Politicians React to Police-Involved Shootings | NBC Chicago

Politicians React to Police-Involved Shootings

Several candidates and officials posed questions about Saturday's shootings, while Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a statement saying 'the public deserves answers'

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    In the wake of two police-involved shootings in a 10-hour period on Saturday, several politicians and community leaders spoke out on the incidents, calling for action. 

    "Anytime an officer uses force the public deserves answers, and regardless of the circumstances we all grieve anytime there is a loss of life in our city," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement Saturday night.

    "With that in mind, I have been informed that the Independent Police Review Authority has opened investigations into each shooting, and that all evidence will be shared with the Cook County States Attorney's Office for additional review in the days ahead," the statement continued. 

    Kim Foxx, a candidate running against Anita Alvarez for Cook County State's Attorney, called for a special prosecutor in all police-involved shootings.

    "An active, engaged role in responding to this incident is essential as we seek justice and truth for all those involved," Foxx's statement read.

    Congressman Bobby Rush said in a statement that the shooting of 55-year-old Bettie Jones and 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier "adds salt to the wound for the citizens of Chicago."

    "This tragedy is beyond comprehension and leads to a host of questions that demand answers. Questions like, why weren’t tasers used in this incident? Why were shots fired before other deescalating tactics were employed?" the statement continued.

    1st District Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin echoed the demand for answers in a statement as well, calling the West Side shooting "one more example of a broken system- a system that will take more than mayoral platitudes and task forces to fix."

    "Why did the officers on the scene need to resort to the use of their firearms to subdue a young man with a bat?" Boykin asked. "How, during an officer response, did a 55-year-old mother of five come to be struck dead by bullets?" he added. 

    Mayor Emanuel issued an additional statement Sunday afternoon, calling on the police department and the Independent Police Review Authority to review crisis intervention training. 

    "There are serious questions about yesterday’s shootings that must be answered in full by the Independent Police Review Authority’s investigation," the statement read.

    Emanuel said "it is clear changes are needed to how officers respond to mental health crises," adding that he asked Fairley and Escalante to "determine the deficiencies in the current training, and determine what steps can be taken immediately to address them." 

    Interim CPD Superintendent John Escalante echoed the mayor's call Sunday evening, issuing a statement in support of "a full evaluation of the effectiveness of the current crisis intervention training and de-escalation policies."

    Escalante and Fairley are expected to meet early this week. 

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