Chicago police chief fired amid public outcry

A week-long protest and public outrage in Chicago and across the US contributed to the officer’s ouster

Chicago: The police chief of Chicago has been fired by the city mayor following public outrage over a video showing a white officer fatally shooting a black teenager 16 times. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he formally asked Garry F McCarthy, the Chicago police superintendent, for his resignation on Tuesday, a week after video was released and the officer was charged with murder.

Demonstrators protest outside the office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel at City Hall following a press conference where the mayor announced the dismissal of police chief Garry F McCarthy (left). Pics/afp
Demonstrators protest outside the office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel at City Hall following a press conference where the mayor announced the dismissal of police chief Garry F McCarthy (above). Pics/AFP

Emanuel cited a lack of public trust in the police as the reason for the dismissal. “He has become an issue, rather than dealing with the issue, and a distraction,” Emanuel said after firing McCarthy, who headed America’s second largest law enforcement agency after New York City. The mayor also said he created a task force and appointed “five respected Chicagoans” to review police practices.

“While I don't believe that the actions of Officer Van Dyke reflect the vast majority of the men and women who risk their lives every day to protect our lives, I also know that the use of excessive force and misuse of authority is not new in Chicago,” he said.

Officer Van Dyke was released from jail on Monday after posting bond on a $1.5 million bail.

13 Months taken by prosecutors to announce charges on Dyke

Public outrage

Soon after authorities released footage of Jason Van Dyke, a city police officer, shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times, last year, there was huge public outcry over the incident.

In the video, Van Dyke is seen firing a volley of shots at McDonald, many of them after the teenager had already fallen to the ground.

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