions seem hard to defend, eventually charged van Dyke with murder. But the charges took more than a year to arrive, and were only filed once a court had compelled the city to publish the dashcam video that contradicts the Emanuel administration’s initial story about McDonald’s death.

When the mayor watched the video is not the key question for those wondering if Emanuel either allowed or inspired a hush-up during an election. The rub is in when Emanuel became aware that the story his police department had told was incorrect, regardless of whether he’d seen the evidence of the lie with his own eyes. The prospect of documentary evidence confirming Emanuel’s team knew of evidence that contradicted the official story — especially given the rapid and unsought $5 million payout to McDonald’s relatives days after his re-election — could be far more damaging.

If Emanuel continues to resist calls to step down, he might have to face voters again shortly. State Rep. LaShawn Ford (D) has introduced legislation to allow the Chicago mayor to be recalled if 85,000 voters sign a petition and at least two Chicago aldermen support the recall.
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Re: Emails Suggest Mayor’s Staff Knew About Laquan McDonald

Postby admin » Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:34 pm

Poll: 51% of Chicagoans say Mayor Rahm Emanuel should resign
by Aamer Madhani
USA TODAY
December 8, 2015

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduces newly named Independent Police Review Authority head Sharon Fairley at a news conference at City Hall on Dec. 7, 2015. (Photo: EPA)

CHICAGO —A new poll published on Tuesday shows that more than half of Chicagoans believe Mayor Rahm Emanuel should resign in the aftermath of the release of a police dashboard video that shows a white police officer shooting a black teen 16 times.

More than 51% of likely voters said Emanuel should resign, while 29% said he should not step down, according to the poll commissioned by The Insider, a newsletter published by Illinois Observer.

Only 18% approved of how Emanuel is handling his job and 67% disapproved, according to the poll which was conducted by the Chicago firm Ogden & Fry. Meanwhile, 63.2% of respondents said they did not believe the mayor when he said he did not view the disturbing video of officer Jason Van Dyke shooting Laquan McDonald ahead of its public release.

The one-day poll was conducted on Saturday and surveyed 739 respondents from throughout the city.

"Right now, you're in the middle of a strong emotional response," said pollster Tom Swiss. "I would be curious to how people are feeling in a month or two months."

The video of the police shooting was released two weeks ago and has touched off near-daily protests in the city, in which activists have repeatedly called for Emanuel and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez to resign. Both have said they have no intentions of resigning.

The mayor resisted releasing the video, which shows Van Dyke continually shooting McDonald while he was lying on the ground, but the city was forced by court-order to make it public after being sued by an independent journalist. Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder on Nov. 24, the same day as the video's release.

"The mayor is challenged not by a poll, but the job of addressing a broken system," said Emanuel campaign spokesman Peter Giangreco. "That is the job this moment in our city demands and one he is absolutely committed to seeing through."

Police and police union officials had initially said McDonald, who was holding a knife and had PCP in his system, had put Van Dyke's life in danger and left the officer with no choice but to shoot. At least five other officers at the scene offered statements to investigators that backed up Van Dyke.

The video, however, showed that McDonald was veering away from the officer when he opened fire. The video also appears to contradict officers at the scene who said that McDonald appeared to be trying to get up after Van Dyke first struck him. The officer would continue to shoot for about 13 seconds after McDonald had been struck by the initial gunfire, according to prosecutors.

Swiss noted that while more than two-thirds of respondents disapprove of Emanuel's job performance, nearly half, at the moment, would prefer he stay in office.

More than 51% of likely voters said Emanuel should resign, while 29% said he should not step down, according to the poll commissioned by The Insider, a newsletter published by Illinois Observer.


Before the poll was conducted last week, Emanuel fired his police superintendent, Garry McCarthy, and announced that he was creating a blue ribbon task force to bolster police accountability.

Emanuel also said calls for a Justice Department investigation of the police department, prior to the completion of a federal criminal investigation of the McDonald shooting, were "misguided." The following day he reversed course and welcomed federal involvement. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Monday announced DOJ's Civil Rights Division was launching an investigation.

Even before the McDonald shooting controversy, the mayor's popularity appeared to be waning as the city has struggled to deal with extraordinary financial problems.

A September poll by Ogden & Fry showed that 25% approved of the job Emanuel was doing, while 50.8% disapproved. The poll was conducted as Emanuel was forced to push for a massive property tax hike in the city to help close a hole in the city's underfunded police and fire department pensions.
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