Mayor Rahm Emanuel did an about-face on his stance on a possible Department of Justice probe into Chicago police tactics, issuing a statement Thursday saying he now supports such an investigation.
Until Thursday, Emanuel maintained he did not support another investigation following the one into the Laquan McDonald dashcam video that shows a Chicago police officer fatally shooting the 17-year-old. After Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced her support for a Justice Department investigation, however, Emanuel issued a press release saying he wanted to "clarify" his previous comments to say he actually supports the investigation, too.
"Many things must happen to restore trust in the Chicago Police Department and I welcome efforts and ideas that can help us achieve that important goal," Emanuel said in the release. "I want to clarify my comments from yesterday and I want to be clear that the City welcomes engagement by the Department of Justice when it comes to looking at the systemic issues embedded in CPD."
Emanuel added that he has confidence that the Justice Department will "make the right decision based on the facts and the law."
The mayor has denied any personal wrongdoing McDonald case, saying he did not see the incriminating dashcam video until it was released to the public last week and laying blame for an alleged cover-up on the FBI, who was also investigating the case.
The press release touting the mayor's newfound support for the Justice Department investigation comes just one day after Emanuel said yet again that he did not support an independent investigation into the city.
"To set up another investigation when one has yet to conclude, in my view, is wrong," Emanuel said at the Politico Playbook event Wednesday. "Not wrong, but until that's done ... hitting the restart button is not going to get us to the comprehensive solution. ... Given all the work that's been done, we wouldn't want to start over."
Emanuel's new call for the Justice Department investigation joins the voices of Clinton and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who both spoke out on the issue this week.
In the meantime, the White House issued a statement in support of Emanuel on Wednesday, saying he has demonstrated a "personal commitment" to reforming the city's police department.