Thirteen months after a Chicago cop murdered Laquan McDonald, criminal charges were finally brought against the cop. The mayor, the prosecutor, and the head of the police department were unable to explain the cover up and the delay in releasing the video which shows the cop pumping 14 bullets into the teen while he was on the ground.
At the very least, the cover up allowed Mayor Rahm Emanuel to win the run-off election for a second term. It is highly unlikely he would have been successful had Chicago voters seen seen the video which contradicted the party line of the the cop acting in self defense.
The City of Chicago continues to circle the wagons. The same prosecutor who was so remiss in the Laquan McDonald case held a press conference to explain why she was not pressing charges against the cops who shot another black man, Robert Johnson, in the back. Johnson was running away from police when they killed him last year. Another unexplainable delay in justice, followed by an exoneration of the killing of another black youth.
In Chicago, it is now legal for cops to shoot black men in the back. The prosecutor won’t file charges. She will hold a press conference to explain why the video evidence doesn’t really matter, that police can use deadly force if they reasonably believe the person they kill is a danger to themselves or others.
Apparently video evidence only proves murder if the cop shoots a suspect multiple times while the wounded person is on the ground. If cops don’t keep shooting, it must have been justifiable, even if they shoot someone in the back.
Rahm Emanuel defended, deflected, and distorted the killing of Laquan McDonald. Under the pressure of public outrage he fired the head of the Chicago police. The public is still clamoring for the resignation of Emanuel and denouncing the prosecutor, Anita Alvarez.
US Attorney General Loretta Lynch has announced that the Justice Department will investigate the Chicago Police Department. Rahm Emmanuel apologized to the people of Chicago in a news conference that will likely not assuage the African American community. Emmanuel’s newly found concern is way too little, and way too late in coming.
After the mayor’s press conference, hundreds of students took to the streets of Chicago demanding he resign.
The Black Lives Matter movement is fighting back against institutional brutality, against the code of silence, against corrupt officials and spineless politicians.
Chicago is a microcosm of police abuse across the country. Police mentality and the code of silence is endemic to cops everywhere. It is a function of power over others and the product of a political system in which business and real estate interests control most municipal governments.
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