Former White House chief of staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel isn’t having a joyous holiday season by any stretch of the imagination. Not with the unrest in Chicago following the release of a video showing a Chicago police officer shooting a young black man walking down the street with a knife.
Now, a number of black lawmakers, many of whom served with Emanuel in the House during his time there, are calling on the mayor to resign if he had any part in a cover-up of the video.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel should resign if it’s found he was involved in a cover-up of a video showing a white police officer fatally shooting an unarmed African-American teenager, several leading black members of Congress told The Hill on Wednesday.
It’s “disturbing” the video of the fall 2014 incident was released now, seven months after the Democratic mayor’s reelection, said Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), a former mayor herself and a past chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
“The whole scenario stinks,” said Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), who represents Ferguson, which experienced violent protests last year after a white police officer killed another unarmed black teen, Michael Brown.
A police dashboard camera video, made public over the Thanksgiving weekend, showed a Chicago police officer firing 16 times at teenager Laquan McDonald as he walked down a street in October 2014 holding a knife. Officer Jason Van Dyke wasn’t charged with first-degree murder until it was clear the video was being made public.
First, we kind of feel like we need to point out that if McDonald had a knife, he wasn’t exactly “unarmed.” Of course, the video doesn’t seem to show anything that looks like a threatening move from McDonald either, so it’s a small distinction, but an important one for the sake of accuracy.
That said, prosecutors claim the video wasn’t released earlier since it was part of an active criminal investigation. However, many feel that a year was far too long for such an investigation and instead there was a cover-up. After all, Emanuel was reelected in April.
As a result, many lawmakers are calling for Emanuel to step down if he had anything to do with any cover-up. The timing, they argue, is suspicious.
What do you think? Was Emanuel covering up the shooting until after he was reelected, or was it just a long investigation that’s responsible? Tell us in the comments below!