CHICAGO, Illinois November 28, 2015 –
This is a re-issue of our commentary – A Case for Replacing McCarthy, along with other relevant articles and a couple of asks: if you agree, please sign a petition calling for McCarthy’s firing that goes to the Mayor and a petition asking that the Department of Justice open an investigation of practices, policies and the culture at the Chicago Police Department that led to the murder of LaQuan McDonald and others in our community.
COAL Board of Directors
– The Department of Justice Must Investigate –
Chicago, Illinois November 25, 2015 –
When the U.S. Department of Justice announced in April, 2015 that they would open an investigation into the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died a week after being taken into custody by Baltimore City police, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake issued the following statement:
We must insist on an outside review into the death of LaShaun McDonald and what appears to be a series of moves to mis-represent, mis-report, hide, avoid and obfuscate the truth. An outside review of what appears to be a culture at the Chicago Police Department and a pattern of political maneuvers by the Office of the Mayor to occlude real transparency and that results in harm to the citizenry:
- Why did the Mayor fight against the release of the video;
- Why did the City payout $5 million to the McDonald family with no further explanation of wrong doing by the CPD;
- Why is there no audio associated with the video tape; any of the video tapes now released; and why is it that most videos released by the CPD also do not have associated audio;
- There were at least eight squad cars at the scene and yet we do not have video from every car; do other videos exist that have not been released; it appears that at least one video was not turned on until 5 minutes after the shooting;
- What about the other officers on the scene; is there evidence of an internal cover-up of what happened;
- The manager of the Burger King has stated that CPD officers deleted 81 minutes of their video taping of the area at the time of the shooting and killing of LaQuan; if true, there are officers at the CPD who have obstructed justice;
- Why has the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) not issued any findings related to their review of the officer and why have they kept this review top secret within the agency;
- Why did State’s Attorney Alvarez not bring any charges against the officer until the Judge ruled that the video had to be released; over 400 days later;
- Why did the Mayor claim that he had not seen the video when clearly he had to base the payout of five million of our tax dollars on something substantive; who made the payout recommendation prior to the family filing charges and what discussions were they involved in with the Mayor and Superintendent;
- Were the timing of the payout and the State’s Attorney’s charges politically motivated;
- Is there evidence of collusion between the Mayor’s Office, CPD and the State’s Attorney’s Office; which would in turn be evidence of obstruction of justice;
- What is the context for this and other shootings – in other words, is the culture of the CPD such that it contributes to putting the lives of our community in danger from the very agency mission’d to serve and protect;
- Is there a pattern of disproportionate harassment, shooting and killing of African Americans and other people of color by CPD;
- What needs to be done to repair police-community relations; which must be improved to address increasing violence in our communities;
For the above and for many additional unanswered questions, COAL calls on the Department of Justice to expand its investigation of the murder of LaQuan McDonald to include a pattern of practices and behaviors by the City of Chicago, the Chicago Police Department and the Cook County State’s Attorney, as represented by the handling of this specific case, to assess broad violations of civil rights of African Americans and other people of color.
IPRA and its activities must also be vigorously reviewed – it has been reported that the vast majority of police misconduct allegations received by IPRA are referred directly back to Chicago Police – in other words there appears to be no true police accountability.
Net Bottom Line: The DOJ must investigate.
Click here for a full copy of COAL News – McCarthy Must Go / Call in the DOJ (Nov 2015 1.0).