Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday publicly condemned the white, plainclothes officer on duty in an African-American neighborhood who was videotaped saying, “Mike Brown deserved it.”
Emanuel was somewhat careful not to prejudge the internal investigation currently underway at the Chicago Police Department. But he could not contain himself when asked what should happen to the unidentified officer.
“I’m not going to judge what should happen. It’s under investigation where it belongs. But I’ll speak to the values of the city of Chicago. Those values — as expressed [by saying that Mike Brown] deserved what he had coming do not belong in the city of Chicago, do not reflect who we are as a city and don’t reflect what we are trying to do in building one city, one future,” the mayor said.
“The investigation will conclude. That will be the responsibility to be clear. But I want to be clear as mayor what our values are. And there is no place for discrimination. No place for racism. And no place for expressing discriminatory or racist views. You represent the city of Chicago and all of the people that pay your salary.”
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Dan Mihalopoulos reported last week that the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division is investigating the white male officer videotaped making a remark about Brown, the black teenager whose shooting death by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked riots last year.
In a 41-second video posted on YouTube, the officer is seen wearing a black bulletproof vest and standing next to an unmarked police vehicle while he bickers with the man who records the argument.
WARNING: Video contains offensive language.
As the clip begins, the officer appears to be replying to a complaint that the police engage in racial profiling.
“It’s all black people that live here, so I got no choice but to f—— pull over black people,” the officer says. “If you don’t like it, then move.”
“Ain’t gotta go nowhere,” the unidentified man shooting the video replies.
“Then, sit around and b—-,” the officer says. “I don’t give a f—. If you think that camera is gonna make a difference to me [in] what the f— I say, you’re incorrect.”
The man recording the video tells the officer he doesn’t trust the police because “you all might shoot us,” then mentions Brown.
“Mike Brown deserved it,” the Chicago cop answers as he walks toward the police car at the end of the video. “He got what he had coming.”
Emanuel’s remarks about the unidentified officer are reminiscent of what he said about Chicago Police Officer Timothy McDermott, who was fired for joining another former officer in posing for a racist photograph with rifles as they stood over a black man lying on his belly with deer antlers.
“Good riddance,” the mayor said of McDermott, who was fired by the Police Board by a 5-to-4 vote and lost his bid to overturn that termination in court.
Earlier this year, Chicago became the nation’s first major city to dole out reparations — $5.5 million, to be exact — to compensate those allegedly tortured by former Area 2 Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and his cohorts.
It was the boldest step the city has taken to remove what Emanuel has called “this stain” on the Chicago Police Department.
If Emanuel has any hope of revitalizing community policing and getting the public cooperation police need to solve crimes, the first order of business is to restore public trust between citizens and police in the black community so undermined by the Burge torture era.
That’s apparently why he was quick to condemn both McDermott and the officer who made the inflammatory remark about Brown.