Chicago’s black aldermen have stated loud and clear once again they want the resignation of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.
Members of the City Council's Black Caucus spoke at City Hall Wednesday calling for "government accountability" in the Laquan McDonald case following of the release of dash-cam video that showed the 17-year-old brutally killed at the hands of a Chicago police officer.
“The video release of the Laquan McDonald killing has confirmed most of our worst fears of what the dash-cam could have recorded," said Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th). "This video, which seemed to us to clearly depict a heinous crime is not only shocking and sad but infuriating."
"I have a teenage son," Ald. Sawyer said. "He has gotten tall, and like all teenagers, maybe he has from time to time done something silly. So I can’t help but think of my son when I see the video of a child being shot while walking away from police officers.”
On Tuesday Officer Jason Van Dyke, the man accused to have fired 16 shots at McDonald, was charged with his murder. But speaking Wednesday the caucus said they are doubting the reasoning behind Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez’s decision to wait 13 months to file charges in the case.
"It is simply unfathomable,” said Ald. Howard Brookings. “That is not equal justice under the law for the people who need the most protections."
The tension in the room was high as the aldermen said they plan to bring a formal vote of no confidence in McCarthy at the next council meeting.
More than 500 protesters took to the streets Tuesday night following the video's release, and despite the size of the crowds, protests were relatively peaceful after many of Chicago’s leaders called for non-violent expression of free speech.
But speaking Wednesday, the caucus said they are also doubting Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez’s decision to wait to file charges in this case.
One of the five arrested during the 9-hour protest, 22-year-old Malcolm London, was charged for allegedly punching a police officer during a heated moment. But the Black Caucus are demanding his release, citing that London was “exercising his first amendment rights to assemble.”
Last month, the Black Caucus held another press conference to call for the firing of Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, whom they accused of failing to curb violence in Chicago. McCarthy responded by saying he had no plans to step down.
The dash-cam video, which a judge ordered police to release by Nov. 25, is said to show McDonald holding a small knife and walking away from officers when one of them unexpectedly opens fire, spraying the teen with more than a dozen bullets and continuing to shoot as McDonald lies lifeless on the ground, according to an attorney for the McDonald family.
Officer Jason Van Dyke, 37, turned himself in to authorities Tuesday morning and was later ordered held without bail on connection with the fatal shooting. Van Dyke is scheduled to appear in court again Monday as Judge Donald Panarese said he wants to see the video of the shooting.
Earlier Tuesday, city and community leaders urged residents to resist inciting unrest ahead of the release of the dash-cam video. A day prior, many of these leaders met with Mayor Rahm Emanuel for an emergency meeting to draft a plan that they hope will help the city avoid protests similar to the ones that happened in Ferguson, Missouri.