Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Sharon Fairley as the new head of the Independent Police Review Authority following the resignation of Scott Ando Sunday evening.
"We can be judged by the failures of the past or be judged by the actions of the future," Emanuel said. He also said: "This is not the end of a problem, but the beginning of a solution."
"The city is at a crossroads right today and there can be no doubt that change is in the air, it’s on the horizon," said Fairley, who has yet to be confirmed by city council. She later added: "I bring no agenda other than pursuit of fairness and transparency."
Emanuel's speech comes the same day the Justice Department announced it has launched a civil "pattern and practice investigation" into the Chicago Police Department to determine whether the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was part of a larger, widespread pattern of officers violating civil rights.
After the DOJ's announcement, Emanuel said in a statement that he welcomes the probe and pledged the city's "complete cooperation."
"Our mutual goal is to create a stronger, better Police Department that keeps the community safe while respecting the civil rights of every Chicagoan," Emanuel's statement added. "Nothing is more important to me than the safety and well-being of our residents and ensuring that the men and women of our Police Department have the tools, resources and training they need to be effective crime fighters, stay safe, and build community trust."
During the press conference, Emanuel said "good officers" need not fear the federal investigation.
"You need to not see this as a threat, but as an opportunity for the professionalism that a lot of you exude every day," Emanuel said.
Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez also announced on Monday that the officer involved in the fatal shooting of Ronald Johnson would not be charged in the case. The dashcam video from that shooting was also released.
Emanuel released a statement on the fatal shooting of Johnson Monday afternoon.
“A life was lost here, and that is a tragedy that can’t be taken lightly no matter the circumstances. That’s why independent investigations are so crucial in these cases,” Emanuel said in a statement. “Now, as our independent police review authority resumes its investigation to determine whether the shooting was consistent with CPD’s policy, we must also ask ourselves if the existing policies on the use of deadly force are the right ones and if the training we provide to officers to make split-second decisions in life or death situations is sufficient.”
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