Chicago's mayor fires police chief amid protests over video
In October 2014, a black teen was shot by a white Chicago police officer.
Last week, a video of the shooting was released. It showed the officer, Jason Van Dyke, firing bullets at Laquan McDonald, who was 17 years old. Van Dyke was charged with killing McDonald. He will go on trial and have the chance to defend himself.
On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired the head of the Chicago Police Department. His name is Garry McCarthy.
People have been very angry over how the police handled McDonald's death. Many took to the streets in protest. They have asked why it took a year for the video to be released and for McCarthy to be charged. They have especially criticized McCarthy. Emanuel said he fired McCarthy to rebuild public trust and confidence in the police.
Police Leader Admits Mistakes
Too much attention has been focused on McCarthy and what he did or did not do, Emanuel said. The mayor said he has "a lot of confidence in the work" McCarthy has done and said he is loyal to McCarthy. Emanuel also said the former police superintendent did a good job leading the department. However, the needs of the city are more important, Emanuel said.
Emanuel said he began talking to McCarthy on Sunday. He said he told McCarthy that people do not trust his leadership.
City leaders and protesters had said Emanuel should fire McCarthy. They argued that a new police leader is needed to reassure the public. Last week, a dozen African-American members of the city council gathered together to call for a new police superintendent.
McCarthy has admitted making mistakes and said that the police gave out wrong information about the shooting. They said that McDonald had continued to walk toward officers although police officers told him to stop. He also ignored orders to drop a knife.
Public Given False Details
In addition, false information was released by the spokesman of the police union, which represents the police. The spokesman said that the teen lunged at police with the knife. It turned out that McDonald never did that. Last week, the spokesman said he got the information from other people. He said he never actually spoke with Van Dyke, the officer who shot McDonald.
But McCarthy said he was not in charge of investigating McDonald's death. Government officials and another group looked into what happened.
McCarthy also defended how the police have responded to the protests. He said the officers avoided violence.
Mayor Creates Task Force
However, many in Chicago have said that McCarthy should leave. On Tuesday, the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper said McCarthy "has lost the trust and support of much of Chicago."
Also on Tuesday, the mayor announced he had created a new committee. The group will come up with ideas to make sure that police treat people fairly and hold them responsible if they do not. The committee is called a task force. It has another purpose, as well. Right now, the city does not show the public its videos if police shoot someone. The videos are taken by cameras in police cars. The task force will also decide if the city should change its rule about videos.
This task force will give its suggestions to the mayor and city council in March.