UPDATE: 2:09 p.m. EST--The Chicago police department’s 1st Deputy Superintendent John Escalante will take the place of Garry McCarthy as Chicago police superintendent after McCarthy was ousted from his position Tuesday. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel installed Escalante as the interim head of the department while a replacement is looked for, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Before being promoted to the second in command position in October, Escalante had served as chief of detectives, a deputy chief of patrol and bomb and arson section commander. He has been on the Chicago police force for 29 years, the Tribune reported.
Escalante will take the helms of the department amid criticism over its handling of the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager who was shot 16 times by white police officer Jason Van Dyke.
One of the criticisms came from social activist Reverend Al Sharpton, who said in a statement he hailed the ousting of McCarthy. He said the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office should appoint a prosecutor to handle cases involving the killings of citizens by police officers.
“We salute the forced resignation of Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy but it is a deposit on justice and not the full payment,” Sharpton, president of the New York City-based civil rights group National Action Network, said in a statement.
UPDATE: 12:55 p.m. EST-- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday at a news conference announcing the end of Garry McCarthy’s tenure as Chicago police superintendent that McCarthy’s record was strong, but that it was time for new eyes and new leadership in the department, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Emanuel said at the news conference that the city’s handling of the Laquan McDonald case is being investigated by federal authorities.
“Our goal is to build the trust and confidence with the public. And at this point and at this juncture in the city, given what we are working on, he has become an issue rather than dealing with the issues,” Emanuel said.
Jason Van Dyke, the white police officer who is charged in the fatal shooting of McDonald, a black teenager, made bail Monday, the USA Today reported. Responding to McCarthy’s dismissal, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said in a statement it was time to move forward and build trust between Chicago police and the city’s residents, media reported.
“Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect us,” Durbin said. “Those who fail to live up to the high standards they have sworn to uphold must be held accountable.”
Within an hour of Emanuel’s announcement, McCarthy’s name began trending on Twitter. Some prominent African-Americans took to the platform Tuesday, including Reverend Al Sharpton, who said McCarthy’s firing is a “deposit toward justice.” Sharpton also said Emanuel should appoint a prosecutor specifically to deal with all police killings.
Social justice advocate Deray Mckesson tweeted that McCarthy had to go. “But who else assisted in the cover-up?” Mckesson tweeted.
Chicago Police Chief being fired is just a deposit toward justice. The Governor must appoint a Special Prosecutor on all police killings.
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) December 1, 2015
— deray mckesson (@deray) December 1, 2015
UPDATE: 12:25 p.m. EST -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said at a news conference Tuesday he asked for the resignation of Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy earlier in the morning. In McCarthy’s dismissal, Emanuel said the public trust had been eroded in the wake of the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, the Chicago Tribune reported.
While applauding the work of McCarthy, Emanuel said McCarthy knows a police officer is only as good as how much trust the community has in that officer, local media reported. Some city council members in Chicago had called for McCarthy to be fired.
"I have a lot of loyalty to him," Emanuel said, the USA Today reported. "But no one person trumps my responsibility and commitment to the city of Chicago."
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has fired Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, the Chicago Sun-Times has reported, citing sources. The media attention given to the fatal shooting of teenager Laquan McDonald had become too much, sources told the Sun-Times.
McCarthy had been criticized for his handling of the shooting of McDonald, who was black, by white Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, who has since been charged with first-degree murder, the Chicago Tribune reported.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) December 1, 2015
Chicago authorities had fought to keep the dashboard camera footage of the shooting out of the public eye, but early in November a judge ordered the footage to be released. After the release of the video, protesters took to the Chicago streets, shouting “16 shots!” repeatedly, referencing the number of times McDonald was shot.