To recap, a dashcam video surfaced online a week ago after a judge ordered it be released to the public. The video, recorded in October 2014, shows 17-year-old Laquan McDonald approaching squad cars while holding a knife but then veered away. Once turned, police officer Jason Van Dyke shot McDonald sixteen times, killing him. Since its release, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been under a lot of pressure. Most people were targeting his police superintendent, Garry McCarthy, but some are doubting his ability to lead as well. To answer the protesters (and possibly to reduce the criticism on himself), mayor Emanuel asked for a letter of resignation from McCarthy.
The Chicago police force is being criticized in their handling of this case and is even being accused of trying to cover up misconduct. A manager who works at Burger King near the crime scene is claiming that police erased around 90 minutes of security camera footage that captured events leading up to the shooting. Also, although a similar one already exists, mayor Emanuel decided to create a second task force that would have oversight of police activity to prevent any further abuse of power. He justifies all of his actions stating that, "Superintendent McCarthy knows that a police officer is only as effective as when he has the trust of those he serves."
Only last week was Officer Van Dyke charged with first-degree murder. He has been suspended from the Chicago Police Department but has left jail on a bail of $1.5 million.
What is your opinion on the following questions:
- As police superintendent, should McCarthy have been fired, or officer Van Dyke? Both? Why?
- This definitely is not the first recent case of police violence. Do you think that police violence is becoming a worsening problem or is only being more apparent?
- Do you think Mayor Rahm Emanuel took the right actions?
Chicago Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-rahm-emanuel-police-task-force-20151130-story.html
New York Times (Video): http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/02/us/chicago-police-rahm-emanuel-laquan-mcdonald.html
Christian Science Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2015/1201/Can-Chicago-police-reform-It-s-up-to-Mayor-Emanuel-now
Washington Post (Video): https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/12/01/chicago-police-superintendent-fired/
YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/geyMo5oxKYU