Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the law department will face a review from an outside law firm after a federal judge accused a former top city attorney of hiding evidence in a fatal police shooting.
Emanuel’s announcement also comes two days after he said it wasn’t necessary for the law department to be reviewed by the Justice Department.
Now, the mayor is open to the department being probed.
“They’re going to bring in a third party to look at that division, create standards and make sure that the standards are clear as it relates to professional standards and to have the training that goes with that,” Emanuel said.
A federal judge accused a top lawyer for the city of hiding evidence in a fatal 2011 police shooting. U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang also dismissed a jury’s findings that the shooting of Darius Pinex was justified, ordered a new trial and the city to pay attorney’s fees to the plaintiff.
Jordan Marsh, a senior city Corporation counsel, resigned after the judge's accusation.
Meanwhile, emails released by the city on New Year’s Eve in the Laquan McDonald case noted that last April in the draft of the settlement with the teen’s family, attorneys for his estate argued they did not agree to what the city asked for -- hiding the dash cam video for years. However, a judge ruled to release that video in November.
When asked if the city was trying to suppress the release of the video, the mayor did not directly respond but said the city should update its policy on releasing videos.
“One of the things I’ve asked the taskforce to work on is to update a policy that while it existed for 40 years – it’s just a policy - to make sure today that we’re more relevant to how things are operating in a cell phone, mobile phone technology,” Emanuel said.
Emanuel has been criticized for the city’s handling of the McDonald case ever since the dashcam video showing the fatal shooting of the 17-year-old was released.